Food and fitness trends come and go, and it’s far too easy
to get confused by the ever-changing conventional wisdom. Read on to see if
you’re still holding onto outdated beliefs about your meals and exercise
Myth: Drink Diet Soda to Lose Weight
No calories = go crazy, right? It turns out diet soda isn’t
a calorie-conscious consumer’s best friend. Experts
believe that drinking sweet diet soda makes your body crave even more
sugary tastes, which leads you to overeat. Switch to water flavored with a
splash of lemon or lime instead.
Myth: Exercise Makes You Tired
Sure, you’re going to be beat after you compete in a half
marathon, but “exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to
your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And
when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go
about your daily chores,” says
the Mayo Clinic.
Myth: A Calorie is a Calorie
It doesn’t matter if you’re digging into a salad or a sundae
if they are of equal calories, right? Wrong! Eating too many refined carbs can
slow your metabolic rate, so you’ll burn less calories than your protein- and
healthy-fat-eating buddy. Keep an eye on
the sugar and carbs and be sure to work enough protein and fat into your diet
for optimal results.
Myth: You Have To Work Out Hard To Reap Health Benefits
Many people have a “why bother?” attitude if they aren’t
able to carve out a large chunk of time to do their workout, but even a quick
walk or a few minutes of cardio can have major health and mood benefits. Every
little bit helps, so go ahead and grab that quick stroll around the hallways or
up and down the stairs.
Myth: Avoid Eggs For Heart Health
Poor eggs got a bad rap for a while there, but there’s no
reason for healthy individuals to shun them anymore. Eating up to one egg a day
won’t increase your risk of heart disease. If you’re diabetic or have heart
disease, however, the rules are different, with experts suggesting
you stick to three eggs a week or less.
Myth: Stretch Before You Workout
Nope, says fitness pros. The old-school theory of stretching
before exercising to avoid injury isn’t scientifically sound, and provides no
protective benefits to your muscles. Instead, focus on warming up your whole
body, and switch your stretching to the end of your gym time.
Myth: Gluten Is Your Enemy
If you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, even
trace amounts of gluten (the proteins found in wheat, barley and rye) can make
you sick, and you should steer clear. If you’re skipping gluten though because
you think it’s inherently bad for you, think again. Sure, lay off too many
refined carbs (like sugary cereals, white breads and pastas, all of which
contain gluten) and fill up on nuts, legumes and other healthy gluten-free
foods; there’s no reason though to avoid gluten unless you’re told to do so by
a medical professional.