In the world of optimal nutrition and weight loss there are misconceptions aplenty. We spoke to Dr. Jinger Gottschall, research and science advisor for the American Council on Exercise, who clears up the confusion by spelling out some facts about diet and exercise.



MYTH #1:

If you exercise regularly, eating quality food is paramount. The timing and size of your meals is much less important.

Not true says Gottschall. “Quality nutrients are important, but so too is the timing of your eating. The benefits you get from exercise are maximized when you eat every three to five hours. The most critical meal is within an hour of finishing your training. You should always ensure you have 0.3g/kg of protein within two hours. This means, that if you’re 64kg (140lbs) you should have 19g of protein within two hours of completing your training.”


MYTH #2:

If you want to lose weight while maintaining the energy you need for regular exercise you should aim to lose no more than one pound per week.

This is an appropriate estimate but it’s certainly not right for everyone, says Gottschall. “The maximum amount is based on your total body weight. You should aim to reduce your total mass by no more than one percent each week. If you weigh 200 lbs, the maximum recommended loss per week is two pounds.”


MYTH #3:

The ideal way to increase weight loss is to minimize fat intake.

Not at all, says Gottschall. “There are some vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, that can only be absorbed with dietary fat, and we need these important vitamins to support everything from vision and immunity, to bone density and heart health. Saturated fats – as found in beef, lamb, pork, cream, butter, and cheese –­ should be limited to less than 10 percent of your total intake. While you don’t want to consume too much saturated fat, try and steer clear of low-fat and no-fat alternatives, as these typically include added sugars and processed ingredients.”


MYTH #4:

High-fat, low-carbohydrate diets (like the Keto and Atkins diets) are ideal for weight loss as well as improving cardiovascular fitness.

This type of eating is typically not sustainable, advises Gottschall. “Limiting carbohydrates is helpful only for short-term weight loss and blood sugar levels. Most people find they are unable to stick with this type of eating for longer than six months. These high-fat diets provide greater saturated fat and insufficient fiber. They can also lead to a reduction in your athletic performance when it comes to high-intensity training."


MYTH #5:

Plant-based proteins will not provide all of the nine essential amino acids necessary for optimal performance.

Not true. “You can get all nine essential amino acids from the following plant-based protein sources: tempeh, tofu, seitan, soy milk, and whole grains such as quinoa and buckwheat,” says Gottschall. “Eggs, cow’s milk, yogurt, and cheese are also all great protein sources. You can also pair brown rice with beans, or peanut butter with oats, to get all nine essential amino acids.”



By Emma Hogan for Fit Planet

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