Have you ever typed a nutrition question into your search engine hoping to find an answer to a simple question and ended up buying a waist trimming belt off of a sketchy looking click baity ad? No? Me either :-/
You would think that unlimited information would be a great thing, well that’s not always the case in regards to nutrition. Nutrition, or your diet, is a complex and constantly changing topic. Like everything else related to health and wellness, nutrition has rapidly evolved over the last two decades. The explosion in popularity of group fitness, the crossover of many different disciplines such as recovery & training modalities, and social media have greatly influenced the accessibility and exposure to new and exciting ways of eating. I’m sure you’ve heard or have seen some if not most of these nutrition plans mentioned before: keto, paleo, atkins, and intermittent fasting.
All of these have a lot in common yet they’re all accompanied by different cultures and pitfalls. As I mentioned before, there’s no one size fits all nutrition plan. Which is why I’m starting this short series where I’ll be covering some of the most common myths around nutrition. I’ll also share the research that’s available on the trends that have developed into full blown ways of living. My hope is to bring some clarity to the table, pun intended.
This week I’ll cover two of the most common nutrition myths and one keto recipe for you to try the next time you’re meal prepping.
Myth Numero Uno
‘Calories in, calories out’
This might be less of a myth and more of a misunderstood/misrepresented concept. Here’s the simple version, burn more calories than you eat and you’ll lose weight.
This is true if all you care about is losing weight. However only focusing on how many calories you eat doesn’t consider all the other variables that might prevent you from losing weight, even if you are on a lower calorie diet. Other factors like hormonal imbalances, genetics, and medications you’re taking can greatly influence your weight loss even when strictly following this lower calorie plan. Most people following the ‘calories in, calories out’ approach will focus on the quantity of calories and not the quantity of the calories they consume. Oftentimes this approach can lead to feeling lethargic throughout the day and it can affect the quality of your workouts. This is due to the fact that most lower calorie foods are also often lower in nutrients. As you can imagine, solely focusing on the quantity of calories isn’t really a sustainable approach.
While decreasing the amount of calories you consume to lose weight is an important part of the process, doing so without considering the quality and nutritional value of the calories that you do eat can be a little reckless. The clear and sustainable approach that all research seems to agree on is to eat mostly whole foods instead of processed foods. It’s much harder to overeat whole foods than processed foods and you’re less likely to become nutrient deficient this way.
It’s important that you talk with your doctor or a nutritionist to find the appropriate amount of calories for your health and fitness goals.
Myth Numero Dos
‘Carbs make you fat’
I’m sure you’ve seen the many ads and social media posts villainizing carbs. You’ve probably seen very shredded influencers claiming that all their body fat melted away as soon as they eliminated carbs from their diets. They may even have warned you about the health risks associated with eating carbs.
The truth is that eating high quality carbs can actually benefit your health and your performance in and out of the gym. Foods like yams, quinoa, and legumes are packed with fiber and other nutrients that are essential for good health.
A typical American diet consists of highly processed foods that often contain high quantities of carbs. Fast food, cakes, cookies, sodas, and candies are all packed with carbs yet lack fiber and other essential nutrients. Replacing those foods with some of the options that I mentioned above will help keep you fuller for longer and it will provide you with the necessary nutrients to perform at your peak without having to cut all carbs out of your diet.
I know it’s easy to want to try anything and everything to lose weight, especially once you’ve found the motivation to do so. My suggestion is to take it slow, don’t try things that are drastically different than what you’ve been doing. Instead, make small changes that you can stick to for 3-4 weeks before adding anything else into the mix. This not only helps you stick with your new plan but it will also help you see if that change you made had a positive or negative effect on your desired outcome.
I’ll be covering more common myths next week, until then check out the keto recipe below and let me know what you think.
Have you ever wondered what it means to eat keto? I’ll be diving deeper into this diet in the coming weeks. For now, a grossly simplified explanation is that a keto diet consists of very low carbs and is high in fat. Low carb diets have been around for a while, you may remember the Atkins diet. Keto diets have gained popularity over the last decade thanks to modalities like CrossFit and bodybuilding.
Down below is one of the more popular keto recipes I could find.
If you decide to give this recipe a try please post your final product in our FB group or send me a photo of it to my email, firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!
LOADED CAULIFLOWER (LOW CARB, KETO)
1 pound cauliflower
4 ounces sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons chives snipped
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
NOTE: If making ahead and refrigerating, I find it best to microwave at 50% power for a few minutes to take the chill off before placing in the oven to finish warming up and then placing under the broiler. This will freeze, but replace the sour cream with cream cheese instead.
Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.4g | Protein: 11.6g | Fat: 24.6g | Saturated Fat: 15.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 378mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3.85g