bite my words

Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

De-Debunking nutrition and fitness myths

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I came across this article the other day Debunking Fitness and Nutrition Myths and feel compelled to debunk some of  the debunking.

Myth #1: You need to focus primarily on calories in versus calories out to loose [sic] weight.

The “trainer/nutrition coach” states that this is not the case, otherwise we would see weight loss if people consumed one or two meals a day with the appropriate number of calories for weight loss. He also argues that the foods we eat wouldn’t matter either. I agree that healthy weight loss should be achieved through a balanced diet and regular meals and snacks throughout the day. However, calories really are one of the most important things. If we eat more than we burn, we’re not going to lose weight. Obviously I think that good nutrition is important, otherwise I wouldn’t do what I do. However, several people have now infamously shown that weight loss is possible on a nearly all twinkie, or other such junk food, diet. Hence, yes, weight loss is more complicated than calories in versus calories out but it is still the primary focus of most effective weight management programs.

Myth #2: You should never eat before bed.

I wrote about this myth myself recently but my reasoning differed greatly from this mans. He says: “if you never spike your blood sugar, you will not store fat.  So, it really depends on what you’re eating before hitting the hay at night.” What? This is complete nonsense. You can gain weight on low-glycemic diets. Spiking your blood sugar doesn’t have any bearing on weight gain or loss.

Myth #4: You get the best results if you exercise on an empty stomach.

The trainer states that you will burn muscle if you exercise on an empty stomach. Now, this is not my area of expertise, but as I understand it, you will burn the glycogen in your muscle first, then fat, then muscle. The average gym-goer is pretty unlikely to get to the point of burning muscle if they workout before breakfast. That being said, for optimal performance you should have something small and easily digested, like a banana about an hour before exercise and ensure that you’re adequately hydrated.

Author: diana chard

I'm a registered dietitian living in Nova Scotia, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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