There are so many common fitness myths in the diet and fitness industry! And I have narrowed down the top 5 nutrition myths you could be falling for, which could be the reason why you are not seeing the results you working so very hard to see! Many of these myths are used by company’s or coaches as a strategy to manipulate an individual into needing and eventually buying their product or service.
Almost like a scare tactic.
These companies, business, or personal coaches like to use these tactics as a marketing tool, which in my opinion is so unethical and unsafe. The diet industry is a 70.3 billion dollar industry! And so many companies use these common myths to promote their meal plans, supplements, products, etc. to “scare” you into feeling like you have to buy their product.
Before you go buy into a new customized plan or buy a new supplement or fat loss product, it’s important to know the common myths that are stated otherwise by many people in the weight-loss industry!
Here are the Top 5 Nutrition Myths You May Be Falling For!
And the real truth behind these myths! That will hopefully give you peace of mind and clarity on your fitness journey!
Myth #1: You Cannot Eat Carbs After Dark
This is a big one I hear all of the time!! Even though I thought this myth was busted years ago, I still have clients who ask me if carbs okay to eat after dark.
Or heard the most popular question: “Won’t eating carbs after 6 pm make me gain weight?” Sadly, people or influencers in the fitness and diet industry still tell their clients that they can’t eat carbohydrates after 6 pm because if they do, they will put on fat.
This, however, is completely FALSE! It all comes down to your caloric intake and your caloric expenditure.
Caloric Deficit= eating fewer calories than you’re burning (weight loss). Caloric Surplus=eating more calories than you’re burning (weight gain).
If you are in a caloric deficit you are supporting fat loss! But if you are in a caloric surplus you will be supporting weight and muscle gain! Now, I understand how this myth can be believable for some people.
Say you are someone who normally eats their last meal/snack around 7 pm and wakes up at 5 am to weigh yourself. However, you have one evening where you eat your last meal at 9 or 10 pm but still wake up at 5 am to yourself. Your weight that morning may be higher than it normally is, but that is completely okay!
This is because you ate at a later time the night before then you are probably used to, and it takes your body longer to digest the food. There is also more food physically in your body than you are used to! If you wake up that the same time that you normally do to weigh yourself, but you ate your last meal at a later time the night before, it is completely normal to see a higher number on the scale.
That could possibly be the reason why you think you gained weight.
You think it’s because you ate “carbs” late at night when in reality it’s because you have more food in your body than you normally do at that time in the morning. It is important to note that carbohydrates bind to water molecules more than the other macronutrients (fat and protein). This causes you to hold onto more water weight, not fat!
Myth #2: There Is A Specific Diet That You Must Follow To See Results
Whatever your goals may be, fat loss, muscle gain, etc. people tend to believe that there is a specific diet that is GREATER than all of the others.
When it comes to fat loss or muscle gain, or whatever your goals may be, everybody is different!
The way a specific “diet” (I prefer to call it eating choice, rather than diet) may work well for someone, does not mean it will work well for you too. It should be completely individualized! It bugs me when someone will tell another person, “oh no you should be doing keto or go vegan for fat loss, or no you need to count macros if you want to see muscle growth.”
To be completely honest, there is no specific diet choice that is inherently “superior” than all of the other diets out there! The best diet for you is one that you can maintain! One that is realistic to your goals and is sustainable for the long-term!
Choose the diet that is not going to make you unhappy, one that is too difficult or one that will demotivate you.
This approach is going to look different for everyone!
There are so many factors that go into play when trying to figure out what diet works best for you or somebody else.
Take a full-time college student who is living in a dorm room with one or two other students. This student can’t necessarily follow a meal plan that calls for 3 servings of lean chicken and steamed broccoli when the chances are they do not have a stove or oven to use.
Same with an ER nurse who works the night shift. It would be nearly impossible for her to eat every 2 hours or so, and to follow a plan that tells her she must have 5 small meals a day every two-three hours.
It’s just unrealistic and not sustainable.
However, this may work for someone who works from home or a teacher who may be able to heat up their meals in between class periods or on their prep hour.
Whatever diet works for you, is the diet that you want to follow!
Do not fall into the myth that certain diets are BETTER for losing fat, maintaining weight or gaining muscle than all of the others. Remember to keep in mind that each diet looks different for everyone! Just because someone lost 10 pounds doing intermittent fasting, or Adkins, or whatever, does not mean it will work the SAME for you!
Myth #3: Certain Foods Are The Direct Cause of Weight Gain or Weight Loss
There are no certain foods that make somebody gain weight or lose weight. You may think otherwise, in certain cases, when you hear somebody say they lost weight because they “cut out a certain food.”
Somebody could say they “lost 10 pounds because they cut out cheese from their diet.” Note that it wasn’t the “cheese” itself that caused them to lose the weight, it is because cheese is a calorically dense food.
In consideration, one slice of cheddar cheese=113 calories.
If a woman maintains her weight eating 2000 calories a day, and then takes out those 113 calories from not eating the slice of cheese, she is now at a caloric deficit of 1,887. Meaning she is saving 791 calories, more or less, a week from cutting cheese out of her diet. Now this food that she cut out could have been anything else!
It could have been bread, peanut butter, chocolate, yogurt, an apple or a banana even!
Whatever kind of food it is, if you take it out of your diet, and it contributes to a caloric deficit, then you will lose weight! It is not necessarily that the cheese was “bad” for you, it is because you took those calories out of your diet, enabling you to lose weight.
The woman who cut out cheese from her diet was no longer eating her maintenance calories of 2000 calories, she was now in a caloric deficit. Because people lose weight from cutting out a specific food item, they correlate that food item with being “bad.” When in reality, they were just eating fewer calories than normal!
Myth #4: Someone’s Macros Or Meal Plan Will Work The Same For You
This is kind of similar or related to myth #2. You may see on popular “fitness influencers” on social media sites such as Instagram and Youtube stating that they follow a certain meal plan or count/track a specific number of macros.
Macros = the number of carbohydrates, protein, and fat grams.
A lot of these “influencers” will tell their followers their exact plan that they are following or their exact macronutrient numbers. However, this can actually be very detrimental to somebody else’s progress and/or fitness journey! Someone watching a video of a fitness influencer or seeing a post on Instagram may believe that if they copy the same exact plan as that influencer, they will yield the same results. Especially when the person who made the video claims “eat like this and you will (lose fat, gain muscle, lose 50lbs,etc.) too!”
If your body structure is completely different from someone else’s, you are not going to see the same exact results as that person. This goes for if your bones, cells, and genes are completely different from somebody else’s as well!
It doesn’t matter if you copy their food, their exact same workouts down to the sets, reps, and weight, their recipes, their macros, or whatever it may be! You won’t look like a certain person just by copying what they are doing or eating.
Everybody has their own environmental stressors, cells, genes, sleep patterns, and everything else that goes into play when it comes to weight loss and muscle growth.
Physical Fitness As A Child Plays A Role As Well
Another related topic that goes into play, is how a person was brought up or what their level of activity was when they were younger. Those children who played high-intense sports such as gymnastics, soccer, skating, etc. do have more muscle and a different body structure than someone who never played sports growing up.
If you were not athletic as a child or growing up, you are not going to naturally carry as much muscle mass as somebody who did dance or gymnastics since they were really young.
Bottom line, just because something works for a certain person, does not mean it will work the same for you or someone else. It is so important to remember especially for someone who is starting off or just beginning their diet or fitness journey!
This is common for both men and women who are trying to lose fat or gain muscle!
So you just want to make sure that you learn what works for YOU and to not go off of exactly what other people are doing, because chances are it probably won’t work the same for you. And I want to make sure you don’t make any initial mistakes when trying to get healthy and feel good about yourself!!
Myth #5: Low-Fat Foods Are Healthy Because They Are Lower In Calories
Last but not least, #5 is one that I feel is very important and that is needed to be shared over and over again!
Back in 1977, the low-fat guidelines first came out, and a diet that was lower in lipids (fat) was recommended to Americans. The food manufacturers responded to these guidelines by producing many “low-fat” alternatives to sell on the grocery store shelves. However, there was one major problem.
Since the fat was removed, all of these new “low-fat” foods tasted absolutely horrible, and they were not selling. How did these food and drink manufacturers deal with this situation and loss of sales? By adding an abundant amount of sugar to all of their products.
Many processed foods that are marketed as “low-fat” tend to be very unhealthy because they are filled with excessive amounts of processed sugar. Taking the natural fat out of foods and replacing it high amounts of sugar is very unhealthy. Sadly, it has lead to many health concerns in the past 40 years. (study)
Unfortunately, despite these concerning results found in these studies, a low-fat diet is still recommended by nutrition organizations all over the world!
Since those guidelines that came out in 1977, American’s have nearly DOUBLED their daily intake of sugar! For more in-depth, and scientifically-based information, I recommend watching the 2014 documentary, Fed Up. It will truly open your eyes to this sugar epidemic that has been affecting so many people since 1977.
Be mindful of the nutrition label and the sugar content next time you are purchasing a product that is marketed as a “low-fat” food!
I hope that you found the exposure and real truth of some of these common nutrition myths helpful! And I hope they bring you clarity and peace of mind as you start or continue your journey towards health and wellness!
I would love to hear from you in the comments or by email if you liked any of these tips or have any questions! Or if you need an alternative to the fat-free creamer that you may put in your coffee! 😉
Until next time!