Although the internet is a great platform to use to gain information on diet and weight loss, we need to be aware that a lot of advice provided online to readers is unproven and in fact a myth!
This blog is about helping you with those feelings of being overwhelmed with information online and will help you distinguish between some of the most common myths about weight loss and the real truth.
MYTH #1: Carbs will make you gain weight
Before assuming that carbs will lead to weight gain, we need to understand what they do and why they are essential for our bodies to function.
Carbohydrates are one of the 3 main macronutrients (as well as fats and protein) and in fact are your body’s main source of energy. There are many benefits of including carbs in your diet, especially complex carbs. Carbohydrates are known to help boost your mood and promote the production of serotonin. Complex carbs such as wholegrains, vegetables, beans and legumes which are high in fiber can also prevent weight gain as they keep you fuller for longer. Evidence suggests that good carbohydrates (with limited sugar) can help protect you against cardiovascular diseases. Most importantly, carbohydrates are fuel! In order to smash out a workout, remember that once your carbs are broken down and absorbed into your bloodstream (known as glucose) your body will use this glucose for energy. So before we jump to conclusions, remember that carbohydrates in moderation just like everything else are your friends not enemies!
MYTH #2: Eating before bed will make you gain weight
For a while now, people have associated eating before bed and the ‘not to eat after 6pm’ rule with weight gain. It is important to know that there is nothing wrong with eating at night time, even a light snack after dinner is allowed, after all, who doesn’t love a snack?! Whether you consume more of your food at night or in the morning, the calories in your food consumed do not change. It comes down to WHAT you eat not WHEN you eat. The only reason that individuals may find themselves gaining weight when eating later at night is because they have eaten beyond their calorie intake due to feeling bored or tired and ‘higher calorie treats’ tend to be their go to foods when the sun goes down.
Remember that weight gain does not appear to happen as a result of eating at night. It is merely the amount of calories consumed within a day/ week that will lead to weight gain and if in a calorie surplus.
MYTH #3: Intermittent Fasting works better than any other diet
Let’s get straight to the truth here on intermittent fasting (IF). Just because you decide to consume your calories within a reduced window, if you are eating above or the same as your maintenance calories you will not lose weight. The reason why this myth is often viewed as a fact is because people often think that just because you have not eaten for a longer period of time (16 hours for example) then it is perfectly fine to eat whatever you want in your eating window. A lot of the time someone may find themselves even gaining weight when intermittent fasting as they are often left starving during their feeding window leading them to binge eating. As a result a lot more calories are then consumed compared to what would have been consumed if less restricted.
To summarise, it is important to listen to your body and to fuel your body when you genuinely are hungry. It is your overall daily and/or weekly caloric intake that will in the end lead to weight loss.
MYTH #4: The best way to lose weight is to go on a juice detox / cleanse
There is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking fresh fruit and/ or vegetable juice. In fact, we strongly recommend drinking this over drinking bottled juices and or soft drinks purchased from the supermarket as they are packed with vitamins and minerals that are important to maintain overall good health. In saying that, we need to consider the long term effects of a juice cleanse. There is only so long someone can drink fresh juices for until they want to change up their diet again. As soon as someone comes off a cleanse, it is a lot easier to gain weight back on. This is often due to the restrictions of a cleanse consuming a lot less protein and calories than what someone would consume on a more balanced diet.
Quite simply, your body needs all 3 macronutrients to function properly; carbs, fats & proteins as well as vitamins, and minerals, water and fiber. All of these in which a juice cleanse will not provide.
We recommend choosing a more balanced diet with a long-term weight-loss plan. ‘Dieting’ does not have to be restrictive and boring!
MYTH #5: Fats will make you gain weight
You heard it, fats DO NOT make you fat. Although fats are more calorie dense per gram than carbohydrates and proteins, your body needs healthy fats to function properly. As long as your calorie intake remains consistent and in a healthy range, you will not gain weight from eating fats. In saying that, the type of fats you eat is important and is something to consider. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as fish, nuts, and avocado provide plenty of health benefits as they contain omega-3 fatty acids and should be included in your diet. It is recommend to avoid trans fats such as fried foods, baked goods and processed snacks as these lead to a higher chance of heart disease, diabetes and strokes. Saturated fats must also be consumed in moderation as too much of this can also have a negative impact on your health. This includes foods such as fatty cuts of red meat, high-fat dairy foods and oils.
To conclude, healthy fats are a crucial part of our diet and will improve your overall quality of life. By consuming in moderation, you will not gain weight from fats.