Over the years, so much information surrounding weight loss nutrition has been debunked. Yet, it seems as though nutrition myths keep coming up in conversation and on the internet—they just won’t die!
In this IIFYM article, we will break down some of the most common weight loss nutrition myths, one after another so you can see through all of the misinformation out there. Hold on tight!!
1. You shouldn’t eat late at night
One of the most common nutrition myths that we all have heard is don’t eat food late at night or it will all be stored as fat. Really? So, what they’re trying to tell you is that when you go to bed to rest, so does your metabolism? Not the case.
Your metabolism doesn’t simply shut down at any point during the day. What this myth is truly saying is that you can’t be trusted with your food choices.
Late at night, many people sit in front of the television and snack. That’s a big no-no. Don’t eat for comfort, eat for fuel and function. If you want to have a nice protein packed snack at night, by all means, go for it. You’re not going to wake up and instantly be fat by eating to reach your target caloric intake.
It doesn’t work that way. What you eat is way more important than when you eat. If you’re curious how many calories you should be eating each day, check out the macro calculator.
2. Fat is bad for you
How many times has the news gone back and forth with eggs? Eggs are bad for you! No wait, eggs are good for you! The back and forth is enough to make any dieter want to rip up their nutrition plan. IIFYM.com is a great place to find a nutritional plan if you are in the market for such and want to lose weight or put on muscle.
The IIFYM diet alone is a great way to fit a healthy nutrition plan into your personal lifestyle rather than finding it to be a chore. But demonizing fat has been one of the nutrition myths we’ve heard for quite a long time.
Just because you eat fat does not mean you’re going to get fat. Fats are an important part of regulating hormones in your body to ensure proper functioning—especially when it comes to testosterone levels.
Nutrition myths surrounding fat such as saturated fat is bad for your heart has been debunked for a while. As it stands right now, the only inferior fat that you want to stay away from is trans fat. Getting in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your diet is essential and if you don’t seem to get enough through the whole food fats in your diet, consider picking up a supplement to boost your intake.
3. Fad diets can help me lose weight
It’s true, fad diets may help you lose weight. But, I’m willing to bet the diet isn’t something you’re able to maintain long-term and keep the weight off. Most fad diets are nutrition myths at their finest. Cut out all sugar! Cut out all fats!
Why not just eat a sensible well-balanced diet and exercise a little? Is it really that difficult? Most people want a quick fix and an easy way out. If that were the case, we wouldn’t have the obesity epidemic we do here in the United States today. IIFYM is a great nutritional plan if you are looking for one. It allows you to eat the foods you love, yet still stay caloric balanced so you can reach whatever your goal weight is.
You can’t out-train a poor diet let alone one that has you going from one extreme to the other. It’s a shame this isn’t on our list of nutrition myths as I’m sure we all wouldn’t mind the extra time in the gym. And the good news is that you don’t need to when you find a plan that fits into your life.
IIFYM.com has everything from a 90-day weight loss challenge, to custom workouts, and even blueprints and recipes that you can utilize. If you haven’t checked out the IIFYM.com programs, I highly recommend you take a few minutes to see how they can take your health and fitness to the next level.
4. Avoid fast food restaurants like the plague
This topic is one of the nutrition myths that I myself have been trying to clear up for years. When I worked for a company that had me traveling every week, I didn’t have time to sit down at a fancy restaurant and get a nice meal. I literally had to shove food in my mouth and get to my next meeting. Fast food restaurants can easily fit into any diet you’re utilizing, especially IIFYM. Chick-Fil-A is a great example of how you can order just about anything there and have it customized to fit your needs.
You can order a salad with grilled chicken, use a low-calorie dressing, and then you can order another grilled chicken breast to give the protein content a boost. Or, you can grab yourself one or two grilled chicken breasts by themselves and get a fruit cup to go along with it. Just because fast food restaurants have been vilified for years does not mean that the times have not changed to where you can find a healthy meal on the go.
5. Drink eight glasses of water each day for health benefits
I’m not sure where some of these nutrition myths such as this example came from, but how do you put out a guideline for the amount of water you need? It’s completely personal from person to person based on their needs. While I think what they are trying to promote is the use of water over sugary beverages, throwing a number on how much you need each day as though it’s some magical number is wrong.
There isn’t a magical diet either, but let us dial in the best approach to fit your lifestyle with a Macro Blueprint built by one of our coaches!
Someone who is active and sweats a lot is going to need a lot more water than someone who sits all day long. Without water, the active individual risks dehydration which can lead to health issues or worse. We need to think about drinking throughout the day and especially when we are thirsty.
6. Coffee is bad for your health and promotes dehydration
Another common nutrition myths that you can include in the above section is coffee and tea. Our expert level coaches at IIFYM.com, we love our coffee and for the longest time, we were led to believe that coffee and tea dehydrated us because of the caffeine content in the beverage.
This diet myth was later debunked and these beverages can now to be included in your overall water intake for the day. In fact, if you want some extra antioxidants in your diet, coffee is a great way to do it. So, cheers to your favorite morning cup of Joe!
7. To lose weight you need to eat 5-7 small meals throughout the day
No offense, but none of us have time to sit down and eat that many meals each day if you’re out there hustling trying to grow your business or being productive at your job. Thank goodness, nutrition myths such as this were debunked by science!
The thinking behind this nutrition myth was that by eating more frequently, you will be able to keep your metabolism revving all day long and thus burn fat for rapid weight loss. The funny aspect of this diet myth is that there are zero studies that have ever proved the idea to be true.
Different macronutrients go through distinct metabolic pathways that we simply can’t throw calories into one big bucket and call each calorie the same.
So, where did this diet myth come from? Who knows? I will say this, though, eating more frequently does help with satiation, but it has no bearing on helping you lose weight. You can eat 2-3 meals each day or 5-7 and still burn the same number of calories.
This is why we have our clients eat however many meals they want to when hitting their macros for weight loss. It is far more sustainable to hit your weight loss macros in 2, 3 or 4 meals based on your own schedule, than it is to be forced to hit 7 or 8 meals per day! Especially why science dictates that meal frequency does not matter for a rapid weight loss program to work!
If you’re looking to burn calories, the coaches at IIFYM.com can take your slow or fast metabolism and help you choose foods that provide you with both the micro and macronutrients your body needs to function optimally. IIFYM is a great lifestyle diet that can be plugged into anyone’s life no matter how busy you are.
8. Eating too much protein is harmful to your kidneys
I love my protein. IIFYM followers love their protein. IIFYM.com staff loves their protein. You too should love your protein—and not have to worry about nutrition myths that should have died years ago. I live in Pennsylvania, and here, we love our meat and potatoes.
And in all honesty, I could probably eat meat at every meal. In the past, many were told that if they ate a diet that was high in protein, it would raise their risk of doing harm to their kidneys and potentially have kidney failure.
While the harmful effects of large amounts of protein are indeed dangerous to those who already have kidney disease, healthy individuals will have no issues upping their protein intake. With all of that being said, what are some reasons why you should increase your protein intake?
For starters, it can help promote muscle growth. Another great reason to up this macronutrient is because it helps you feel fuller throughout the day and satiated rather than feeling like your stomach is digesting itself due to lack of substance.
Protein is a highly beneficial micronutrition. Don’t believe the misconceptions surrounding nutrition myths like this. Keep protein in your diet and have it in every one of your meals regardless if you’re following an IIFYM nutrition plan or not.
9. A calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from
One of the long-running nutrition myths has been that a calorie is a calorie and it has no bearing on where it’s coming from. Well, I hate to break it to you but not all calories are created equal. Various foods break down and are metabolized differently than others. Foods that have the ability to increase your metabolism are clearly preferred over sustenance that has a slight impact on your metabolism.
What they don’t tell you is that generally what’s happening is that they are swapping out the fat in the product and substituting sugar for it.
Also, food sources coming from protein or even fats can help you feel fuller longer. You will feel satiated when compared to eating food high in sugar that can actually release hormones in your brain making you want to eat even more sugar (not a great phenomenon). It’s because different macronutrients go through different metabolic pathways that we simply can’t throw calories into one big bucket and call each calorie the same.
10. Look for low-fat foods because they are healthy options
Food that has natural fat in them should always be chosen over their low-fat counterparts at the grocery store. Nutrition myths that we still hear to this day that just won’t die seem to revolve around fat. A common myth is that low-fat foods are healthier options because they contain less fat. What they don’t tell you is that generally what’s happening is that they are swapping out the fat in the product and substituting sugar for it.
That’s a horrible trade-off. The question might come up as to why a brand would decide to remove fat and add sugar. The simple answer is that when you remove the fat from a product, the taste can be terrible.
At the end of the day, it’s about how you feel from a mental and physical standpoint, give yourself a diet that promotes longevity. Have one of our coaches build your Macro Blueprint!
Therefore, they add excess sugar to the product to compensate. Without you knowing it, you’re trading fat for an unhealthy ingredient that doesn’t belong in your diet. Skip the low-fat version of anything you are looking to purchase.
The question might come up as to why a brand would decide to remove fat and add sugar. The simple answer is that when you remove the fat from a product, the taste is terrible. Therefore, they add excess sugar to the product to compensate. Without you knowing it, you’re trading fat for an unhealthy ingredient that does not belong in your diet. Skip the low-fat version of anything you are looking to purchase unless needed.
11. All Oatmeal is good for you (Bonus nutrition myth)
I simply couldn’t leave one of the newer nutrition myths off the list so I needed to make sure it was included. Nutritionists, dieticians, trainers, doctors, and gurus alike have all said we should be including oatmeal in our diet. So how the heck can adding oatmeal to our diet be included in the list of nutrition myths? It’s quite simple, what you’re buying the box is full of sugar. At IIFYM.com we want to spread knowledge and ensure you know the truth behind your food choices.
If you are making oatmeal from scratch, you’re getting one heck of a healthy addition to your meal. However, if you are opening a packet of “oatmeal” you truly aren’t getting the health benefits they proclaim.
The majority of the oatmeal found in packets where you add water and throw them in the microwave is full of sugar. Think of the packets you see flavored as Apples and Cinnamon or Strawberries and Cream. Not only that, but many of them have added trans fat in them to improve the taste.
What to do instead
A better option is to make your own oatmeal and add items such as nuts and maybe a packet of Stevia to sweeten it up to your liking. Just because the box is telling you the contents are healthy does not necessarily mean that they are. Don’t be fooled by nutrition myths similar to this. Without looking at the nutrition label and ingredients, you would think the prepackaged oatmeal was a healthy option when in reality it truly isn’t.
We hope you enjoyed this IIFYM article showcasing nutritional myths we have all heard time and time again. If you have any questions about any of the nutrition myths found in this article, our qualified staff at IIFYM.com can help you find the right nutrition plan to suit your needs and goals.