Raise your hand if you’ve ever fallen victim to believing some diet/fitness advice or fad circulated through the media. Yeah, me too!
Now raise your hand if you want to know the truth about these diet myths! Here are my TOP 4 that I’ve heard repeatedly since becoming a personal trainer over 12 years ago. It’s time to set the record straight!
#1: Peanut butter is a good source of protein.
False! Peanut butter contains protein, but most of its calories come from FAT, not protein. If I wanted to consume 21 grams of protein from peanut butter, I would have to eat approximately 600 calories. Yes, you read that right: 600 CALORIES!!! To calculate where most of your calories come from, remember that 1g of fat is 9 calories, and 1g of carbohydrate and 1g of protein equal 4 calories each.
#2: To lose weight, I should only eat 1200 calories/day.
This one always makes me shake my head. First, who is the person who said 1200 is the “magic” number? Must be the same person who said you should do 3 sets of 12 reps when you’re working out. So what happens when you plateau at 1200 calories? Drop them even lower and ruin your metabolism even more? Hell NO!
If you are in a fat-loss phase, simply take your weight and multiply that by 10-12. I recommend you start at the higher end and multiply by 12. This gives you somewhere safe to go once you’ve lost some weight and start to plateau. It’s funny because most of my clients are surprised at just how many calories 12x their bodyweight is!
#3: You should aim to eat 3 meals/day.
Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is something that I was always taught when I was a kid. Then, when I started getting into fitness and dieting, it was, break it up into 6 smaller meals/day. But WHY? Here’s the deal. No matter how many calories you’re eating in a day or whether you’re in a fat-loss or maintenance phase, there is a 24-hour period to get your calories in. If that means 3 meals/day, 6 smaller meals/day, or 2 meals/day, GREAT!
There is no one fits size all when it comes to what works for everyone. We’re all different with different schedules and what works best for me probably won’t work for you. The goal is to hit your calorie target each day. How you choose to break up those calories in a 24-hour period is entirely up to you!
#4: Don't eat white rice. It's unhealthy.
There are many differences between white and brown rice, BUT white rice CAN fit nicely into a healthy, balanced diet. Brown rice gets its name because of the natural color of the grain. It’s also in its intact form, which includes bran, germ, and endosperm, and once cooked, has a nutty and chewy texture.
White rice is actually brown rice that has had its bran and germ layers removed. Because nutrients are lost during the milling process, B vitamins and iron are added in afterward.
Brown rice is more nutrient-dense than white rice having more fiber which can leave you feeling fuller for longer. But if you prefer white rice, have it! White rice gets digested quicker than brown rice, so it’s a great option post workout. As far as calories go, white rice has 68 calories per 1/3 cup vs. brown rice at 82. Remember, if you prefer white rice, you can always add other foods to it to boost the nutritional value!
So, as you can see, there are benefits to eating both white and brown rice. Stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad” and instead focus on correct portion sizes and how they make you feel.
About the Author: Kimberly Lynn is a certified personal trainer of over 12 years who owns SWEAT Bootcamp in Rio Rancho, NM and the online training website, KimFit On-Demand (kimfitondemand.com). Her specialties and variety in training styles (i.e., dance, HIIT, kickboxing and step-aerobic strength) are endless and her programming is results-driven and FUN! You can follow her on Instagram: @kimberly_sweatfitness