Eating _____ will lead to death and cause ______ and you will ______….
Nutrition is a confusing topic, as there is endless info out there, and it can be quite hard to figure out what works and what is fake. The real answer for everything nutrition-related is “it depends” because the context of the person and their situation needs to be taken into account before deeming something appropriate or not for them.
However, there are a few nutrition related concepts that still seem to keep coming up, and need to be explained better, or just plain debunked.
Let’s get right to it.
1. Eating Clean is all that matters for health
Yes, eating a ton of processed junk food is not good for the body, and it will make you feel like garbage. However, when it comes to weight loss or control, it is all about the calorie.
There have been many instances of people losing weight on fast food diets, junk food diets, etc. BECAUSE they are creating a calorie deficit. What we don’t hear about is how their insides or blood levels look, but yes they lose weight.
In the same instance, if you only eat “clean” foods, but are still in a surplus, you will gain weight.
The reason junk food gets the bad rep is because it is much more calorically dense, and is much easier to over eat your calorie level.
Quantity (calories) controls your weight, quality (nutrients) is what has a bigger effect on your organ health, inside and out, blood labs, etc. Eat mostly healthy, natural foods, in a calorie deficit and you will lose fat AND feel great.
2. Carbs/Fat/Sugar/Etc. are THE reason we have a weight problem.
This goes back to #1. Yes, these foods are often over consumed by everyone, but you cannot blame one food group alone for weight gain.
There are diet gurus out there who still swear that if you cut out carbs, you can eat whatever you want and lose weight. Sorry, but if you are still eating more than you are burning you will not lose weight.
Overconsumption, and under activity are what leads to weight gain – not one nutrient alone.
That being said, there are people who will tolerate carbs or fats less optimally, and I will argue that carb intake should be dictated by multiple factors including, but not limited to, activity levels, fat storage areas, hormonal levels – and this is something you will need to take into consideration before just jumping on any random diet or macro numbers.
3. High Protein Diets Will Ruin Your Kidneys
There are exactly ZERO studies showing that high protein diets (even up to 1.5 grams/pound of bodyweight) are harmful on the body/kidneys in healthy individuals.
Yes, if you have chronic kidney disease you need to watch your protein intake.
However, in individuals with healthy normal functioning kidneys, getting more protein in your diet helps with weight control, through satiety/fullness and will definitely help with muscle recovery and growth.
4. Eating carbs later in the day will make you fat.
There is no auto switch in the body that turns on at 7pm and magically turns carbs into body fat.
Eating carbs later in the day is especially important if you work out in the early morning on an empty stomach, as carbs are crucial for optimal performance during your workouts.
It still comes back to rule #1, and that if you are in a surplus – you will gain weight – no matter where those calories come from.
The caveat to this is that eating later in the day CAN indirectly lead to the potential for gaining more body fat. How?
If your body is still trying to digest food when you are trying to sleep, it could affect your sleep. When your sleep is disrupted to a certain point, this can lead to hormonal changes that increase hunger the next day, affect your bodies processing and cravings of sugar, and CAN lead to the potential to overeat.
It is best to try and not eat within 2 hours of bedtime for most people, but the only way to truly know if this affects you would be to monitor your sleep, resting heart rate, and sleeping body temperature.
5. You must eat 5-6 small meals in the day to rev up your metabolism
Every time you eat, your metabolic rate does increase SLIGHTLY for digestive purposes. However, studies have shown that there is no difference at the end of the day between groups that only eat 2-3 meals vs 5-6 small meals.
The most important point is that you need to do what works best for you.
If you have the time to stop and eat many small meals throughout the day, great.
If you are better off eating 3 square meals per day, do it.
You need to find what works best for you, and what you can do for the long-term.
Some days it might work better to eat small frequent meals because of your schedule, and some days you might have more time to sit down and enjoy bigger meals.
Referencing back to #1, again, it’s all about that total daily intake of calories.
I hope these tips can help you out, no matter what your goals are. Please don’t fall for the internet diet gurus who don’t have any sort of nutrition background and are just instagram trainers/nutritionists.
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Stay healthy my friends,