Welcome back to the MythBusters Nutrition series! If you missed part 1, be sure to check it out on the blog for myths about sugar, fruit, caffeine, and fat.
Today, we’re diving into three new nutrition myths:
The fewer calories you eat, the more weight you’ll lose
Everyone should take a multivitamin
Gluten is inflammatory
We have lots of hot topics to discuss this month, so let’s jump right in by talking about calories and weight loss. At the end of the day, it does matter how many calories you eat if you want to change your weight. In general, if you want to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories, and if you want to gain weight, you need to eat more calories. However, it’s not as simple as “calories in, calories out.”
It’s completely false that if you keep cutting back on more and more calories, you will continue to lose weight. Issues start arising when the body doesn’t get enough calories to do its daily functions such as digest, create new cells, and provide energy to the brain. If you eat so few calories that the body can’t do its daily functions, the body may start storing the calories you eat so it has fuel to pull from in the future. Extremely low calorie intake won’t necessarily lead to losing more weight.
However, if you do want to lose weight, it’s best to find the calorie amount that is right for you. This calorie number is based on your height, weight, age, gender, and physical activity, and it should put you in a slight calorie deficit (aka eating fewer calories than you use in a day) without overdoing it and causing the body to store everything you eat. Long story short: there is such a thing as too few calories, and it’s not healthy for your body or beneficial for long term, sustainable weight loss. If you’re curious about your unique calorie needs, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, let’s talk about multivitamins. Does every person need to take a multivitamin? The short answer is: no. If you eat enough calories daily, and you have a balanced diet that includes all of the food groups, then studies show that you likely don’t need a multivitamin. However, if you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, or choose to not eat a certain food group, you may benefit from a multivitamin or other supplement. If you’re curious about whether a vitamin or other supplement is right for you, feel free to email me.
Lastly: what’s the deal with gluten? Gluten has been blamed over the years for inflammation and weight gain, but is this the case for every person? It is true that some people are either allergic or sensitive to gluten. Their bodies can’t digest or handle gluten properly, which can result in GI issues as well as inflammation. However, just because some people can’t tolerate gluten doesn’t mean that all people can’t tolerate gluten. Most people can eat and digest gluten with no inflammation or negative side effects. You can test for gluten sensitivity or allergy at a doctor’s office if you suspect you may be gluten intolerant.
If you want to clear up the nutrition confusion and find a way of eating that works for you in the long term, I’m here for you. All new clients receive a free nutrition intro session, so if you’re interested in learning more and signing up for a session, click here.
If you’re more of a self-paced learner, I have an online course available called “8 Steps to Healthy.” In this course, you will be guided through the nutrition habit building process through videos, an eBook, and a workbook. The course is self paced, meaning you can take as long as you like to complete the course. Email me at email@example.com with questions, or click here to learn more about the course.
And as always, to learn more about nutrition, diets, and supplements, check out my podcast “RDs vs BS” on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or the website www.rdsvsbs.com.