Challenging the myths: fitness and food
There is a lot of fitness information out there, much of which won’t help you to meet your goals.
Below are just some of the myths:
• You can just burn off all the junk food that you had this weekend
It’s not that easy. The quality of the things we eat matter a great deal and the damage from eating unhealthy foods can’t be instantly undone, even with a challenging workout.
Trying to compensate for poor diet choices with exercise puts stress on the body and can cause you to be weaker rather than stronger.
A balanced and healthy diet is important for everyone, especially if you are regularly active.
• The more protein, the better
Protein is the building block of muscle. Protein maintains, heals and repairs tissues in the body. A lot of individuals are concerned about overdoing it on carbohydrates, however too much of any macronutrient, including protein, can cause weight gain and other physical problems. To strike a good balance, include some protein in each meal, but don’t go crazy. A good rule of thumb: if you’re active, aim for .5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of your ideal weight.
So, if your goal is 130lb you need no more than 65 to 30 grams of protein per day. Be sure to consult your nutritionist to find out the right amount for you. Some great sources of protein are lentils, almonds, salmon, chicken and other legumes and lean meats. Try and make the most of the protein you eat, and spread it out throughout the day.
• Eating after you exercise cancels out your workout
The calories you eat after exercise aren’t immediately shoved into your fat cells. In fact, it’s very important to eat after your workout.
Working out takes a toll on your body and afterwards, our bodies need to recover. Eating a diet full of nutrients provides your cells with the raw materials needed to repair your body.
Our bodies recover with the foods we eat and our training builds and maintains muscle mass, boosts our metabolism and improves our fitness. For best results, choose post-exercise foods like lean proteins or healthy fats such as a salad topped with salmon, a bean and avocado burrito or a protein shake with spinach, fruit and almond butter.
• Fruit is too sugary, just like candy
It’s funny how sometimes I will avoid fruit, but wind up eating a delicious brownie instead. Sometimes, we fear that natural sugar leads to added pounds.
Fruit is packed with important nutrients, water and fibre; its naturally occurring sugar is less concentrated than other sweet foods.
Fruit is definitely important in your daily diet, as long as you don’t overdo it. Aim for at least two servings a day, maybe one with breakfast and another as a snack or dessert.
• Fat is bad for you
I’m sure that nutritionists and other health professionals are continually trying to convince their clients that eating fat does not make you fat unless you overdo it.
Clients sometimes tell me they avoid avocado or choose low-fat salad dressing because they’re watching their weight.
Healthy fats keep you fuller longer; research shows that plant-based fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts increase appetite-suppressing hormones.
Aim to include a portion of healthy fat in every meal and snack.
Try snacking on vegetables and hummus or tahini, add nut butter to toast or oatmeal or add some extra virgin olive oil and vinegar to a salad; try some dark chocolate for your dessert.
Avoid the myths and B-Active for Life!
• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife