3 common health myths that are doing more harm than good

Taehui Park
Staff Writer

My roommates and I recently started going to a gym, dreaming of taking nice group photos on a beach this summer.

As all of us are keen on losing weight and getting into shape. We like to talk a lot about health such as what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, and how many workouts we need to be healthy. It is really beneficial to have roommates who have similar interests because we can share not only health-related tips but also diet and nutrition information.

Through sharing knowledge and workout advice with each other, however, I found that there are conflicting opinions floating around about nutrition and exercise. Here are three common “health” myths that I was able bust. This information may help you make progress in your eating and exercise habits so as to reach your workout goals.

1. Because you can burn it off, you can eat junk food

It is true that there are some times when we crave greasy fast food in our fitness journey. We don’t need to give up all our favorite foods but the quality of your food actually matters to your health and workout goals. Some people might have a question like, what about incorporating a cheat day? It is a well-known fact that it’s good to make wise use of cheat day since it can help in boosting the workout mood as well as maintaining the desire to get into shape. However, according to SportMedBC Nutritionist, Melissa Kazan MSc, cheating meals does not mean you can eat any food you like as it can easily lead you to a binge, leaving you feeling guilty afterward. Kazan emphasized that taking a stab at enjoying foods you like in moderation is way more important than just eating junk food. She defined moderation as being mindful of your hunger and fullness levels.

2. No pain, no gain

We constantly hear the typical motto “no pain, no gain” at the gym. However, it is not always good to be in pain during a workout.

“There is a difference between discomfort and pain,” said David H. Williams, Cooper Fitness Center professional fitness trainer. “Long-lasting pain or soreness for days after a workout is unnecessary and can lead to overtraining and injury. There is a form of pain that is acceptable and necessary.”

Williams also said it is unhealthy to expect your workouts to end in soreness, as this is likely to result in injuries if you keep pushing yourself too hard.

3. Protein reins over carbs and fat

I believe this is the most well-known myth. Unfortunately, none of them outweighs anything. The unity of all three allows for a balanced approach to your goals. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body and mind. It may be a good idea to go “low-carb” but it is not good to entirely cut out all carbs. Fat also plays a huge role in helping your body, mind and taste buds. It is the main element for producing hormones and managing brain health.

“Each person has a different lifestyle, and each element has their own pros and cons. Therefore, it is important to know what element you need to improve your health and which diet you need to keep yourself on track,” said Pam Bede, registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition.

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