Bogged down by the slew of conflicting wellness tips on the internet, and just don’t know where to start? There’s a host of mainstream information telling you the nitty gritty on how you should eat, what you should eat and how you should exercise. And sometimes, we know it can get pretty confusing. The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all method to stay healthy – as long as you’re having a balanced diet and making enough time for physical activity, you’re pretty much on the right track.
In this article, we debunk five popular nutrition and fitness myths to help you navigate through the information clutter out there.
1. All Fat is bad for you
There’s two different kinds of fat – the good fat (unsaturated) and the bad fat (saturated). Despite its high calorie-content, healthy fat (unsaturated) makes you stay full for a longer time and reduces food cravings. Pre-packaged foods in the supermarket that shout out "low fat", "lite" and "low cholesterol" may sometimes be high in sugar content and preservatives, which can be harmful to your health. Some examples of good fat include avocados, cheese, eggs and nuts, but remember to have it in moderation, as consuming more calories than your body needs can still lead to unwanted weight gain.
2. Lifting weights make women bulky
Contrary to popular belief, working out with weights are unlikely to make you bulky, unless you are working your muscles to failure multiple days a week, and eating extra calories to support muscle growth. In fact, lifting weights can increase your metabolism, and helps you to burn more calories throughout the day as compared to cardio exercises. Want to shape your body – a perkier butt, more toned arms etc? You’re more likely to achieve that in the weights room than spending hours on the elliptical.
3. The lesser the calories, the better
It is scientifically proven that eating less calories than you burn can lead to fat and weight loss. However, this is just one side of the story. Eating too little calories over a prolonged period can also put your body in a “crisis mode”, causing your metabolism to slow down, and bring about other negative effects such as fatigue and nutrient deficiencies. Instead of overtly focusing on the calorie count, look at the quality of food you put in your body. Try to have a balanced meal with the right amount of good quality protein, carbs, vegetables and fruits. Swap out sugar-loaded, processed and fatty foods for healthier alternatives. If you need some advice on portion control, you can refer to this article here for some tips!
4. I am not looking to lose weight, so I don’t need to exercise
Working out is not just to drop a few pounds, there’s a whole other load of benefits associated with exercise. It helps to strengthen your muscles and bones, improve flexibility, and even improve your mood and reduce stress. In the long term, it’s also linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Now, that’s more than enough motivation to get moving!
5. You shouldn’t be eating carbs
For quick weight loss, cutting down on carbs seems like the go-to solution for many. But the initial weight loss is mostly water weight, and not fat loss. Cutting out carbs completely can be dangerous – carbs are our body’s most basic source of fuel to function optimally. Instead of jumping on the “no-carb” fad diet, which can be unsustainable in the long run and may even introduce a host of new issues, aim to cut out refined and processed carbs from your diet. Swap out sugary and refined carbs such as pastries, chips, cookies, breakfast cereals, pasta, and white bread for complex carbs including whole grains, vegetables, fresh fruits, and beans. Not only will you feel fuller for longer periods – and hence eating less calories, cutting out refined carbs and sugar can also clear you of brain fog!
On that note, if you’re looking for snacking options that are waistline-friendly, check out the Marketplace for a range of healthier snacks, beverages and food ingredients to accompany your favourite meals. We also house items ranging from supplements and lifestyle and fitness products to keep you active and healthy – all in one place on our in-app wellness Marketplace. Click here to browse now!