Diet and fitness tips you need to ignore. Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out with dancers and athletes and “regular” people just trying to get healthy. I’m always a little bit surprised to hear about the many misconceptions people have. I get it, there’s so much information out there that it can be tough to a) understand it all and b) not get excited by the latest “discovery” that makes a lot of amazing promises, especially when it all really does seem to make sense.
When you break it all down, eating healthy for the average person just comes down to common sense.
DIET AND FITNESS TIPS YOU NEED TO IGNORE
Always Eat Breakfast Or You Will Gain Weight. Why? Why do you always need to eat breakfast? There are definitely days when I wake up and I just don’t feel like eating and guess what, nothing bad actually happens. Sure, there are other very good reasons to eat first thing in the morning, but it has nothing to do with your metabolism.
Eat Lots Of Small Meals. The reasoning behind this one is that if your body burns calories (breaking down the food and absorbing nutrients) when you eat then if you are constantly eating it would be constantly burning calories. Well, it’s not quite that simple because in the end whether you eat 6 small meals or 3 big meals, the increase in your metabolism will be proportional to how much you’ve eaten. In the end it all balances itself out.
If You Workout You Can Eat Whatever You Want. Sorry, as much as we want this one to be true (I really wish it was) it just isn’t. I’m not even talking about having a lot of muscle definition (six pack abs anyone?) but if you are trying to lose some weight then you’ll absolutely need to conform your diet to the amount you exercise. The two are directly related. If you eat too much, you will still, over time, gain weight and if you eat too little you will find yourself with a sluggish metabolism. It’s also very easy to overestimate how many calories you are burning. If you don’t believe me, pick up a fitness tracker and see what it estimates. I recently did a rough calorie check on how much I burn after a fairly advanced ballet class and it was nowhere near what I thought it was. So, eating a lot more to compensate for the workout isn’t necessary.
Don’t Eat Late At Night. I’m living proof that this is just a myth. I used to get home from dance late at night and eat my dinner, which usually consisted of pasta, at around 9 or 10pm and I was very fit. Calories can’t actually tell what time it is. While you may not want to eat a huge meal right before bed, as long as you are making wise food choices and it works with your schedule, you can eat when you need to.
Snacking Is Bad. If you aren’t overdoing the snacks and they aren’t the equivalent to small meals then snacking can actually help keep you on a healthy diet. A healthy snack can actually keep your blood sugar from dipping and can keep you from overeating at your next meal. The worst thing you can do for your metabolism is to let it go into starvation mode.
Have A Cheat Day. We see this advice a lot, but in truth one cheat day can completely throw you off your game. Also, if you are struggling with weight loss then it won’t do you any favours. The better way to look at it is to have that snack or eat that slightly bigger meal if you really need it and then get back on track for the next one. Unless you are training for a specific competition (like a body building or fitness competition) where your diet is very restricted, one meal likely won’t matter but a whole day probably will.
Always Eat Low Fat. As a consumer, you always need to be vigilant and blindly trusting labels is never a good idea. Oftentimes these “low fat” foods aren’t necessarily low in calories and are packed with chemicals, preservatives and artificial sweeteners that will do your body more harm than good. Sometimes it’s better to eat something that is full fat, but more natural and in a smaller amount than its low fat counterpart.
Don’t Eat Fruit It Contains Too Much Sugar. If you have diabetes or issues with your sugar levels then follow your doctor’s advice. For everyone else, yes fruit does contain some sugar, but it’s certainly not the same as eating candy all day. Fruit contains Vitamins, minerals and fiber, all of which your body needs to function. Too much of anything is not a good thing, but making fruit a healthy part of your diet is essential to your well being and even to weight loss.
I admit it, I’ll still justify overeating because I worked out one day or I’ll see a brand new diet that promises me the world and I’ll immediately want to jump on the bandwagon, but I always take the time to stop myself and realize that if I continue to work out and I continue to eat well then my body will respond accordingly.