Three Myths (well and truly) Busted
Myth busting is one of my favourite parts of the job. I see facts about healthy food and eating are often distorted and 'tweaked' to make a good headline. It's not ethical nor helpful to mislead people when it comes to healthy eating. Yes, sometimes new evidence is found and the facts can change but its very very unlikely that the basics of healthy eating will change anytime soon and if they did, you would be the first to hear about it from a reliable source.
With that in mind lets bust some popular myths about food...
1. "Eating dairy will make me put on weight."
Not so fast. Milk and dairy are good sources of protein and calcium and are important when forming a healthy diet. Our bodies need protein to work properly and to grow or repair themselves. Calcium helps to keep our bones and teeth strong and the calcium in dairy foods is particularly good for us because our bodies absorb it easily.
Alternatives such as soya milks, soya yoghurts and soya cheeses also count as part of this food group and can make good alternatives to dairy products. However, much of the fat in milk and dairy foods is saturated fat so opt for semi-skimmed, 1% fat and skimmed milks, these still contain all the important nutritional benefits of milk, but are lower in fat. Also try low fat cheeses (low fat hard cheese, cottage cheese etc), low fat yogurt (watch out for high sugar, anything over 5g per 100g is high) and spreads (instead of butter and coconut oil). Remember, anything over 17.5g of fat per 100g is classed as 'high in fat'.
2. "Certain foods have fat burning properties."
There is no food that will help you speed your matabolism, burn fat or lose weight by simply eating it (that has currently been scientifically proven with decent research) Even the specialists agree...
"It is claimed that certain foods and drinks can boost your metabolism, including green tea, black coffee, spices and energy drinks. The evidence behind these claims is flimsy, the effect on your metabolism is marginal at best and each person will respond differently to each product." - Professor James Timmons, a metabolism expert, Loughborough University.
Fat burning and weight loss is about balancing energy. To lose weight you simply need to consume less calories (not food, see myth 3!) than you are burning through exercise. To gain weight you do the opposite. To stay the same the number of calories being burned and consumed stay the same. When looking to burn calories and change your body composition, this comes down to having a healthy balanced diet but also doing regular cardiovascular and strength training exercises. I know this isn't what you may have wanted to hear but the sooner we expect there is no quick fix and that losing weight and changing our body composition takes time, dedication, consistency and patience the sooner you will start to see changes and hit your goals.
3. "Eating less food will help me lose weight and be healthy."
Not entirely true. Of course, eating less than your were before and moving more will create a calorie deficit and you will lose weight. However, this doesn't mean its a healthy and balanced diet. To eat 1000 calories worth of vegetables is, in volume, much more food than eating 1000 kcal of fried chicken. Just because you're eating less food doesn't mean its healthy and in the same notion, eating more food doesn't mean its not healthy or that you will put on weight. It depends entirely on the calorie value of the food you're eating.
A lot of my clients are shocked by amount of calories they need, even when losing weight! Get in touch if you'd like to know how many calories you need a day or of you need any general weight loss and healthy eating advice :)