SIX COMMON MYTHS ABOUT NUTRITION
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Strange fad diets are not a new phenomenon. The notoriously vain dandy Lord Byron was so frightened of gaining weight in the 1820s that he survived on a diet of red cabbage and cider and was known to exercise wearing as many as six coats to sweat off excess pounds.
In 1903 Horace Fletcher, an art dealer, gave rise to the dietary fad known as Fletcherism. This involved chewing every mouthful of food no fewer than 32 times to aid digestion.
In the 1950s, Elvis Presley was a believer of the Sleeping Beauty diet, which essentially involved remaining unconscious (sometimes in an induced coma) in bed for extended periods instead of exercising or limiting your food intake, which, as we all know, was never his forte.
We might look back at all this with mirth, but are we really any better today? In more recent years, the whole egg debate, which dominated the cholesterol-busting 1980s and 1990s, was put to bed, while the Atkins Diet has been shown to ruin your kidneys. In a quest to seek a healthier lifestyle, we sought some advice and hope the below tips, will edge you a little closer to a clean bill of health.
Don't Be. Become.
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CUTTING CARBS IS THE FAST TRACK TO WEIGHT LOSS
Reducing the amount of carbohydrate, you eat is one way to lose weight. It’s just not the most sensible, sustainable or enjoyable. You’d be much better off adjusting when you eat your carbs. Getting a portion in before you exercise will ensure you have the energy to do it properly, especially if you’re going to be training for a while, a long run or bike ride, say. Best of all is to eat some good carbs after working out. They will be sucked up by your muscles to restock your glycogen stores, rather than being converted into body fat.
YOU CAN’T HAVE ENOUGH PROTEIN SHAKES
In fact, in the modern consumer environment of enriched products, it is surprisingly easy to meet the average man’s protein requirements, even if you’re quite active. To ensure your body is getting good quality nutrients straight after training, or in between appointments, shake away. But if you feel like you’re forcing them down for the sake of it, you probably are. The human body can’t absorb more than 8 to 10g of protein per hour, so you’ll just be flushing money down the toilet.
IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS, YOU CAN EAT ANYTHING
IIFYM, a wellness-industry acronym for “if it fits your macros, is the theory that once you have ascertained a balanced level of macronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, you can pretty much eat whatever you want as long as you don’t exceed those amounts. So, pizza, cronuts and deep-fried anything are all back on the menu. This may work in the short term for those looking to get ‘swole’, but for those more interested in feeling fit and healthy for the rest of their lives, it’s far smarter to make smaller changes to your diet that work with your lifestyle. Eat more vegetables, say. Or swap cereals for eggs and avocado at breakfast. That way you can enjoy your indulgences as just that.
EATING LITTLE AND OFTEN IS THE BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT
Various studies disagree with this and show that eating two or three meals per day can yield the same effect of calories burned as eating six smaller meals. A 2014 study published by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases reported that eating too regularly can increase liver and abdominal fat. If you’re not bodybuilding, then aim to have three square meals per day that are nutritionally well-rounded, such as a chicken breast the size of your phone, vegetables, a palm-sized portion of starch and one piece of fruit.
COFFEE IS BEST AVOIDED
Coffee has long been considered unhealthy because of its caffeine content, but there is research to show it actually has health benefits. It’s a source of antioxidants and can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s and increase longevity. Skip the latte in favour of an Americano and opting for organic whole beans, which have a higher concentration of beneficial organic elements. Limit yourself to three cups per day. Some people don’t genetically detoxify caffeine well.
SUPPLEMENTS ARE A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY
This isn’t true and is largely dependent on the dose of the supplement, its form and the reason for using it. There are a lot of supplements on the market that are low quality and low dose, which do very little for the body. With vitamin B12, use the activated form, methylcobalamin, rather than the lower-grade cyanocobalamin form. Folic acid is a cheap, synthetic version of folate. Look out for 5-MTHF, also known as L-methylfolate, instead. It helps your body generate new cells and fight cancers. With vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, make sure the dose is about 1000iu and is the D3 form, not D2. It helps keep bones strong and helps maintain a positive mood on those gloomier days. Magnesium boosts energy levels and encourages restful sleep. It comes in many forms, but avoid the oxide version, which is common and inexpensive. The most effective forms are citrate, glycinate, malate and L-threonate.
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