Debunking Nutrition Stereotypes
Maelys (24) is a French osteopath, influencer, & fitness advisor, who always loved to learn about nutrition. She has studied it so much that she wrote some eBooks with healthy diet option, to keep having pleasure eating whilst still matching your fitness goals. Her latest one called “Life Is Sweet” has some great recepies if you are a sweet-tooth person who wants to stay in shape but still enjoy desert.
Today we will go down the list of 9 famous stereotypes about nutrition with Maelys. Let’s eat some knowledge together!
Stereotype #1: Avoiding carbs to lose weight.
Maelys: “This one is very easy to understand, because it is all about balance. If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll likely gain weight. However, if you burn more calories than you eat, you’ll most likely lose weight. You’ll maintain if you burn as much as you consume.
Now, you can eat 2.000 calories of burgers, if it is your maintenance intake, you will not gain or lose weight (we do not advise that obviously). Your carbs are on the nutrients chart and, such as protein, fats and others, they are not responsible for gaining or losing weight. Calories are.”
Stereotype #2: Training on an empty stomach is better for weight loss.
Maelys: “It is not optimal. Going for a training session on an empty stomach will have your body use muscle resources, which is more likely to degrade muscles. This is often counter-productive for the body. I suggest eating a little bit of carbs and a little bit of protein about an hour before training. Give your body a little bit of fuel, you’ll need it.”
Stereotype #3: Fresh-fruit juice equals eating a fresh fruit.
Maelys: “This is not true for two reasons. Drinking juice means that the fibers inside the fruit have been broken. You’ll end up having less nutrients and losing lots of the benefits of fibers.
Another simple thing to consider is the quantity of fruit that you need to make a juice. You’ll probably need 5 oranges to make a glass of orange juice, and that means a skewed energy balance in the end.”
Stereotype #4: Whey protein powder is considered Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).
Maelys: “This one is very simple. Protein powder is not a drug simply because they are found everywhere (chicken, eggs etc.). They are only a time-saver when it comes to consuming protein after training for example, instead of bringing your chicken breast when you are not that hungry post-workout.
However, they should never replace all your meals! You should get the majority of your protein from whole food and leave the powders post-training.”
Stereotype #5: Vegan protein is better nutrition than regular protein.
Maelys: “There is a big misconception about vegan things being always absolutely better for the body since they are technically better for the environment. There are lots of anti-nutrients in vegan protein, which prevent the body from assimilating all the nutrients in food.
I am not saying that being vegan is bad and you shouldn’t, but that just doesn’t make vegan protein better than regular protein. Keep an eye on your macro-nutrients if you are vegan, in order to avoid deficiencies.
Stereotype #6: Eggs are bad nutrition for cholesterol levels.
Maelys: “You have organs in your body that are made to work. If you bring too much cholesterol into your body, it will lower cholesterol synthesis. On the other hand, if you do not bring enough to your body, it will produce more itself. The body levels your cholesterol very well, and it does not matter if you eat 1, 2, 3 or 6 eggs per day.
However, if you already have a cholesterol problem, this is where you should be careful with your diet. Otherwise, you are all good.”
Stereotype #7: Do not eat after 6pm if you are trying to lose weight.
Maelys: “About 90% of people workout after work, so usually around 5 to 8pm. In order to recover well, you need food and sleep. If you train late but then you do not eat because you heard it is bad after 6pm, you are not optimizing recovery. And if you do not train late, it is still a question of energy balance. Eating the number of calories that your body need in order to match your goals is really what matters when talking about losing weight.
If you train late and do not feel like eating a full solid meal afterwards, you can substitute that with a rich protein drink like a smoothie. However, I really do not recommend going to bed with an empty stomach especially after training. You won’t sleep well, and your body will have a rough time recovering.”
Stereotype #8: White meat is healthier nutrition than red meat.
Maelys: “Technically, yes. White meat is very healthy, but red meat has such great features for the body. I would advise eating roughly 750g of red meat per week top. There are great things from red meat that your body needs, but it is not the best source and that is why you shouldn’t eat more than about 750g per week.”
Stereotype #9: Energy drinks are great for performance.
Maelys: “I really don’t recommend energy drinks for performance. I don’t think they are optimal. Sure, they have caffeine and energy components, and sure you might feel pumped before training. However, you are mostly paying the brand (usually expensive) for something that is not necessary.
If you really need a pre-workout boost, I recommend making your own at home. Coffee is great, adding a little bit of salt in your water also for a great pump, but let’s be honest… your motivation is the best pre-workout there is, and should fuel you better than any energy drink on the market.