I’m writing this blog because of the negative impact that dieting misconceptions are having on individuals who are trying to be healthy but are not seeing results. There are so many misconceptions that exist in popular knowledge of dieting, and they’ve been told so many times to the point that they are now considered facts. The problem is that most of what we think to be true is actually wrong. In the blog below, I’ve written the 7 biggest misconceptions when it comes to effective dieting, and what you can do about it.
1. Fats are bad for you -> Good fats are good for you.
Back in the 1950s, a doctor started telling his patients that they should avoid fats because it caused heart disease. Instead, he recommended that we eat carbohydrates. He was only partially right, and his blanket statement is now responsible for the obesity of millions. BAD fats are linked to heart disease. These sources of BAD fats include trans fats, processed foods, fast food, chocolate, ice cream, margarine, vegetable oil, etc. Unfortunately, by recommending the elimination of all fats from our diet, that also included GOOD fats, such as olive oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, nuts, avocados, eggs, salmon, and many many more healthy fats. WE NEED FATS. Fats help to regulate our hormones, tell our bodies that we’re full, help us sleep, and even help to increase our brain function. Avoid bad fats, but make sure you are eating GOOD fats!
Will power and starving yourself will help you lose weight. -> Starving yourself restricts your long-term ability to lose weight.
Will power is a finite resource. It will run out at some point, and your animalistic, instinct-driven brain will take over. (Remember that one time you ate a whole box of cookies?) Starving yourself doesn’t work. In fact, when you starve yourself your body actually RETAINS fat, instead of burning it. It draws energy from your MUSCLES instead of your fat stores. You may be able to lose weight temporarily, but this system is not sustainable. At some point, you will need to eat food in order to feel full, and you will gain your weight back. The solution is a sustainable diet that tells your body you are full and puts your body into a fat-burning state.
Restricting calories will help you lose weight. -> Eating the right foods will help you feel full, and put your body into a fat-burning state.
Our body is not a bank account measured by calories in, calories out. This is an outdated (and very incorrect) way of looking at the relationship between our bodies and food. Rather, food is INFORMATION. Food tells your body what to do. Food can tell your body that it is full and you don’t need any more of it. It can also tell your body that it is consuming food in order to prepare for hibernation, or that food is limited and it needs to conserve energy. When you restrict the amount of calories you consume, you are telling your body that food is limited, and that it needs to conserve energy in order for you to survive. Instead of counting calories, eat the right foods.
Don’t eat before bed. -> Eat good fats and protein before bed.
I have conversations fairly often when people say that you shouldn’t eat before bed. My response to this, almost inevitably, is, “Who told you that?” They respond with “they”. Well, I haven’t met “they”, but I know that you can eat before bed. If you haven’t had a chance to eat yet, or your body is saying it’s hungry, that’s a good indicator that it needs certain nutrients. The issue isn’t eating before bed, the issue is WHAT you eat before bed. Most people who eat before bed are snacking on something unhealthy. They eat carb-heavy foods or desserts, which not only are bad for you because they are loaded with nutrients you don’t need any more of, but they also inhibit your body’s ability to sleep. Instead of not eating before bed, eat the RIGHT foods before bed. An avocado is a fantastic bed-time snack. So is a salmon, because it’s got protein AND fat – two things that help tell your body you are full and allow you to wind down.
Fruit is good for you. -> Fruit has sugar, and you need to limit your consumption of it.
I’ve had too many conversations where people say that they are being healthy by eating a sugary breakfast smoothie instead of having toast. Honestly, you’re better off with the toast. (That is, if the toast is Ezekiel bread and you are covering it with avocado and grass-fed butter or ghee.) You need sugars to survive, but you don’t need THAT much sugar. Even though fruits are natural, they still contain sugars that cause your body to: 1) demand more carbohydrates, (2) spike your insulin levels, (3) convert that sugar into stored fat. Yikes – maybe we shouldn’t have so much fruit? Having one serving of fruit per day is good (like one apple or banana), but there are some things that you should do to minimize the negative effect that sugar has on your body. Fruit should be consumed on its own, or along with something to combat the sugar it contains. A handful nuts works well for this. Brazil nuts are a good staple to have in your house because they contain selenium, which helps with testosterone production and has a ton of other healthy benefits. You should also avoid having fruits before bed, as this gives you a burst of energy instead of helping to calm you down for a good night’s rest.
Whole wheat is good for you. -> Whole wheat is still a grain, and you should limit your consumption of grains because they have more carbohydrates than you need.
“Bread is bad for you.” That seems to be something that by now most of us have heard. But, one misconception still prevalent is that while bread is bad for you, whole wheat is good for you. Whole wheat products refer to flour or bread products made from whole grains of wheat, including the husk or outer layer. Even though it’s better than having a refined grain, it’s still a grain. It is still a food loaded with carbohydrates, and there’s a good chance that you already have plenty of carbs in your diet. Instead of focusing on eating whole grains, eat less grains overall. Substitutes include vegetables such as spaghetti squash or sweet potatoes, almond-flour based tortillas or breads, and Ezekiel 4.9 bread (also made from whole grains, but is not preserved so it has much less sodium and fewer carbs).
Don’t eat the yolks. -> Eat the egg yolks.
This may be the biggest one. There are so many menu-items in the “health-conscious” section of the menu that include egg-whites instead of the full egg. This is because the yolk has cholesterol and fat, which is true, but these are GOOD fats and GOOD cholesterol – the kind you need for your brain and your body to function. Avoiding the yolk isn’t healthy; it’s UN-healthy. If you are concerned about consuming cholesterol, make sure that you are avoiding BAD cholesterol, also known as LDL (low-density lipoproteins), the kind of cholesterol that comes from eating too much cake and foods made with vegetable oil. Good cholesterol, also known as HDL (high-density lipoproteins) is something you need, and eggs have plenty on it. So go ahead and eat that delicious yolk, and don’t feel bad about it!
I hope this was useful. Again, I’m writing this blog because there are simply too many misconceptions out there about what you should and shouldn’t be eating, and the unfortunate truth is that most of what we think we know is actually wrong. We have every intention of dieting well and following the advice of what we’ve heard, but what we’re getting from mainstream sources is simply incorrect. Watching big news channels is probably the WORST way to learn about proper dieting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting in a waiting room and a TV was on, and there was someone on a show describing “healthy dieting practices” that I know to be the exact OPPOSITE of what is actually effective.
Actions you can take to implement this information:
If you want to know more about how to eat healthily, I’ve put together an eBook, called the Man Flow Diet, which goes through all of this information in detail. In it, I talk about the foods you should be eating, the foods you should mostly avoid, and the foods you should be avoiding altogether. I also give you strategies for what to eat before your workout, after your workout, when you wake up, when you go to bed, and much, much, more. This isn’t only the diet that I recommend – this is EXACTLY WHAT I EAT. Click here to look at the Man Flow Diet and learn more.
5 Foods You Thought You Should Avoid But Should Have in Your Home:
- Butter or ghee – You should make sure you have unsalted, grass-fed butter. Avoid the margarine – I read the ingredients once and almost threw up. Another option is GHEE, which is even better than butter. This is clarified butter, which removes almost all of the casein and lactose (dairy products of butter), allows you to cook at a higher temperature (485 degrees Fahrenheit), and tastes fantastic. Most supermarkets don’t have it, but Bulletproof JUST released their own version of ghee that you can have shipped anywhere in the U.S! Get it online from Bulletproof by clicking here!
- Salt – Salt isn’t bad for you, in fact you need it. BUT, you should be getting the right kind of salt. Himalayan sea salt is my go-to, and I add it to almost everything in minimal amounts.
- Brazil Nuts
- Bacon – Bacon can be good, but you need to make sure you’re getting HIGH QUALITY bacon. The cheap bacon isn’t going to cut it, and is just as harmful for you as you’d expect.
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