Busting Popular Myths about Exercise and Nutrition

In today’s world of nutrition and health, there are many opinions, facts, studies, and a lot of misinformation. It can be difficult to determine what is correct and what is completely false. That’s why it’s important to look for scientific evidence. When in doubt, check with a healthcare professional if you have questions.

Exercise and Nutrition Myths

Calories Don’t Count

One common misconception is that you are able to eat as much as you want as long as you are eating the “right foods.” Some low-carb plans allow as much as you can eat of certain proteins and fats. When eliminating major food groups, there is often a large calorie deficit that leads to weight-loss. Weight-loss and metabolism are complex and can be tricky. There are many factors to consider. Macronutrients do matter (carbohydrates, fat, and protein), as do calories. If you eat more than you need, your body will store the extra as fat. What’s the answer? Eat the amount your body needs, plus a healthy combination of carbohydrates, fat, and protein based on your goals/preferences. This combination may look different for every person.

To Lose Weight, Eliminate Specific Foods and Food Groups

First, there is no “perfect plan” for weight-loss, and there are many options and approaches to choose from. The major food groups—fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and fat—are all valuable to your health and provide a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Find the right mix to fit into your plan for a healthy diet.

You Can Exercise-off a Bad Diet

Exercise has many health benefits, including burning calories. It is also linked to long-term weight maintenance and is a major component to any health regimen. Although exercise burns calories, it can’t burn a whole plate of pasta and breadsticks or an extra-large hot fudge sundae. Use exercise as part of a healthy routine and lifestyle, not the answer for a bad diet.

Your Diet Must Be Perfect to Be Successful

No one is perfect! As many people start on a new plan, they have very high expectations and anticipate perfection. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s important to work toward healthy choices. If at some point you fall off the wagon, get back on. The key to long-term success is getting right back onto your plan and into your healthy habits. If you miss a day of exercise, don’t miss two. If you have cookies for lunch, pay special attention to what you eat for dinner. Overall consistency is key to success.

Choose Low-fat and Diet Foods

Sugar-free candy, low-fat ice cream, and vegetable pasta all sound great, but make sure to read nutrition labels. Many times, these foods don’t have the nutritional benefit you think they do, and they may actually be higher in calories and fat.

If You Don’t Get 30 Minutes of Exercise in at a Time, it Doesn’t Count

Don’t worry! Small amounts of physical activity add up. For some, it can be overwhelming to get all of your exercise in at once. Instead, focus on small bouts throughout the day.


New health trends, diets, and plans will continue to come up every day. As they do, continue to research and reach out to health professionals if you want advice. Don’t always assume the exercise and nutrition plans you come across are the real deal.

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