There are a lot of myths around dieting and nutrition when it comes to losing fat and building muscle. Unfortunately they don’t work and some of them can even have the opposite effect. And while the science of nutrition has still a lot to discover (that’s why there are so many misconceptions) we have a lot of solid facts that can bust these myths.
So today we’ll look at 4 very popular dieting tips that are in fact plain wrong and you should never follow them.
#1 Eating Fat Makes You Fat
One of the biggest misconceptions in dieting that does more harm than good. The fact is that fat makes you gain weight as much as carbs or protein, it’s all about the caloric intake. Yes, if you eat a lot of fat food you will gain body fat, but you’ll do too if you eat a lot of carbs and protein. Fat has a higher caloric density than the carbs and protein but as long as you don’t eat more calories than necessary to maintain your body, it will not affect your body weight.
In fact, eating healthy fats is an important part of good nutrition. These healthy fats, like unsaturated fats or omega-3 fatty acids, play an important part in rebuilding your body cells, they activate growth hormones and allow you to build muscle and maintain a fit and healthy body.
#2 You Can’t Eat Past 6 PM
Another popular myth going around is to stop eating at 6 PM and stay away from food for the rest of the day. That is simply unnecessary. Your body utilizes the calories you eat throughout the day no matter what time it is, and it doesn’t start accumulating fat at a certain hour. As long as you’re withing your caloric body maintenance level you will not start gaining fat no matter when you eat.
Timing your meals throughout the day is more important in terms of keeping your blood sugar stability. That’s why it’s healthier to eat smaller more balanced meals several times a day to keep your body performance better. But it has to do with frequency and not specific time.
#3 Vegans Can’t Build Muscle
Personally, I like meat as much as the next guy, but even if you make a choice to go vegetarian or vegan, it doesn’t mean that you can’t build muscle anymore. It’s your choice and it doesn’t have to affect your fitness in any negative way.
There are two main things necessary to build muscle – intense workout and the right nutrition to support it. There’s no reason why a vegan diet wouldn’t support that. You can get enough protein from protein rich plants or even vegan supplements, and it doesn’t have to come from meat or animal products. How much protein you need to eat depends on your body (the general recommendation is 0.5-1 g per pound of your body weight) and you can absolutely get all that from vegan food.
#4 Supplements Will Get You Ripped
If you don’t follow a sound nutrition plan in your diet and you don’t train hard enough, you can forget getting positive results when it comes to body fitness. Supplements are not there to replace your meals, they’re called that for a reason – they only supplement your healthy diet. Yes, you can get better results taking vitamins, fish oil or protein powders but only if you eat right to begin with.
So don’t make an assumption that you can pig out on a pizza and chug a beer or two down on top and then make it all right with some “fat burner” shake. That’s just not going to work.