We’ll admit, finding the information to follow for a good diet or training regime, can be very difficult.
Not only do you have us, one of the greatest suppliers of well priced 5kg protein tubs in the world, telling you what to do, but you also have hundreds of others, spouting quite a bit of rubbish.
So, nutrition wise, what are the greatest sins?
1. You’re eating too much protein
What?! Why on earth would a company whose main purpose is to sell quality whey protein tell me to not eat as much protein? Well it’s not a case of you should “100% eat less protein” but you should properly work out what you really need.
Eating too much of anything is just unnecessary. There comes a point, where though the nutritional benefits of meats, protein powders and non meat sources of protein are very good, you’ll get no additional benefit. You are also, probably wasting money.
So what do you to make sure you have a more accurate intake of protein? Use a protein calculator.
2. Too much focus on fat
There is so much written about fat, that to be honest, even we get a bit confused. We’ve written about whether saturated fat is good and it seems that every week, a paper comes out with some fat based study. So what to do?
In short, stop worrying so much. Don’t start chugging down olive oil or eating butter by the tub, but know that fat is actually beneficial to the body. If you are looking for increases in muscle, fat gives you the required energy. If you are looking to protect joints, improve brain function and lower cholesterol (who wouldn’t want that?) then you’ll want essential fatty acids. These beneficial fatty acids can be found in fish, or can be consumed with an omega supplement.
The real thing to focus on is sugar. Excess sugar gets stored as fat, meaning size increase, possible heart problems, and all the negatives associated with being overweight. Of course, one chocolate bar from to time won’t hurt, but it’s best to limit sugar as much as possible.
3. Going “X” free because it’s fashionable
If you have a genuine allergy or intolerance, then skip this one. You are fine. If you aren’t eating gluten because of the “benefits” of going gluten free, then you might want to hang your head in shame.
The gluten free diet in particular has been boosted by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Gwyneth Paltrow and Novak Djokovic. There has been very little evidence that a gluten free diet is beneficial for non coeliacs, and as William Kremer says, those who do have a genuine intolerance are “an evolutionary throwback” – so why follow them?
On the other hand, you may say that “If I feel better about myself without X, why can’t I carry on?” And of course, our response to that would be, “Do as you please.” But don’t feel that you have to give up X because it’s good for you, or because Victoria Beckham said it was a good idea.
Remember that according to QI, 20% of people in the UK think they have a food allergy, but only 2% do. And if you do opt for a “free from” option, have a look what has replaced the “from”; it’s often not much better.
4. Eating big meals
You should 100% take part in eating challenges from time to time. They are fun after all. But whether you are looking to lose weight, or gain muscle, six smaller meals, beats the traditional three large meal schedule.
Eating big meals means that your body doesn’t have the constant source of energy it needs with which to grow. Your body just gets the odd tsunami of calories and it’s hard for you to use them all effectively. If you “drip feed” your body with small meals, you can use the nutrients in a better way.
With a family, a job and a social life, eating six smaller meals can be a challenge, but if you have a serious fitness goal, it’s worth the effort.
Here’s our in house expert Dominic Swift, with a bit more detail…
What all this means is that you divide your daily target calories into 6, then roughly eat that amount per meal. So if you are gaining weight at 3000 kcal, you want 500 kcal per meal. When losing weight, you’d be looking at around 333 kcal per meal, coming in it around 2000 kcal per day.
5. Killing off carbs
Carbs are a key part of the modern diet, and it’s probably a good idea to cut back on them a bit. (Use a tool like myfitnesspal to work out your macro needs.) But ignoring them completely is a bit silly.
Carbohydrates give you energy, and if you are exercising, you need some carbs to get going.
Some carbs are better than others. For example, a pint of beer isn’t as good for you as some sweet potato. The rule of thumb is to steer clear of “white” carbs, such as white bread, white pasta and the like. The best thing to do, is to investigate where the carb you want to eat comes on the glycemic index, and go from there.
But the things to take away, are that you aren’t going to explode if you eat one bagel and that you need carbs to function properly.
6. Blindly following the internet
It might seem stupid to write an article then tell you to not follow it. However there is so much misinformation on the web that it can often get confusing, and a lot of it is without any backing. Creatine is not bad for you, a single can of Diet Coke won’t kill you and you don’t need to drink eighteen protein shakes a day. Yet people think these things as true, as the internet has perpetuated these myths.
It is up to the author of an article, or creator of an image, to do so with the best knowledge they can muster. It is up to you to then take that information and make the most informed decision you can.
The final path is up to you, but don’t stop eating eggs because @GymMemes123 said they include protein which is formed in a lab. They don’t.
7. Too much “living for the weekend”
The weekend is a wonderful time for most. You aren’t at work, you can relax and you probably have some kind of event on. If you’ve “been good” all week, and then when you get to Friday, you go out, eat a kebab and drink 12 pints of ale, then you have to wonder what all the hard work of the previous five days was about?
We’re not saying don’t have fun. But if you do commit to the world of proper nutrition and fitness, then don’t think you can let it all slide just because they are having a special on at Oceania. Two for one cocktails taste nice, but everything in moderation.