By Ashley Dimon, Dietitian & Sports Nutrition Volunteer
Summer’s here, and you’re ready to trade in your mittens and snow shovels for sandals and shades. But are you feeling the pressure of the wellness culture? If you’re like me, your social media accounts are being inundated with “health and wellness” tips and videos from celebrities and alike. While I commend these individuals’ effort to use their platform to inspire people, I’ve been noticing some common messages that can lead you astray, such as:
1. Fat on your body is unhealthy
2. The more calories you burn, the better the workout
3. You NEED to have a strict diet
4. The less carbs you eat at a meal(s), the better
Now let’s debunk these common misconceptions!
1. Myth: Fat on your body is unhealthy.
Fact: Fat protects your organs, supports cells growth, helps absorb nutrients, regulates hormones, acts as an energy reserve, and helps maintain proper brain function and metabolism.
2. Myth: The more calories you burn, the better the workout.
Fact: There’s no ideal number of calories to tell you you’ve achieved the best workout. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. Broken down this is 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activities like walking briskly, dancing, hiking, pushing a lawn mower, riding a bike or doubles tennis; or 15 minutes of vigorous activities like jogging, running, skipping rope, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts, playing sports or walking up the stairs a day.
3. Myth: You NEED to have a strict diet.
Fact: Okay, here’s the thing about strict diets and diets in general, they provide short term weight loss, and usually cut out major food groups which means they are cutting out macronutrients &
micronutrients, your body’s source of energy. Food themselves are neither good, nor bad. Diets may also lead to restricting and under nourishing followed by overeating and can be precursors to eating
4. Myth: The less carbs you eat at a meal(s), the better.
Fact: Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source and are the preferred fuel for your brain. Carbohydrates help with digestion, keep you feeling full longer, balance blood sugar levels and, aid
muscle repair. While high protein/low carbohydrate diets can negatively alter your gut microbiome, causing gut issues during and after your workouts. More to come on that in a future post, stay tuned! Not only do these messages provide incorrect information but can also cause mental and physical harm. Focus on listening to your body and moving for joy not punishment. Hope this short myth buster helps you on your journey toward a healthy lifestyle. If you would like to learn more, reach out to schedule a 1-on-1 consultation. Look out for my next post on the gut health.