The 7 Biggest Dieting Misconceptions

Dean PohlmanBlogs, From Dean, Diet & Nutrition4 Comments

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!

Good resources for this include Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Diet, Eat Fat, Get Thin by Mark Hyman, and The Man Flow Diet (by me, more info below).

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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).

7. 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.

Manflowyoga.com/man-flow-diet Here's a question that I am asked on a nearly daily basis: "Hey Dean - what's your diet?" To answer that question in just one or two sentences is impossible. I usually start off with the foods that I eat, and then end up rambling for 5 minutes about everything that I can think of, including what time of day to eat, how much food to eat, how many times per day, why you should get item A instead of item B, and so on. By the time I've said all of that, I've already said too much to remember. It became clear early on that I needed to create a diet, instead of going on a rant about healthy eating to everyone who asked, and now I've come up with a guide to healthy eating that I'm ready to stamp my name on. After many months of compilation and years of personal research and testing, the Man Flow Diet is done. This is the answer to everyone who asks me about my diet, and how I maintain my level of fitness. The workouts are important, but the diet is even more important! (YES - the diet is MORE important than the workouts.) I created the Man Flow Diet to help you better understand my own personal eating habits in an easy-to-follow format, so that you can utilize food as fuel to build lean muscle, burn fat, maintain energy throughout the day, and sleep better. I've decided to make the Man Flow Diet available for less than the cost of a single meal. I’m offering years or research and personal testing experience for the low price of $7.99 (only $4.99 if you pre-order it!) so that you can build muscle, burn fat, get LEAN and maintain energy throughout the day. The cost of this proven-effective diet is less than the majority of Americans spend on a single meal, and I’m willing to bet that this may be the most valuable purchase that you will ever make in your life, considering the return on investment that you’ll reap in terms of your health. Again - this sale ends TOMORROW. The price will be raised to $7.99 at that time. Get the Man Flow Diet now for less than the cost of a sandwich. Go to www.manflowyoga.com/man-flow-diet to get yours! #manflowyoga #yogaforbamfs #yogaripped #jerf #yogaeverydamnday #yogaformen #mfyignite5 Foods You Thought You Should Avoid But Should Have in Your Home:

  1. 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!
  2. Avocados
  3. 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.
  4. Brazil Nuts
  5. 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.

Want more? Get exclusive information, content, early-bird access to new products, and much, much more when you sign up for the Man Flow Yoga email list. Click here to sign up now!


Want a 10-Day Introductory Program to Man Flow Yoga for FREE? Click here for 10 days of video lessons and accompanying emails to teach you how to practically incorporate yoga into your daily routine.


 

4 Comments on “The 7 Biggest Dieting Misconceptions”

  1. Dean-very well said!. I like how you narrowed down some major food sources here and very good to know. I myself try to stick with a good diet and enjoy doing it. I am going to try GRASS-FED GHEE and see how it works for me. thanks Andy

  2. SCIENCE & HEALTH > HEALTH & MEDICINE
    Low-carb diets linked to atherosclerosis and impaired blood vessel growth

    Study suggests that popular diet regimen may have adverse effect on body’s restorative capacity

    August 24, 2009
    By Bonnie Prescott, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
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    Even as low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets have proven successful at helping individuals rapidly lose weight, little is known about the diets’ long-term effects on vascular health.

    Now, a study led by team of Harvard researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) provides some of the first data on this subject, demonstrating that mice placed on a 12-week low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet showed a significant increase in atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries and a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. The findings also showed that the diet led to an impaired ability to form new blood vessels in tissues deprived of blood flow, as might occur during a heart attack.

    Described in today’s online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study also found that standard markers of cardiovascular risk, including cholesterol, were not changed in the animals fed the low-carb diet, despite the clear evidence of increased vascular disease.

    “It’s very difficult to know in clinical studies how diets affect vascular health,” said senior author Anthony Rosenzweig, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and director of cardiovascular research in BIDMC’s CardioVascular Institute. “We, therefore, tend to rely on easily measured serum markers [such as cholesterol], which have been surprisingly reassuring in individuals on low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets, who do typically lose weight. But our research suggests that, at least in animals, these diets could be having adverse cardiovascular effects that are not reflected in simple serum markers.”

    Rosenzweig and his co-authors found that the increase in plaque buildup in the blood vessels and the impaired ability to form new vessels were associated with a reduction in vascular progenitor cells, which some hypothesize could play a protective role in maintaining vascular health.

    “A causal role for these cells has not yet been proven, but this new data is consistent with the idea that injurious stimuli may be counterbalanced by the body’s restorative capacity,” he explained. “This may be the mechanism behind the adverse vascular effects we found in mice that were fed the low-carb diets.”

    The study’s first author Shi Yin Foo, an HMS instructor in medicine and a clinical cardiologist in the Rosenzweig laboratory at BIDMC, first embarked on this investigation after seeing heart-attack patients who were on these diets – and after observing Rosenzweig himself following a low-carbohydrate regimen.

    “Over lunch, I’d ask Tony how he could eat that food and would tell him about the last low-carb patient I’d admitted to the hospital,” said Foo. “Tony would counter by noting that there were no controls for my observations.”

    “Finally,” said Rosenzweig, “I asked Shi Yin to do the mouse experiment – so that we could know what happens in the blood vessels and so that I could eat in peace.”

    The investigators proceeded to study a mouse model of atherosclerosis. These “ApoE” mice were fed one of three diets: a standard diet of mouse “chow” (65 percent carbohydrate; 15 percent fat; 20 percent protein); a “Western diet” in keeping with the average human diet (43 percent carbohydrate; 42 percent fat; 15 percent protein; and 0.15 percent cholesterol); or a low-carb/high-protein diet (12 percent carbohydrate; 43 percent fat; 45 percent protein; and 0.15 percent cholesterol).

    “We had a diet specially made that would mimic a typical low-carb diet,” explained Foo. “In order to keep the calorie count the same in all three diets, we had to substitute a nutrient to replace the carbohydrates. We decided to substitute protein because that is what people typically do when they are on these diets.”

    The scientists then observed the mice after six weeks, and again at 12 weeks. Consistent with experience in humans, the mice fed the low-carb diet gained 28 percent less weight than the mice fed the Western diet. However, further probing revealed that the animals’ blood vessels exhibited a significantly greater degree of atherosclerosis, as measured by plaque accumulation: 15.3 percent compared with 8.8 percent among the Western diet group. (As expected, the mice on the chow diet showed minimal evidence of atherosclerosis compared with either of the other two groups.)

    “Our next question was, ‘Why do the low-carb mice have such an increase in atherosclerosis?’” said Foo. Searching for an explanation, she and her co-authors proceeded to measure the usual markers thought to contribute to vascular disease, including the animals’ cholesterol and triglyceride levels, oxidative stress, insulin and glucose, as well as levels of some inflammatory cytokines.

    “In each case, there was either no difference in measurements compared with the mice on the Western diet [which contains the same amount of fat and cholesterol] or the numbers slightly favored the low-carb cohort,” she added. “None of these results explained why the animals’ blood had more atherosclerotic blockages and looked so bad.”

    Since there was no difference in the noxious or inflammatory stimuli that the animals’ blood vessels were exposed to, Foo wondered whether the restorative capacity of the animals might be contributing to the difference. The investigators, therefore, looked at the animals’ endothelial or vascular progenitor cell (EPC) counts. Derived from bone marrow, the EPC cells may play a role in vessel regrowth and repair following injury.

    “Examinations of the animals’ bone marrow and peripheral blood showed that the measures of EPC cells dropped fully 40 percent among the mice on the low-carb diet – after only two weeks,” said Rosenzweig. “Although the precise nature and role of these cells is still being worked out – and caution is always warranted in extrapolating from effects in mice to a clinical situation – these results succeeded in getting me off the low-carb diet.”

    Even more important, he noted, the findings point out that there can be a disconnect between weight loss or serum markers and vascular health, and that vascular health can be affected by macronutrients other than fat and cholesterol – in this case, protein and carbohydrates.

    “Understanding the mechanisms responsible for these effects, as well as the potential restorative capacity that may counteract vascular disease, could ultimately help guide doctors in advising their patients,” added Rosenzweig. “This issue is particularly important given the growing epidemic of obesity and its adverse consequences. For now, it appears that a moderate and balanced diet, coupled with regular exercise, is probably best for most people.”

    In addition to Rosenzweig and Foo, study co-authors include BIDMC investigators Joanna Wykrzykowska and Christopher J. Sullivan, and Massachusetts General Hospital investigators Eric R. Heller, Jennifer J. Manning-Tobin, Kathryn J. Moore, and Robert E. Gerszten.

    Let me know what you think?

  3. I can tell you from personal experience that cutting sugars reduces body inflammation, and consequently, pain. For many of us, that’s a good enough reason to control sugar intake. Lots of people don’t know that.

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