In my work as the Skinny Chef, I’ve heard countless legends about diet and exercise. Some of them are true, and some of them just don’t hold water when put into practice. I’ve put together a list of some of my all-time favorite diet and exercise myths, so you won’t fall for them anymore.
These myths just aren’t true, and just won’t go away.
1. Eat Small Meals All Day
The truth is, if you eat small meals throughout the day, you can actually end up eating more calories, and eating even when you’re not hungry – a big mistake for those who are trying to lose weight. Don’t make yourself stick to a certain number of meals each day. Instead, eat when you’re hungry, and find the right amount of food that works for your body in a healthy way.
2. Exercise Makes You Hungry
Initially, you may feel hungry when you start a new exercise program because you’re burning calories, and using energy. But eventually, that tapers off, and your hunger will recalibrate. Working out is not an excuse to eat more, or more fattening foods.
3. Fruit Juice Is Healthy
We all love a glass of fruit juice with breakfast or brunch, but it’s important to remember that it should be an indulgence, and not something you have every day. Juice is high is sugar and calories, and it’s missing the fiber that helps to control blood sugar spikes. Eat fresh fruit instead.
4. Slow Metabolism Keeps Me From Losing Weight
Regardless of what metabolism you were born with, anyone can lose weight. Bad habits and not knowing what’s in the food you consume is what really keeps you from losing weight, along with living a sedentary lifestyle.
5. Fat Makes You Fat
Fat can help you feel full, but too much fat (just like calories), can make you gain weight. Eating too much of the wrong kind of fat, like saturated fat and trans fat, can cause your body to release cortisol, a hormone that causes weight gain around the mid-section. For healthy people who want to maintain their weight, limit fat intake to between 50-70 grams, based on your calorie load.
6. Carbs Make You Fat
This is one of the biggest myths out there, and it’s simply not true. If it were, most of our wheat and potato-eating ancestors would have been overweight. Eating white processed carbs and loads of sugar are the biggest culprits to weight gain, because they make your blood sugar spike and fall, which means that you feel hungry more often, and eat more. But, whole grains are a healthy part of every diet, and shouldn’t be avoided.
7. Sports Drinks Rehydrate You Because Of Their Special Formula
If you’re looking for proper hydration after being active, potassium is key. But you don’t have to turn to sports drinks for that. Drink plain water, and have a slice of grapefruit, avocado or banana as your post-workout snack. Many sports drinks add lots of empty calories from sugar, artificial colors, preservatives and potentially harmful sweetners, so avoid them if you can.