Common Nutrition Advice Debunked 
Monday, December 17, 2018
LifeTime WeightLoss in Health Conditions, Lifestyle, Metabolism, Mindset, Support, balanced eating, diet mentality, nutrition advice

In today’s world, news headlines, a simple Google search or self-proclaimed social media “health experts” have been deemed royalty when it comes to influencing our beliefs and opinions on all things health, wellness and nutrition. The multitude of sources and voices claiming they’ve uncovered the next best thing in nutrition can be both exhilarating, yet overwhelming. These waves of health trends can often cause us to question our own approach to nutrition and spur us into making a whirlwind of drastic changes to our eating and fitness routines.

As we wrap up the year and head into 2019, we’ll address some of the top dieting and nutrition misconceptions that have topped our list time-and-time again in 2018.

1.“My diet must be all-in or nothing at all.”

It goes without saying that discipline and commitment are both prerequisites when it comes to being successful in any area of life. While these two things are critical, it’s equally important to master the art of balance. Rightly so, diets such as Keto, Paleo and intermittent fasting all have a specific set of guidelines to follow so that you can achieve your full potential. However, if you don’t allow yourself some leniency throughout your journey, one misstep has the potential to derail all of your efforts, and potentially worse, you attitude and mindset to continue with your eating plan.

A solid strategy for balance is to follow is the 80-20 rule: focus on sticking to your diet 80% of the time and allow the other 20% to include some of your favorite foods. When determining what that 20% looks like for you, remember it’s not an excuse to go off the deep end, but rather an opportunity to practice sustainable moderation that will pay off in the long run.

2."I should weigh myself every day."

In a nutshell: weighing yourself too often can cause you to second guess all of your hard work and react by making drastic changes just to see the needle move on the scale. Often times, we can become compulsive over our number without taking into consideration other factors that may be causing our weight (and sanity) to fluctuate so rapidly. When we consumer food or water, go to the bathroom, finish a workout or perhaps you’re a female on your menstrual cycle – all of these factors can significantly influence the scale on a daily basis.

What’s more, the scale only tells one part of your transformation journey. For example, tracking your body fat percentage vs. muscle mass is key to understanding proper health and how to best manage weight. Our recommendation is to weigh yourself no more than once per week so that your body has adequate time to begin recognizing the work you’ve been putting in. Alternatively, consider using a measuring tape to assess your body changes, or simply be more mindful in the way your clothes are fitting.

3."I’m a healthy person, I don’t need a multivitamin."

The age-old debate, should I take a multivitamin? Do I really need one? Can I just focus on eating more fruits and vegetables and not spend the money? All of these are real questions when it comes to general health and nutrition. The reality is that most of us probably should be using a multivitamin. A previous Flourish blog post “Do You Really Need To Take a Multivitamin?” details that a majority of us do not meet the recommended 9-11 daily servings of vegetables, in addition to falling short in other daily needs for vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.

It’s also important to factor in the quality of the food that you are consuming. Is it organic, fresh, and locally grown? These are just a few factors to be cognizant of when considering how important a multivitamin will be for you. Try thinking about your multivitamin the same way you would with your insurance policy. We may eat generally healthy the majority of the time, however there will always be those gaps from time-to-time, and at the very least we have our multivitamin to pick up the pieces!

4. "I can outwork a bad diet."

Despite our best intentions, working out more won’t be enough to offset the poor choices we make nutritionally. The reality is, that of the progress we make, 80% of it will be done outside of the club. Yes, exercise and training are vital to achieve changes in body composition, but most of the work will be done in the kitchen. When we rely too heavily on working out, we can begin to undervalue the importance of consuming lean proteins, healthy fats and vegetables, which all play a big role in how our body operates. Moreover, when we become less concerned with what we’re consuming, we tend to eat excess calories and added sugars. By eating unnecessary calories and sugars, we can become sluggish, tired and puffy. As soon as we reach this point, it becomes increasingly challenging to follow through with that “I can eat this now, I’ll work it off later” promise you made to yourself earlier. If you find yourself struggling in this area, do your best to adopt the 80-20 rule mentioned above.

5. "I shouldn’t eat carbs at dinner, or ever."

When you hear the word carbohydrate, chances are you immediately think of all the things you’ve been conditioned not to eat. However, understanding the role and types of carbohydrates is a key step to understanding they aren’t all bad or unnecessary. When we consume complex carbs (not the simple or refined carbs that have little-to-no nutritional benefits) our bodies use these to help support both our recovery and energy levels. 

Everyone has a specific metabolism and pending your goals – whether that be decreasing body fat, increasing athletic performance or building muscle – these factors will all help determine the amount of carbohydrates you should consume. Take a look at this Flourish article on Pre and Post-Workout Strategies. In a nutshell, understanding when we should be including carbohydrates is essential to our success. Following a workout, carbohydrate consumption is important as it help supports our recovery and helps balance our energy for later on in the day. During the evening hours, including carbohydrates during dinner can be a big factor in our quality of sleep. If we skip carbs at dinner, you may find yourself waking up more frequently throughout the night due to blood sugar levels dropping. If you’re not sure how many carbs you should be consuming based on your goals, working with a nutrition coach is a great way to get started on your journey to success. 

While it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by trending nutrition fads that are making media headlines, appearing in your social media feeds or popping up on Google, remember to stick with what works for you and your body. When in doubt or if you’re looking for some guidance, our team of Life Time Nutrition Coaches are readily available to address any of your comments, questions or concerns so that you’re best positioned for success. 

And if you’re looking to achieve success in 2019, now is the perfect time to join our next D.TOX class starting Jan. 7. No matter how many extra pounds or unproductive habits you may have picked up in the last few weeks or months, this online class will guarantee you a fresh start in 2019.  

In health,
Jake Webber, RD, LD
Corporate Registered Dietitian | Lab Testing & Virtual Coaching


This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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