The Truth about 4 Nutrition Myths

by Jaime Brenkus

Have you ever wondered how someone could be eating fruit and not be gaining weight? Or, what about those people that eat oatmeal (carbs, oh my) in the morning? How can they possibly be controlling their weight?

It’s misconceptions like these that need to be corrected once and for all. I’m going to uncover four nutrition myths and tell you exactly why they aren’t going to make you fat.

Myth 1: Fruit Will Make You Fat

Unfortunately, there are still some people that truly believe fruit will make them fat because of the sugars, the fructose, and the carbs.

Luckily for us, fruit is not only delicious but nutritious, as well. Sometimes, people who are too smart for their own good write books spewing nonsense like fruit will make you fat. I can’t help but feel aggravated.

Fruits are:

  • generally low in calories
  • full of vitamins
  • packed with fiber

Besides being absolutely delicious, many different fruits have super low calories for their serving size. Watermelon only contains 136 calories for 1 pound of goodness. A whole cup of blueberries is only 83 calories. Strawberries are only around 115 calories for an entire pint.

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These calorie amounts are incredibly low considering how filling and delicious fruits are. And since we know we should be eating fewer calories if our goal is fat loss, fruit seems like the perfect option.

Of course, some fruits contain more calories than others, but overall fruit is 100% perfectly fine to eat. Because nobody ever got fat from eating fruit.

Myth 2: Eating At Night Will Make You Fat

Newsflash: you can only eat between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm. If you eat anything after 7:00 pm you will get fat. Seriously?

I thought this school of thought was over with back in the early 2000s. The common rationale behind this thinking is that if you eat at night, usually late at night, those calories will just sit in your stomach and won’t be burned off. Thus, making you gain weight.

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To a certain degree, this is partly true. If you eat late at night you may end up weighing more the following morning and you won’t have a lot of time to burn those calories at night. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily gained body fat. Water retention, total calorie intake, hormones, bowel movements, and the physical amount of food in your stomach can affect the weight on the scale. Let me provide you a quick example.

Jane eats the typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. On average she eats around 1700 calories throughout the course of the day and has dinner around 5:30 or 6:00 at night. She works out regularly and sleeps about eight hours a night. Susan prefers skipping breakfast and likes to eat a late lunch and then a large dinner around 8:30 or 9:00 at night. She also averages 1700 calories daily, works out regularly and nabs about eight hours of sleep a night.

Because their total caloric intake is relatively equal, they should both expect to lose about the same amount of weight. Jane wouldn’t be expected to lose more weight just because she stops eating sooner than Susan. And Susan isn’t expected to gain weight because she eats her meals a bit later than Jane.

It all comes back to calorie balance and energy expenditure. You can eat at night and not gain fat. 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, midnight–it doesn’t matter. The key is making sure you’re in a calorie deficit.

If, however, nighttime eating causes you to overeat an extra 1000 calories, then yeah, you will gain weight. But in the context of a normal diet and one focused on a slight calorie restriction, eating at night will not make you fat.

Myth 3: Eating Carbs In The Morning Will Make You Fat

If it’s not eating at night that makes people fat, then it must be the morning, right?

Some people believe eating complex carbohydrates in the morning causes them to store more body fat and gain weight. Whenever you eat carbohydrates your body secretes insulin (provided you aren’t Diabetic), which is very important for muscle growth but is responsible for fat gain as well.

However, unless your insulin levels are chronically elevated from slamming down an excess amount of carbs all day long for a long period of time, complex carbohydrate consumption in the morning can be very beneficial for weight loss.

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So that oatmeal your mom used to tell you to eat when you were a kid can actually be a good thing. If you like carbs in the morning, you should know that within the scope of a healthy diet and your own calorie targets, they will not lead to fat gain.

So enjoy your eggs and whole grain toast, or fruit, or oatmeal.

Myth 4: Too Much Protein Will Make You Fat

Let’s say you normally eat 150 grams of protein per day, on average. And, you like to spread out your amount of protein through five meals. So usually you’re consuming about 30 grams per meal.

But one day at work, you get called into a meeting right around lunch time and you’re unable to eat so you have to skip that meal. Then, at the next meal, you decide you’re going to combine your protein amounts which will give you around 60 grams in one sitting.

Is that going to make you fat? 100% no.

It’s simply not true that eating a certain amount of protein at one meal is going to cause you to gain weight. The only scenario where this would be the case would be if eating an extra ribeye steak (or any source of protein) puts you well over your calorie goal for the day. Then you’d probably gain some weight. But doubling up your protein amounts or eating more than the average person does, protein-wise is not going to make you fat. Continue to enjoy your protein and be sure to aim to have the same amount every day.

It’s time we stopped believing these silly myths and get back to working hard, eating right, and training smart.

Last updated: 09.29.2018
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Written byJaime Brenkus

Celebrity exercise guru and Evergreen Wellness® Fitness Coach Jaime Brenkus is an early innovator of exercise videos in the 90s, having created the highly successful “8-Minute” video series featuring the blockbuster-selling “8-Minute Abs” video. Jaime has helped millions of people get fit, having also developed other well-received health and wellness products, including the Perfect Portions control plate. Jaime is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Physiologist – a designation he has held for nearly two decades. By teaming up with Evergreen Wellness, Jaime brings his fitness expertise to older adults through easily performed workout videos, in-person events, live streams, seminars, classes, and endorsed wellness-related products. As an Evergreen Wellness Fitness Coach, his goal is to add more “boom” to baby boomers’ lives, inspiring them to look and feel better by leading happier, healthier lifestyles.

Coach Image

Written by Jaime Brenkus

Celebrity exercise guru and Evergreen Wellness® Fitness Coach Jaime Brenkus is an early innovator of exercise videos in the 90s, having created the highly successful “8-Minute” video series featuring the blockbuster-selling “8-Minute Abs” video. Jaime has helped millions of people get fit, having also developed other well-received health and wellness products, including the Perfect Portions control plate. Jaime is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Physiologist – a designation he has held for nearly two decades. By teaming up with Evergreen Wellness, Jaime brings his fitness expertise to older adults through easily performed workout videos, in-person events, live streams, seminars, classes, and endorsed wellness-related products. As an Evergreen Wellness Fitness Coach, his goal is to add more “boom” to baby boomers’ lives, inspiring them to look and feel better by leading happier, healthier lifestyles.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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