ATTN: This post has been updated with new myths as of October 2017!
As body transformation experts and nutrition specialists, we’ve seen a lot of different meal plans, worked with many different body types and dispelled a number of different ideas about the “right” way to diet. To some, a successful diet seems like an impossible feat. Something that is often started, but never stuck to. But that idea ends today.
Here at First Paige Fitness, our goal is to help you dispel these false ideas about diets and help you create a nutrition plan that is perfect for you. To help you gain a better understanding of how you can diet successfully, we’ve compiled the top 6 myths about meal plans and provided you with the facts to rid them from your mind for good!
8 Myths about Meal Plans
Myth #1: You need to starve yourself to lose weight
Fact: Although the key to weight loss is burning more calories then you consume, a dramatically low intake of calories will inhibit not only weight loss, but your health as well.
Not eating enough calories can actually slow down your metabolism causing your body to hold on to fat to survive starvation because a slower metabolism leads to you to burning less calories. The minimum amount of calories your body needs to survive normally is 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men.Science has proven that eating a diet consisting of 500-600 calories causes your body to store more fat then a 1,200 calorie diet. Anything less then a 1,200 calorie diet will inhibit your body’s necessary functioning like breathing, talking and even hormone production. Not to mention, when you do return to normal eating habits, the short term weight you lost will come right back on creating a “yo-yo” effect.
Myth #2: You have to eat 5 to 6 meals a day to get to your fitness goals
Fact: There is no scientific evidence to support eating 5 or 6 meals a day will help you lose more weight than eating the same amount of calories 3 times a day.
So why do health professionals still push for eating 5 to 6 meals a day? There are a couple reasons why it (sort of) works. When people follow the meal plans given to them by health or fitness professionals with 6 meals a day, they are recommended to eat more fruits, vegetables, and protein which will help you to lose weight.
Eating consistently throughout the day will keep cravings at bay, and keep blood sugar and insulin levels regular. Going back to myth #1, eating consistently will also help your body keep its metabolism up so that your body burns fat instead of storing it. However, the same goal can be achieved by only eating 3 times a day rather than 5 or 6. Besides, let’s be real. Eating 6 times a day is not realistic for most people’s schedules.
Myth #3: Eating healthy means sacrificing taste and flavor
Fact: Chicken tacos, avocado, and steak are all tasty, wholesome, foods that not only filled with flavor, but will also get you to your fitness goals. Herbs such as rosemary, basil, garlic and thyme can also be a great way to add so much flavor to your food.
Before I got into fitness I grew up on the typical American diet. Bagel Bites, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, etc. were my favorite foods. It was difficult eating healthy at first, but now that my body is used to eating healthy food, I have retrained my tastebuds and I don’t know how I lived on so much junk food! Eating nutrient dense food not only tastes so much better now, but I feel so much better and that’s what’s most important.
Myth #4: Everyone gets the same meal plan
Fact: Although I have heard of other personal trainers giving all of their clients the same cookie cutter meal plans, at First Paige Fitness, that couldn’t be farther from the truth!
We customize each and everyone of our clients meal plans to mimic the foods they already eat. Don’t like green beans? Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to leave that off the plan. Can’t live without chocolate? We’ll work that in. And if you really want to go the extra mile, we can even teach you how to make your own meal plans so that you can have even more flexibility at your fingertips.
Myth #5: The more expensive the plan, the better the plan is
Fact: I have heard of other personal trainers charging upwards of $700 for meal plans that are not customized to fit your needs.
We take pride in providing nutrition plans that are not only effective, but affordable. We believe it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to change your lifestyle and live a healthy life.
Myth #6: Meal plans are a “one size fits all”
Fact: Some of my clients do better on a more balanced nutrition plan, while others do better on a higher carb lower fat, or visa versa.
When it comes to nutrition, it is important for fitness professionals to not assume we know the magic amount of protein, fat, and carbs to give you that will be just perfect for you. Communication is key, and that’s why we check in with our clients regularly to make sure their nutrition plans are working for them. That’s because we know our nutrition plans should be as unique as the person receiving them.
Myth #7: You can’t enjoy any candy or treats on Halloween
Fact: I am a firm believer that most things can be done in moderation while still getting to their fitness goals.
One of the best parts about Halloween are the treats! But if you want to lose weight that means you can’t have any sweets, right? Wrong! Sometimes, people can have an all or nothing approach. It is either fast food or a salad. Six beers and pizza or nothing at all (to” make up” for the beer and pizza right?). It’s okay! I’be been there too. But what works best forgot only myself but my clients is a diet based on balance and moderation is key. While also being nutrient dense of course. So, let’s focus on eating a balanced meal for dinner and maybe this year we only go for one or two handfuls of M&M’s or maybe one ziplock full of your kids… I mean of your trick or treat candy.
Myth #8: Halloween is all about treats, sugar, and all things scary but definitely NOT healthy!
Fact: Popcorn, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin puree are all healthier options that if done in moderation can be a great way to treat yourself while continuing your fitness progress.
Popcorn and pumpkin puree are both great sources of fiber. If LIGHTLY sprayed with your choice of butter or oil and lightly sprinkled with salt can be a lower calorie way to keep you full. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of healthy fats, omegas, zinc to build the immune system and magnesium to support heart health. PS. It’s good for pets too! Even my doggy and kitty LOVE pumpkin puree and I know they are getting the essential fiber.
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Final Thoughts -
The road to optimal health and wellness begins when you decide to start taking steps towards real lifestyle changes rather than turning to short term solutions. First Paige Fitness nutrition plans provide you with the recipe for diet success that will help you do just that. So, you can love the way you look just as much as you love the way you eat.