So you decide to transform yourself for more confidence, to get your girl, and to save the world (anyone?). As a newbie, you are eager but also overwhelmed with the flood of information on the Internet. Come right in.
1. Eggs are bad for you
Eggs are considered the silent killers due to their notorious reputation for high cholesterol. Cholesterol is believed to be associated with various cardiovascular disease with likelihood of high blood cholesterol and a heart stroke. A large egg has 185 mg of cholesterol, meaning that two eggs would exceed the American Heart Association's (AHD) recommendation for cholesterol intake (300mg). The yolk contains most of the cholesterol while the white virtually has zero-fat and zero-cholesterol - a reason for gym junkies to favour egg white omelettes.
Actually... Merely looking at the cholesterol content of an egg is not enough. It contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Vitamin A, B, B6.The concern over cholesterol and its link to cardiovascular disease is overhyped. Recent research has dispelled this myth, showing that long-term egg consumption does not affect cardiovascular health negatively. In addition, the cholesterol recommended by AHA need revising as our body, particularly liver actually produces cholesterol daily of 1000-1400 mg. The liver works on feedback mechanism, which means if we eat more cholesterol, the liver will produce less of it for compensation.
2. Meal Frequency
Traditional bodybuilding regimes would advise you to have regular meals throughout the day to feed your hard-earned muscles. Conventional wisdom states that eating small meals 5-6 times a day prevents your body from going into starvation mode, thus avoiding fat gain, and increases your metabolism to promote fat loss.
Actually... Sadly, the above benefits are all fads. Various studies such have shown that when two groups were given the same amount food - one group had the food spread out through 5 meals while another just had one big meal. Weight loss did not vary significantly between those two. It is recommended that a healthy and balanced lifestyle with adequate exercise is the best way to get fit and lose weight. Unless you are training for a sporting event or competition, a sustainable lifestyle does not require you to increase your meal frequency.
3. Gluten-free Diets
Going gluten-free improves your health, helps you lose weight, and reduces that irritating belly bloat. People claim that gluten is the “glue” that sticks the fat into your body. When taken to the extreme, some individuals end up ditching all the grains.
Actually... Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale. If you have celiac disease - aka severe gluten intolerance - you’d better stay away from it unless you want to experience nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea and itchy skin rash and other symptoms. In the U.S, approximately 1% of the population have celiac disease, while 30% of the population had gone gluten-free without knowing what gluten is, causing the sales of gluten-free products to soar.. This study shows that gluten has no effect on self-reported non-celiac gluten intolerance.
4. More Protein Is Better
This actually has a rationale behind it, as protein is present in every cell, repairs, and creates new ones. It's common knowledge that protein helps your muscles recover and grow, hence the frequent prescriptions for high protein diets for bodybuilders.
Actually... More protein does not necessary mean more results. You don't have to increase your protein intake to 60% of your diet. This may be counterproductive, as it can be stressful for the kidneys and liver to process a high volume of protein. A study conducted with healthy, college-age men showed that resistance training improved muscle performance and size, regardless of their protein protein supplementation. A good 10-35% of your diet should be made up of protein, depending on your level of activity as well as body composition.
5. Likewise, More Training Leads To More Results
Some training beliefs, instilled firmly in everyone’s minds, can turn out to be bro-science. With "Go Hard Or Go Home" inspirational slogans like this, it's hard to figure out what amount of training is necessary for you to make progress.
Actually... You end up spending some 2-3 hours in the gym tiring yourself out, and possibly face “overtraining”. Some dedicated iron addicts said overtraining is a myth or it is just the excuse for lazy quitter but overtraining is real. Signs include a plateau or drop in performance, perpetual tiredness, and long-term muscle soreness.
For amateur or professional athletes, such high frequency of workouts might be necessary. Do remember that they are working closely with nutritionists and coaches to work out their training plan!
Duc Nguyen is a curious experimenter and coffee enthusiast, based in Sydney, Australia. He enjoys sharing his experiences with health and fitness. All opinions expressed in this article belong to Duc.