It seems we constantly hear about new studies telling us one thing or another is good or bad for us. Then months or years later, we hear that the research now indicates just the opposite of what was reported earlier. So what do should you believe?
One study does not conclusively prove anything. The question is can those findings be proven again? With that said, new information does comes to light as new research unfolds.
Below are some myths and truths about nutrition and fitness that the research has invalidated or confirmed.
- Eating late at night causes weight gain. Weight gain is a result of consuming more calories than you burn, no matter what time of day you eat.
- Low carbohydrate/high protein/no fat diets are the best for weight loss. You may lose weight quickly, but these restrictive diets are hard to maintain long-term. Weight is commonly regained and most importantly, you miss out on healthy nutrients.
- Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight. Skipping meals slows your metabolism and leads to overeating at other times of the day.
- It is better to eat six meals a day instead of three. Weight control is about balancing calories consumed vs. calories burned. Do whatever works best for you.
- Grapefruit will speed up your metabolism. There are no foods that will help you burn calories. Only way to increase your metabolism is to exercise your metabolism is to exercise and build muscle.
- Rapid weight loss can be maintained. Extremely restrictive diets generally can’t be maintained. Most of the weight lost is water and lean tissue.
- You have to stop eating your favorite foods to lose weight. Embrace healthy eating, regular activity, and all foods in moderation. Deprivation often leads to overeating those favorite foods.
- A vegetarian or vegan diet negatively impacts workout performance. As long as you consume adequate amounts of a variety of quality plant-based proteins sources, vegans and vegetarians can get all of the protein needed for optimal physical performance.
- Chocolate milk is a great post-workout recovery drink. Several studies have shown that both plain and chocolate milk is as effective, it no more effective, than many sports drinks for post-exercise rehydration.
- Caffeine enhances your workouts and helps you lose weight. If you regularly consume drinks containing caffeine, drinking additional caffeine may cause more health problems and benefits would be minimal.
- Weight-lifting makes you bulky. Unless you eat a tremendous amount of calories and lift extremely heavy weights, you don’t have to worry about looking like the Hulk any time soon.
- You should weigh yourself everyday to measure progress. Your weight can fluctuate based on hydration, salt intake, time of day, and the scale you’re using. Pay more attention to how your body feels.
- You can spot train to fix one specific area of your body. You need to workout your whole body by consistently weight train and perform cardio.
- You don’t need to exercise if you eat well. Exercising daily keeps your mind health and helps prevent disease, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
For more information about deciphering published research: Understanding Medical Research