Any yo-yo dieters in the house? What haven’t you tried yet?
No carbohydrates before the vacation. More protein in your routine.
Butter coffee and avocados, juice detox, zero belly fat challenges, apple cider vinegar every morning, empty stomach (don’t get me on with the acid reflux it causes), and extreme celeb-advocated fads.
Whether your goal is to gain mass or lose weight, diet and exercise have been the main roles in your life. If your directing skills are in place, you can get amazing results with this couple.
But if you’re stuck in a loop of inconclusive diets, it’s likely due to some popular myths that we’re about to debunk.
Myth 1: Eat more often to get your metabolism up
When we eat, we actually increase our metabolism through the thermal effects of food (TEF). So what is TEF? It is the energy that is used to digest food. Whatever energy we use in the form of nutrients, around 10% of it is used for digestion.
So when we eat more often, we stimulate more TEF. But it also means that there is a good risk of eating more food. The argument fails here.
When two or more people eat the same diet, studies have shown that the amount of TEF burned stays the same regardless of the number of meals.
When you look at the bigger picture, how often you eat and what you eat becomes less important.
Here’s something to get started with – fewer calories, more energy.
Myth 2: skipping breakfast can lead to fat gain
Skipping breakfast will not stimulate your metabolism, so you will burn fewer calories and gain fat. That’s a popular opinion.
However, intermittent fasting – where you go 16 hours without food and only eat within an 8-hour window – has challenged that belief to some extent.
Our metabolism doesn’t work with a meal. Your weight loss results will depend more on your daily caloric intake and less on a meal or the number of meals you have.
Not eating breakfast, however, can affect your ability to concentrate and make you feel grumpy. We therefore recommend that you start your day with a healthy breakfast.
Myth 3: Frequent meals help maintain blood sugar levels
The claim seems very logical – keep eating to stabilize energy levels. Eating more often can also help prevent hunger pangs. It makes sense on the surface, but let’s dig a little deeper.
Thanks to homeostasis, our body is perfectly able to regulate the blood sugar level. It is the body’s ability to maintain the stability of internal variables like temperature, body fat, blood sugar levels, and acidity.
When you are perfectly healthy, your blood sugar levels are unlikely to fluctuate. In fact, recent studies have shown that subjects who ate 3 meals had better blood sugar control than those who ate 6 meals a day.
Myth 4: You will become catabolic without frequent protein intake
Protein is key to maintaining and promoting muscle growth. But if you don’t eat protein for a few hours, will your body start eating up your muscles? Not really.
The more you eat, the longer it takes your body to digest. A typical meal takes 5-6 hours to digest. So while you prepare for lunch at 2:00 p.m., your body is still digesting the heavy breakfast you had at 9:00 a.m. Your muscles don’t go hungry.
Focus on the total amount of protein based on your body weight. The only time a “hunger reaction” sets in is after 3-4 days with very low calories.
Myth 5: Your body can digest a limited amount of protein
Many people believe that our body can only digest certain grams of protein at one time, the rest is wasted. But that’s not true.
One of the best ways to understand this is to look at our ancestors who lived through times of feast and famine. They had no problem eating large amounts of meat or other forms of protein at once.
Protein takes longer to digest and is used up over time. Even after you have consumed “extra” protein, your body continues to release amino acids into the bloodstream and be absorbed by your muscles.
Our body is used to breaking down and storing nutrients in a constant cycle every day. The timing of your meal has relatively little impact on your overall metabolism. So a healthy bedtime snack is fine as long as it fits into your daily calorie budget.
Dispelling myths that can block your progress and keep investing in physical activity for better results.