There are a lot of myths floating around out there in regards to proper human nutrition. Some of these concepts have been around for a very long time and just seem like they hold water but a lot of …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 131 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners. And today, I’m busting the biggest nutrition myths. So there are a lot of myths floating around out there in regards to proper human nutrition. And some of these concepts have been around for a very long time, decades. And they just seem like they’re legit.
They seem like they hold water, but a lot of them just don’t, or at least they don’t anymore. So there’s a lot of new studies that are being published and a lot of new data that’s being looked at and analyzed. And we have to be able to decipher now, because it’s a different time, a different era, we have to be able to decipher now what’s true, and what’s not.
And it’s not always easy, I get that. And that’s why I put together this episode to hopefully shine the light on and bust some of the biggest nutrition myths. Okay, so today I’m busting the biggest nutrition myths, I’m providing you with some actionable advice to help you take control of your health, and get you on the right track.
And listen, getting healthy, losing weight or maintaining your weight. running marathons this stuff, it’s not easy, becoming the healthiest version of yourself. It takes time. It takes consistency, it takes discipline, it takes know-how. And I provide all of that in the Running Lean coaching project. This is my intensive coaching program that gives you all the knowledge, all the support, all of the accountability that you need to improve your health and make changes that last permanently.
We’re not interested in quick fixes. In my program, we’re not trying to teach you the fastest way to lose weight. This isn’t about weight loss schemes, or fad diets, we’re all about sustainability. What you can do, starting now to change your health for the better and how to maintain it for the rest of your life.
Remember that becoming healthy, it’s not a destination you’re trying to get to there is no finish line, I wish there was I wish I could tell you that at some point, you could just stop doing all this, you can stop eating healthy, you can eat all the junk food that you want, you can stop exercising, but that’s not the way it is. It’s not a temporary state of being, this becomes who we are and becomes what we do from here on out.
So you have to embrace this concept. And if you’re feeling compelled to change your health for the better, if you’re feeling compelled to lose weight, finally lose it for good for the last time. And if you’re longing to become that best and most badass version of yourself, I want to encourage you to actually do something about it today, take some small action steps today.
And if you want help, I’m here for you. I’m always here for you really, you can just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply. You can fill out a quick application, you and I’ll jump on a call, we can talk about your goals and we’ll see if coaching is a good fit for you. It’s not for everybody, that’s totally fine. Again, this is for the people who want to commit to this way of life.
Who will make these changes last for good, then this is a good program for you. Cool, runningleancoaching.com/apply, I would love to have you join us in the Running Lean coaching project.
Okay, onto busting the biggest nutrition myths. So I had some fun putting this episode together. And the reason I’m talking about this is because there are a lot of myths floating around out there around nutrition and around, you know what it means to eat healthy. And a lot of this stuff has been kind of propagated over decades. It’s been propagated in the media. It’s been propagated by, you know, Jim Rose, and all kinds of stuff.
And I just want to like, for once and for all like just talk about some of the stuff that comes up often. I hear these concepts come up often with clients, they ask me these questions all the time. And so I put together a list of some of the most common questions that people ask and the common questions that people have been sort of misunderstood over the last few decades.
And I wanted to kind of tell you like what’s legit and what’s not, like what’s real, you know, what, what are things that we can honestly say are concerns and what are things we should just ignore? Okay, so I wanted to make sure that we are getting on the same page with some fundamental concepts here. And that we don’t, we’re not being manipulated by old outdated information anymore. Okay.
So that’s why I’m talking about this today. And I’m just going to go through a list of some of the biggest myths that I’ve, you know, been kind of researching, and the biggest questions that I get from clients and potential clients. And I wanted to share this with you guys, I think it’s gonna be really helpful.
So the first one, and I’ve talked about this so many times before, but I’m going to talk about it again, the first one is that calories are all that matters, right? If you want to lose weight, you’ve just got to cut your calories, right, calories in versus calories out, run more and eat less. And this is called the energy balance theory, the energy balance theory says that the energy that you take in calories coming in should be less than the energy that you’re putting out through exercise, right?
And this theory, they call it a theory, because it’s not the truth. This theory works fine. If we were a closed system, like a steam engine, but we’re not steam engines, the human body is much more complicated. And there are some issues with this theory. And, you know, like I said, I’ve talked about this so many times in the past, but I’ll just give you a couple of quick bullet points here on why this theory just doesn’t hold water. Okay.
So if you cut your calories, yes, you can lose weight, right? When it comes to losing weight, if you cut calories dramatically, you can lose a lot of weight pretty quickly, too. The problem with this, though, is it’s not sustainable. If you cut your calories too low for too long, this will effectively slow down your metabolism.
When your metabolism slows down, the amount of energy that you’re taking in becomes the amount of energy that your body is willing to put out there. So your resting metabolic rate, that’s the way you burn calories at rest just hanging around being you, this is the most calories that you burn through the day, by the way.
So because it takes calories to keep your heart beating, and your lungs working, and your blood flowing, and all these other things that all the other processes are happening with your body digestion and your brain and all this stuff. So actually you consume more calories throughout the day by just sitting around doing nothing than you do through exercise, right?
So but your resting metabolic rate will effectively slow down to match the calories that you have coming in. So let’s say you have a resting metabolic rate of like 1800 calories, so you just burn 1800 calories a day at rest, then you start eating, you decide you want to lose weight, so you start eating like 800 calories a day. And you do this for some time, you’ll probably lose some weight at the beginning.
But what will happen is your resting metabolic rate will slow down to kind of match that 800 calories that it’s getting in energy because your body’s like, listen, we’re only getting 800 calories of energy a day, we’re going to slow down to kind of match what’s coming in. So we don’t die of starvation and we don’t emaciate ourselves and die.
So it’s going to slow down your metabolism to match what’s coming in. And so let’s say you’re messing with your resting metabolic rate and it changes and it drops to 1000 or, or 800 calories a day. Okay, now that 800 calories a day that you’re eating doesn’t work for weight loss anymore, you’re going to start to gain a little bit of weight and gain a little bit of weight. And you’re going to be like, wait a minute, why is this not working anymore? And this is why.
And this is why programs like The Biggest Loser, they dramatically cut calories and these people lose a ton of weight real fast. But they don’t keep it off. It’s not sustainable. This is not a sustainable weight loss strategy. It just isn’t. And so we have to do something different. We have to change the calories and the type of calories that we’re eating matters.
It’s not about the numbers, you know, a calorie. A calorie is just a unit of measure. It’s how we measure energy. It’s the amount of energy required to heat one gram of water or one milliliter of water. One degree Celsius like it’s just, you know, how, how long does it take or how much energy does it take to increase the temperature of the water by one degree? That’s what a calorie is. Okay, so it’s just a unit of measure.
And, but that’s not taking into consideration the types of foods that you’re eating, okay? And the types of food you’re eating absolutely matter, right? So when we’re talking about quality of food, quality of nutrition, it really does matter. So you could take 300 calories of doughnuts, let’s say you can have a couple of donuts, they’re equal, like 300 calories. And the that food though, that energy that’s coming in will raise your blood sugar like crazy, you’re going to be hungry all day, your body’s going to be stuck in this fat storing mode, a lot of that energy that you take in is not being is not able to be used by your body right away. So you’re going to store some of that as fat. And these are essentially nutritionally empty calories, there’s not a lot of nutritional value in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, okay?
You could take 300 calories of steak on the other hand, and this does not raise your blood sugar much at all, maybe a little bit comes back down pretty quickly. It’s very filling, you’re not gonna be hungry all day after that, you’re not going to be putting your body into that fat storing mode, because insulin is not being generated as much. So you’re not storing extra energy as fat.
This is a new, nutritionally dense food that you’re eating. So your body is actually absorbing the nutrients from this food, it’s not generating the hunger signals that carbohydrates generate. And you’re going to be very satiated from eating that food and it’s actually nutritionally legit for your body. Okay, so calories are not the same. And anybody tells you the calories are all the same, just walk away from that conversation right there.
Okay, calories are not the same. I’ve heard people say, oh, yeah, I can help you lose weight. And you can just do nothing between keys all day long. And I’ll get you to lose the weight, but it is not sustainable. And, uh, don’t do that. By the way, Twinkies are one of those things that, you know, if you send it out on a counter, it’ll still look exactly the same in like, 100 years. So don’t don’t eat that stuff. Right? It’s bad. It’s bad for you, right?
So low calorie diets, they’re often void of quality nutrition, your health will suffer as a result of eating a low calorie diet, and it is not sustainable. Okay, so slowing down your metabolism like crazy is not a sustainable way of losing weight and keeping it off and being healthy, right?
And just understand that humans are complicated. We’re not engines, we’re not steam engines. There’s things to consider, like hormonal imbalances, metabolic adaptations, like a metabolic slowdown. There’s genetics, there’s health conditions that some of us have, like hypothyroidism, you know, there’s medications that we take.
All these things make, you know, losing weight a little bit more complicated for some people, right? So we just have to understand that we are complicated beings, and then it’s more, it’s more about eating high quality food than it is about the number of calories coming in and going out. Okay, so the biggest nutrition myth that I see out there is that calories are all that matters. And I just want to say BS, right, there’s more going on that we have to consider. Okay.
The next one, and this is one of the biggest concerns I hear from people, is that eating fat will make you fat. And I have to tell you something here, this is not the case. Eating fat does not make you fat, high fat foods are not unhealthy foods. For millions of years, we humans have been eating fat and animal fats.
And we have survived and thrived and our brains have gotten big, huge, like we’re the most advanced creatures in the known universe. And we got this way not because we’re eating a low fat diet. No, because we are eating tons of animal products and eating tons of fat. It’s the fact that we are eating that actually made our brains start to grow and become the kind of humanoid brains that we have today.
And fat is an essential nutrient. Fat and protein are both essential nutrients meaning that we do not produce these nutrients internally. We have to get these in our diet or we will die. If you don’t eat fat, you will die. If you don’t eat protein, you will die. You know what’s not an essential nutrient is carbohydrates. Humans are not required to eat carbohydrates in order to live. It’s not an essential nutrient. Right?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever eat carbohydrates. I’m just saying it’s not essential your body will produce the glycogen that your body will produce the glucose which you know becomes glycogen that you store in your muscles. Your liver will produce that for you internally. Your brain needs a certain amount of glucose to function every day. Your body makes that, right?
Your liver makes the glucose that your brain needs every single day, it makes the glycogen it gets stored in your muscles to keep you functioning properly to keep your heart beating to keep your legs moving, keep your arms moving all that stuff. Carbohydrates are not essential, fat and protein are essential, okay?
And eating a higher fat diet has been the norm for us humans for millions of years, okay. All of a sudden, in the late 1970s, somebody put out this document and said hell fats are bad for you, that’s a problem, you need to stop eating fat. This does not make any sense. Think about it. It doesn’t make any sense.
They base this off of some really crappy studies that were done in the 60s 50s and studies that do not hold water whatsoever. And they’ve done tons and tons of studies since then, that have absolutely disproven this, okay? This is an antiquated and incorrect theory, that fat will make you fat. And that, you know, eating fat is unhealthy. And it’s slowly being put to rest.
And many people still fear it though, they still fear high fat diets. They still fear high fat foods, and they follow these low fat diets, in hopes that like if they just cut their fat intake, that they’re going to become healthier, and they’re going to lose weight, and it does not work.
The American Heart Association used to be all about low fat diets, low fat diets, low fat diets. And some years back, they very quietly put out a statement that said dietary fat is no longer a nutrient of concern. They kind of hid this little, little snippet in their documentation. They didn’t make a big splash about it, because they’ve been preaching that everybody has to eat a low fat diet in order to be heart healthy, right heart healthy diet, low fat.
And even the American Heart Association has been like, yeah, you know what we were wrong. But they don’t want to say they’re wrong and make a big “to do” about it. So they just kind of snuck it in there a little bit. Okay. So it’s being outdated. It’s being antiquated, and people are starting to wake up to the fact that this is not an issue, right? That dietary fat is actually essential for human health.
And actually, they’ve done these studies where low fat diets have actually been linked to greater risk of health issues, including metabolic syndrome. And they lead to an increase in insulin resistance, an increase in try group triglyceride levels. And these are all known risk factors for heart disease. So the low fat diet is not good for you. Okay.
And when it comes to losing weight, they found that diets higher in fat have been proven just as effective or even more effective in encouraging weight loss. Okay, so don’t be afraid of fat, eating fat does not make you fat. And I just want to mention one study that I just think is so compelling.
This is the pure study, P U R E peer study. And they compared a high carbohydrate, low fat diet to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet. So they sampled 140,000 people in 18 different countries. And they follow these people for 10 years. So half the people were following a high carb low fat diet. And the other half were following a low carb high or higher fat diet.
And the conclusion was this: that high carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality. Whereas the total fat and the individual types of fat are related to lower total mortality. So total fat was not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction or cardiovascular disease mortality. And saturated fat. This is really interesting, saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke, meaning that people that ate more saturated fat had fewer incidences of stroke.
And the conclusion is that the global dietary guidelines that we’re all following should be reconsidered in light of these findings. So this is just one study, but a pretty compelling study that says that a higher fat diet is actually better for you if you want to live longer, eat the fat. Okay.
Another myth I want to kind of break down and this might bump some people out there, but sugar substitutes are healthy. I’m going to have to say that this is not necessarily the case that eating a bunch of sugar substitutes is not necessarily a recipe for good health. Okay, so one thing to understand about this is that there’s not a lot of conclusive evidence out there because a lot of the sugar substitutes we’re using today, things like stevia or erythritol, xylitol, allulose.
These kinds of things haven’t been around that long, so they don’t have a ton of research to back these things up. But here’s, here’s the gist of that. Eating sugar substitutes can ramp up your craving for sweet foods, even though it’s not really sweetening your food, it’s a substitute in your body that doesn’t metabolize a lot of these sugar substitutes.
But what happens is that it tastes sweet. And so it kind of tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating something sweet, which for some people can lead to higher sugar cravings and unhealthy eating patterns. Okay, so just understand that, you know, the sugar substitutes are being used, you know, people are having all these like low carb products out there and keto products that say, like, you know, only whatever, its grams of carbs, one gram and net carbs or something like that.
And the problem is that we’re eating these things, some people are eating these things to excess. And, and, and some people are, you know, when you’re eating these types of foods, they’re not necessarily health food. It’s not like eating some broccoli and a steak. Like you’re eating, you know, something that’s supposed to be like a cookie, or brownies or ice cream or something like that, right? So these sugar alcohols, the sugar substitutes are not necessarily healthy.
So I hate to burst your bubble on that one. You know, they can be used sparingly, and that’s fine. It’s kind of like an every now and then type of thing. Just, you know, the fact is that these are not healthy foods, okay. And some of these sugar alcohols like erythritol and xylitol, they can cause digestive issues for people because your body does not metabolize them, or at least it only metabolizes a tiny bit of it. So they can cause some digestive issues, especially if consumed in large amounts. So just be careful of that. Okay.
So they’re not necessarily healthy. They’re not, you know, not necessarily, you know, bad, but we just have to be careful not to overdo it with this stuff very, very sparingly with that kind of stuff. Okay? Okay.
Another big myth out there is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve heard this before. We’ve all been taught this right. In school, when I was growing up, it was always like breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And what I didn’t realize is that that concept was coined by the Kellogg’s company, right? This is just a marketing message. Right?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is not based on science or anything like that. Kellogg’s came up with this because they wanted to sell more breakfast cereal, and breakfast wasn’t even a thing back in the day. Like Kellogg’s came up with the breakfast concept like in 1899.
This is not something that we’ve been doing for thousands of years as human beings, the human body is not designed to eat, you know, first thing when you wake up in the morning. And here’s the thing, like, skipping breakfast is not a big deal. And if you’re the kind of person who thinks that skipping breakfast is going to be impossible, I want you to try it. See what happens.
When you skip breakfast, you promote more fat loss. You know, if you exercise in the morning, you’re going to actually have an increase in adrenaline, an increase in some of the adaptive hormones when you skip breakfast, and an exercise in that fasted state. And human beings are just designed to eat a couple times a day. And to think that we have to eat breakfast and like it’s the most important meal of the day. It’s just wrong, it’s just wrong.
And especially if you eat a high carbohydrate breakfast, and they’ve done some studies that show that they did a study where they just compared people who ate eggs for breakfast and who ate bagels for breakfast, right. And the people who ate eggs for breakfast had a 16% greater reduction in body fat during the study period, compared to the people who ate the bagel for breakfast.
So right there is a good sign that the carbohydrates alone first thing in the morning especially, are going to you know, thwart your weight loss, progress or promote weight gain, you know, so just understand that you know, the types of foods we eat matters, right? But also that skipping breakfast may be just the best thing that you can do for yourself.
And it’s such an easy thing to do. Just skip your first meal and eat it later. Start eating around lunchtime and see how you feel. So many people feel so much better doing this. They don’t think it’s possible but they actually get there.
And then another myth that I wanted to bust here is that all carbs are bad. You know, I talk about a low carb diet and you know, maybe like carbs are the problem. And honestly, listen, all carbohydrates are not bad, right? They’re not essential. We don’t have to eat carbs in order to be healthy human beings. But some carbs are really problematic, right? And we want to really avoid those things, right?
Sugar. You know, carbohydrates are just sugar. It’s just another word for sugar. And they come in varying degrees of concentration. So you know that white sugar crystals that you stir into your coffee in the morning, that’s a very concentrated form of carbohydrate. So are things like maple syrup, or flour, like any kind of grain that’s been refined in ground up into a fine powder is a very concentrated form of carbohydrate, okay.
But then there are other types of carbohydrates, which we call complex carbohydrates that are not terrible for you, okay, they’re not bad. Things like white potatoes, sweet potatoes, other types of underground vegetables, tubers, some fruits, some dairy, these things have all been part of the human diet for millions of years, right?
Even honey has been part of the human diet forever. And so all these things can be considered to be what I would call good carbs, like there’s good carbs and bad carbs, sugar, flour, refined grains, bad carbs. Good carbs would be things like, you know, potatoes and some fruit, okay. So we just have to understand that there are different types of carbohydrates, and that some of these can be okay to be consumed in moderation.
You know, we don’t want to make our entire diet white potatoes, right, not nutritionally dense. And the carbohydrate load would just be too much for your system, right? But some of these things can be okay, you know, right now I’m eating mostly meat, and then some fruit, a little bit of dairy, like I’m just sticking to a very ancient sort of ancestral way of eating. And it works great.
For me, it’s very doable, very doable, it’s very sustainable for me. And I even consume a little bit of honey every now and then. And all these things have been part of the human diet forever. And we just have to understand that there’s a difference between the kinds of carbohydrates we’ve been evolving to eat like over millions of years, and the kinds of carbohydrates that are being marketed to us today. Very different, very, very different.
Okay, so let’s look at carbohydrates. From an ancestral standpoint, I think that’s a good way of looking at it, okay. And you can even use carbs, to enhance your running performance, if you want to kick into that extra gear for running if you want, you know, if you’re trying to smash a 10k time or something like that, and you want to be running at your peak performance and close to your VO2 max, then you’re definitely going to want to supplement with some carbohydrates to do that, right?
The fat burning is great when you’re a little bit lower when you’re 65-70% of your VO2 max. But once you get over that, you’re going to want to add some carbs into the mix, right? But the types of carbs matter, right?
Another myth is that high up foods high in cholesterol are unhealthy. Here’s the thing. I’m clueless why cholesterol rich foods have gotten a bad rap. Because people don’t understand how dietary cholesterol affects your health, right? So some people are very sensitive to dietary cholesterol, right, but this is the exception.
Overall, nutrient dense foods that are higher in cholesterol can be included in a healthy diet, including foods like eggs and full fat yogurt. So these have higher cholesterol in them, right? They actually might boost your health because they enhance feelings of fullness. So you’re going to feel more full.
And you’re actually getting a ton of nutrition when you eat these kinds of foods. Whereas when you’re eating foods that have zero cholesterol, you’re not getting the nutrients that you are that are actually required like kale has a lot of it doesn’t have any cholesterol in it right? But is kale something that you need to be eating? Because it’s going to give you all kinds of nutrition, it’s a lot of fiber, you’re just going to pass most of that through your system, you’re not going to absorb a whole lot from eating kale.
Sorry to bust your bubble about kale but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be right? So high cholesterol foods like eggs, full fat yogurt, these things are very nutritious, right? And like I said, some people because of genetic factors might be more sensitive to cholesterol and you’ve got to be careful with that. But for most of us, they can be included as part of a healthy diet.
Your brain needs cholesterol to function properly. Every cell in your body has cholesterol in it. We have to get cholesterol in your diet, or else we’re going to, our health is going to suffer, we’re going to start to break down, right? So we have to have cholesterol in your diet. So just understand that cholesterol does not mean you know, it’s not bad, it’s not the sign of an apocalypse, you’re not going to die from eating cholesterol, in fact, you have to eat it as part of a healthy diet.
Here’s one that might surprise you: supplements are not necessary. So this is a kind of a myth, like I’ve talked about eating real food and how you should be able to get all your nutrition from eating real food. And I kind of stand by that yes, to a certain degree. But I also think there are certain supplements that are okay.
And that actually kind of recommended for most people and especially runners like, I think creatine is a supplement that most people can benefit from most athletes can benefit from, it helps to build muscle, it helps you with recovery, it’ll help to improve running performance, because you’re going to be become a stronger human being, and you’re going to have stronger muscles and stronger connective tissues.
Collagen would be another one that I would recommend, just especially as you get older, you know, to help with connective tissue health and stronger bones. And then iron would be another one. So this is interesting, that long distance runners require more iron, because there’s some loss of blood through the gut that happens with running, because we’re, you know, diverting blood away from our gut in order to provide oxygen to working muscles, this is why a lot of people get stomach issues, GI issues, because they don’t have the blood in their gut.
So we’re diverting blood away from the gut, to arms and legs to keep us out there swimming, running, biking, whatever. And so we’re actually kind of losing blood through that process. And so we want to replace the iron. So eating a diet high in iron, iron can be really helpful. But for a lot of people, I think supplementing with iron, especially for long distance runners is going to be really helpful for you. Okay.
And then one supplement in particular, that I think is interesting. Calcium, a lot of people think they need to supplement with calcium in order to have strong bones. So people are told to just keep popping the calcium supplements, you’ve got to keep your bones healthy, especially as you get older. But there’s been new research out there that shows that supplementing with calcium may actually do more harm than good.
So calcium supplements have shown to be related to an increased risk of heart disease. And so if you’re concerned about your calcium intake, it’s best to focus on dietary sources of calcium, like again, full fat yogurt, sardines, some beans and seeds, things like that. But just another, a better, even better than just like trying to get calcium from your diet is to practice regular strength training, and get enough protein and avoid low calorie diets, low calorie diets, not good for your bone health.
Not getting enough quality protein is not good for your bone health. Not doing any kind of resistance exercise, or any kind of weight bearing exercise is not good for your bone health. So running, strength training, getting enough protein are all going to help you to maintain a strong skeletal system. And if you want to supplement use collagen, because that’s going to help you create stronger connective tissues and stronger bones better than a calcium supplement. Okay.
And then another another myth I wanted to bust is about low fat diet foods being healthy. We probably, I’m assuming that we all know this by now. But I’m just gonna like maybe maybe that’s a wrong assumption. Maybe some people don’t know this. But if you’re buying any kinds of foods that say, like low calorie or low fat, like you just got to stay away from that stuff.
A lot of the foods that are being peddled to us out there that say light or low calorie, low fat or fat free. These contain much more added sugar. And if you gotta read the labels and like just pay attention to what it is you’re getting right? But pretty much I would say stay away from anything that says light, low calorie diet, low fat, fat free. Avoid anything that says any of that, right? Go for though just regular full fat foods, because these are almost always going to be a healthier option and contain less sugar. So just keep that in mind. Okay.
Another myth that I hear all the time, and especially from, you know, bodybuilder type of people is that you’ve got to eat like six times a day in order to keep your metabolism going. And I just have to tell you that this is completely not true. That every time you eat food, you’re going to increase your blood sugar, right.
And if every time you eat if you’re eating six times a day, and you’re keeping your blood sugar high, especially if you’re eating a lot of carbs, this can really lead to more fat storage. And I can’t tell you how many people have come to me as clients and said, Patrick, I was working with a trainer. And they wanted me to eat six times a day, and I just kept gaining weight, and I just kept gaining weight.
And they were telling me that I wasn’t doing it right, or that I needed to exercise more. And I just have to tell you that this whole concept of eating six times a day is just total BS, the human body is not designed to eat six times a day, we’re just not. The human body is designed to eat like once or twice a day. And that’s it.
We did not evolve as grazers, you know, we’re not antelopes, or bison, like, you know, we evolved as persistent hunters, we, we evolved as gatherers, you know, we would gather foods and then bring them back to our tribe, and we would, we would eat that food together. But we we evolved to be people who, a species who eats infrequently. So this idea of eating all the time, just puts a strain on our systems and puts a strain on your pancreas, it puts a strain on the digestive system.
And you do not need to eat six times a day to keep your metabolism going. You know, you keep your metabolism going by just eating enough each day, getting enough calories in, eating a couple times a day, you don’t need to be snacking in between meals or anything like that. And this is how you promote fat loss. This is how you keep your metabolism actually going.
And you just have to understand that we are not designed to eat that many times a day, the human body does not like that. And we will keep storing a lot of that energy as fat and you won’t be able to tap into your fat stores. You know, we talked about, you know, fat burning being the goal, here we want to be, we want to get our bodies back to being efficient fat burners.
And when we eat all the time, we flip that switch and we just store fat, store fat, we store fat, stop doing that. It’s not healthy, it’s not a good way to go. Especially if you’re an endurance athlete, stop eating a million times a day, just eat a couple times a day. And take advantage of all the amazing adaptations that happen. When you practice this kind of meal spacing, this intermittent fasting, whatever you want to call it, this idea that we eat a couple times a day. And that’s plenty for us. And this is the way we’ve always done it as human beings. Yeah.
And then the last little myth I want to bust here is about tracking calories, tracking macros, and that this is something we have to do if you want to lose weight, you got to track your calories, you got to count your calories, you got to count your macros, and you have to stay on top of it for the rest of your life, you know, and I’m just gonna say just know, just know, you don’t have to do this. Somehow, for two and a half million years, as human beings, we managed to thrive without my fitness pal. Like we didn’t need to put our food into a food tracker in order to stay healthy and fit and lean and strong.
And in my programs, I help people to learn how to eat more intuitively, how to give their body what their body actually needs, when you need it, and how to tune into that. Now, just as full disclosure here, I do encourage people to track their food for a little bit of time just to understand what that looks like. And to understand what these numbers kind of can add up to.
Because when we tell people like hey, maybe we’ll switch to eating fewer carbs, or what does that mean? And so we just wanted to, you know, we want to quantify that with some numbers. So we’ll track for a little bit of time, maybe a couple of weeks or something like that, but then we put that away, we don’t need to do that anymore. Your body knows what it needs.
And if you’re eating the right kinds of food, you’ll know when you’re hungry. And when you’re not. You’ll know when you’ve eaten too much or if you need more. And if you’ve learned how to eat properly and you’ve learned about proper human nutrition, and you’ve learned about what works for your body and what doesn’t work for your body, then this should be very intuitive for you and that you shouldn’t need to be tracking calories and tracking macros.
I talked to somebody a while back who was so obsessed about tracking calories and making sure that she was always getting the right number of calories and making sure macros were always right that she would take a scale, a food scale, with her on vacation and take a foods go with her when she went out to dinner with, you know, business with colleagues.
And she would pull out her scale and set it on the table and weigh everything that she was eating, because she needed to know exactly how many grams everything was so that she could enter it all into her food tracker. This is not sustainable. This is not sustainable. This is not the way that we were designed as human beings to live our lives, you know.
And, you know, I think it’s interesting to track for a little while, and I have done it in the past. And every now and then I’ll just put my food into an app just to kind of see where I wonder where I am with this stuff. It’s kind of interesting, right? But it’s not necessary. I am very intuitive now and this is what I teach my clients to do, too, we want to be able to eat intuitively. And again, in my programs, we talk about sustainability, this is all about what’s going to work for the long term, because we’re not committed, we’re not committed to short term, we’re not this isn’t about like a quick fixes this is about long term, sustainable, a way of life. That’s what we’re interested in. So we want to get there. And that’s what we focus on.
So that’s, that’s the gist of, of, of what I do in my programs is that we work on sustainability, and we work on creating good habits that lasts for life. Okay. So those are the biggest myths that I wanted to go over today. And I’m sure you know, I’ll probably come up with some more, I’ll do another episode about maybe some of the other ones that didn’t quite make the list this time.
But I wanted to make sure that we’re all on the same page with some of this stuff, because some of it’s just, it’s just outdated. And that’s cool. Get it. So I hope this was helpful. Let me know what you think. You can always reach out to me on social media. And you can find me @runningleancoaching on Instagram and Facebook and all that.
And I would love to chat with you about coaching if that’s something that you’re ever interested in. Just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply. And we’d love to have that conversation with you. Love you all keep on Running Lean. Talk to you soon.
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