Disclaimer: I’m not a registered nutritionist or dietician. Having said that, being a personal trainer means I do have a good understanding of nutrition, and I regularly look at client food diaries. It’s amazing how, when we as PTs make simple adjustments to our clients’ recorded eating patterns, there can be such a positive shift in how they look, think and feel about themselves, and the results they get from their training.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to nutrition – different stories each week on the news telling us what we should or shouldn’t be eating and, on top of that, food companies labelling products ‘low fat’, ‘low calorie’ or ‘diet’ and promote them as a healthier option.
I have many new clients who come to me saying they’ve tried different fad diets in order to lose weight and, inevitably, these diets never work. I thought I would highlight seven of the most common nutrition myths I hear on a regular basis…
7 most common nutrition myths:
1. “To lose weight you have to go on a restrictive diet”:
I am a firm believer that diets do not work. Choosing healthier foods is a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. Eating a very restrictive diet will only leave you feeling hungry and miserable.
2. “You can out-train your nutrition habits”:
Nutrition and training go hand in hand, you can’t out-train a bad diet.
3. “You need to ‘detox your body’ regularly”:
If you have a healthy working liver, you do not need to go on a ‘detox’ (e.g. a juice cleanse)
4. “Carbs are bad for you”:
Carbohydrates (the right kind) are our main source of energy; they keep the gut happy and our hormones in check. They should be part of a healthy, balanced diet.
5. “Supplements are a necessity”:
If you have a good balanced diet, you should be getting the right nutrients from your food, meaning it’s not absolutely necessary to take supplements (unless a medical professional advises).
6.”Low fat is better”:
Be careful of products labelled ‘low fat’ as they are often laden with added sugar instead, so check the ingredients first.
7. “You can eat low calorie all year round and continue to get results”:
If your goal is to lose weight, it’s true, you will need to eat a calorie deficit. However, this number will more than likely change as you train more and start to build more muscle. Dropping calories too low for a long period of time can slow down the metabolism.
Everything in moderation. Most of my diet is a good balance of all three macros in the form of whole-foods, but of course I still have treats ;D …well, life is too short not to! Eating this way, I have learned to listen to my body, I get all the right nutrients and my diet supports my training, but I don’t stress about whether I’ve had ‘too much of this or that’. I believe this approach is a realistic and sustainable way of living, and it’s what keeps me healthy and strong.
If you have any questions or would like advice on how make positive, healthy changes to your diet, feel free to contact me!