Health and Fitness

5 Diet Facts Most People Get Wrong

"Diet Facts"

diet facts diet myths revealed

You may have seen the recent replacement for the food pyramid. It’s called the ‘food plate’, and supposedly makes it simple for you to understand the ideal breakdown of foods for your health and for weight loss or ideal body fat. My opinion on the plate? It’s rubbish. (Hey, I don’t beat around the bush).

Okay, sure – it would certainly be an improvement on a super processed/nasty fats approach to nutrition but as far as how it impacts the health aware population? As far as how it impacts someone like yourself who is already knowledgeable about nutrition, who already does a lot of things right and who is in better than average shape? Rubbish rubbish rubbish!

Let’s get one thing clear – no matter what shape or catch-phrase they come up with to promote government diet plans, it is an absolute myth that the majority of people can look great and be healthy on a diet low in fat and high in grains and sugars. No matter how natural.

Here are the top 5 FALSE diet facts that just won’t go away – let me know if you’ve been guilty of any of them!

5 Diet Facts Most People Get Wrong

1. Wholegrains are necessary for energy, for health, and for fiber. Well, that’s really 3 so-called diet facts, isn’t it?! Firstly: if you’ve been around my blogs for a while you’ll know that you don’t need carbohydrates as a source of energy. I’m not saying never have ’em. But need? No ma’am. Health: how on earth can health be based on something that needs to be processed in order to be digested? Something that we only have such easy access to because it has been cultivated by man? Fiber: eat. more. veggies. It will certainly be a smarter approach to weight loss as well.

2. If you don’t have a noticeable reaction to gluten then it’s not an issue. The people I consider important and worth listening to on nutrition estimate that 75% PLUS of the Western world are intolerant to gluten. That (probably) means you! It’s a myth that you need to have a reaction such as bloating to be intolerant to gluten, and intolerance also does not mean celiac. Someone suffering celiac disease has a major stomach reaction to gluten, but it could affect you anywhere in your body. Many people notice joint pain and brain fog go away when they cut it out of their diet, and it’s often one of the fastest ways to lose body fat – even if you continue to include other carbohydrates.

3. If it’s natural, it’s fine to eat. Ugh. This is one of my biggest ‘bug bears’ when it comes to nutrition and true foods for body fat loss. The main thing I guess I’m talking about is sugar, and the various forms it appears in within a so-called healthy diet. In no particular order, here are some of the ‘natural’ things that are NOT fine to eat daily if fat loss – and health – is an important outcome of your nutrition plan. One of my main arguments here is that these foods simply wouldn’t appear in nature year-round. Fruits, especially the overly cultivated ones. Dried fruits definitely. Fruit juice (arguably NOT natural anyway, even if freshly squeezed). Agave. Sugar. Grains (whoops, already mentioned, but worth noting here as well!). White potatos. Rice. Corn (a grain anyway). Let me know if I’ve forgotten anything!

4. It’s better to ‘hold out’ until your next meal if you want to lose body fat. We’ve been told over and again that we need to eat regularly to burn body fat and feel great, but there still seems to be this mindset amongst many women that it’s better – or admirable – to hold out for as long as possible. After all, that way you’ll end up eating way less food/calories across the course of the day, right? Well, not only is that probably wrong (mid-afternoon sugar hit anyone?), but failing to eat frequently lets your ‘metabolic furnace’ dwindle and die. It can also make it tough for you to actually get enough protein and other good fuel into your body to ensure cell repair and fat loss through detoxification. If you’d like to lose weight, then depending on your level of activity I’d suggest eating every 2.5-4 hours. Be sure to include protein.

5. You need carbs after training. If you’re a lean athlete then this is true. If your primary focus is increasing strength and muscle and you’re not too phased about losing body fat then this may also be true. But if weight loss is your goal, and particularly if your Biosignature supra-iliac and sub-scapular measurements are high, then carbohyrates after training are not your friend, and you don’t need them. Refuel with a post-workout shake and follow it up with a healthy meal of lean protein, good fats, and some fresh greens.

the paleo plate: diet facts you can trust in

"Paleo Food Plate"

12 responses to “5 Diet Facts Most People Get Wrong”

  1. Carla says:

    Great list, basic and to the point. I find every point to be true. How do we convince people that they don’t NEED grains in their diets?

    • Kat says:

      I don’t even bother trying anymore, just state my opinion and be on my way!

      • Carla says:

        I totally agree! Question:

        I am not celiac, but I am gluten intolerant. I know people with true celiac disease have to avoid everything remotely gluten. I avoid the obvious foods that has gluten, but I don’t avoid everything such as soy sauce (I use wheat free tamari at home, but that’s not always an option out).

        The question is, with someone who has an intolerance and NOT celiac, how strict should one be?

      • Kat says:

        It’s a great question Carla. If I answer from the absolute ideal point of view, there is zero tolerance for gluten even with a slight intolerance. Reason being there is an inflammatory response lasting up to 90 days; so if you had just a little now and then you will effectively never clear it. The reality is we each have to decide what works for us based on our knowledge or perceived impact of having/not having it.

      • Carla says:

        Kat, though I do pretty well avoiding 95% of items that contains gluten, going cold turkey is probably the most difficult thing to do diet wise – especially since my diet is already so limited. Are you completely gluten free?

  2. Sonja says:

    Hi Kat, great post! I do agree with that carbs are not needed. I still have some problems to believe that only by eatíng your way, I will lose weight. If I ate that meal for breaky you described in the intro of the mail I got as a subscriber, and keep eating that style during the day without have an eye on the calories, I would never lose weight. even though I think your way is probably the best way to lose fat and keep in shape, it is a myth that cals don’t count. they do! I could stuff my face with a lot of veggies and organic chicken, nuts etc., but at the end of the day, if I eat more than my body needs, it has to store the surplus somehow. On the other hand, and this is why low carb diets/lifetsyles work best probably, is that you are not that hungry when living paleo-style due to the insulin peaks which are not present so frequently. A surplus of protein however easily can cause insulin response, so there is always the catch with the calories, at least at the beginning of the diet/lifestyle change (trust me, I tried several times to lose weight by eating paleo and exercising (no, no cardio queen here!) w/o calorie counting. but the sad news are: I have to count cals!!
    but I am glad that it works for you!!

    • Kat says:

      Hi Sonja. I don’t say that calories don’t count I say they don’t count as much as quality. Of course they count, but not in the way most people believe.

      PS- have you actually tried eating a full paleo diet for a length of time?

  3. Samantha says:

    Don’t you think we are conditioned to believe that we need grains, though? I mean, let’s face it: a trip through the grocery store has “made with whole grains!” or “heart healthy grains!” or “great source of fiber!” plastered all over every package. It’s so easy to think based on those messages that grains are what we *should* be eating. Most people aren’t uneducated about it, they’re educated incorrectly.

    • Kat says:

      That’s a great point Sam. I completely agree. Hopefully we can spread the word bit by bit, although personally I have no desire to try and beat people over the head with something they don’t want to hear. It’s a tough one given how pervasive those messages are.

  4. Gemma says:

    Hi Kat, I would love to know what your opinion on products labelled, “low fat” is. For example, low fat yoghurt, low fat milk, low fat (spreadable) butter (which is also hydrogenated) etc but not just dairy. All of it! Products labelled low fat may be low fat but do they indeed help you lose fat or do they make up for having low fat by increasing the amount of sugary carbs they add?

    Love reading all of your posts, they are really helpful. I’m going for an interview at Fitness First next week for a personal trainer role! Im so nervous. Reading your posts to get my confidence up :). Its working!

    • Kat says:

      That’s great to hear Gemma! My choice would be full-fat dairy only; but must be organic and preferably raw!