Nowadays, we are constantly bombarded by myths about food, sex, exercise, nutrition and pretty much everything else. Tim Crowe – Nutrition Academic at Deakin University and freelance writer at Thinking Nutrition helps us bust some of these myths.
According to Tim, some common nutrition and exercise myths are…
Myth 1: Exercise makes you eat more and gain weight
We think that all our hard work at the gym will sabotage our weight loss efforts, as we end up eating more after we exercise. Tim says, ‘every little bit of exercise can help in shifting unwanted flab.’ According to various researches, exercise is the best way to reduce body fat. The mantra is, the more you move, the more you lose.
Myth 2: ‘Negative calorie foods’ like celery burn up more energy
There is actually no such thing as ‘negative calorie food’. Tim says, ‘Even the humble stick of celery, while being about 95% water, still contains a small amount of kilojoules from carbohydrate (65 kJ to be exact).’ He further explains, ‘There certainly is an energy cost to our body in digesting food, but that equates to about 10% of the energy in the food. So even celery adds some kilojoules to our diet, and while it’s a small number, it’s definitely not a negative number.’
Myth 3: A slow metabolism is to blame for most people’s weight gain
People, who try to lose weight, always blame it on metabolism for their failure or slow down. According to some research, resting metabolism, which is the number of kilojoules used by the body at rest, increases rather than decreasing as people gain more weight. As someone gains more weight from storing fat, the body needs to support that extra weight so more muscle is added. So, the conclusion is, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be even at rest.
Myth 4: You need to exercise in the ‘fat burning zone’
Tim says, ‘the truth is, you need to exercise at a low-to-moderate level of intensity to burn fat. Yes, it is true that the body burns the greatest percentage of fat at lower intensities of aerobic exercise, but at higher intensities you burn way more total kilojoules – and more fat kilojoules overall. If you do low intensity workouts, it will help promote weight and fat loss; but you need to do them for a longer period.
Myth 5: You gain weight when you stop smoking
The truth is, when you check over a long period of time, smokers do not control their weight any better than non-smokers. In fact, according to studies, very heavy smokers gain more weight than light smokers. Tim says, the ‘thin smoker’ image arises because thin people are more likely to take up the habit in the first place. Once they start smoking, they gain just as much, and sometimes even more, weight as the rest of the non-smoking population.’