I’ll be the first one to admit that back in the day, I could be swayed to believe just about any of the lies that the diet industry taught me.
I had no clue that 90% of the claims made by the diet industry about “health food” and workout programs were nothing more than sneaky marketing tactics.
…Because my favorite Special K cereal said “heart healthy” on the box, I thought it must be good for me.
…Since diet Coke had the word “diet”, in it I though I was making a healthy choice by drinking it.
…If I found an exercise on Pinterest that claimed to make my thighs smaller, I’d do it all the time.
These are just a few of the little lies I fell victim to on a daily basis. Unfortunately, some of the ideas we’re being taught by the diet industry today are much more dangerous…
You might even be falling victim to some of them now!
That’s why today, I’m sharing five of the biggest lies the diet industry taught us and why they’re total BS.
Ready to do some myth-busting? Let’s get to it…
Here are 5 of the biggest lies the diet industry taught us…
1. If you do what ~that girl~ does, you’ll look like her.
This is a big problem I see with fitness and health influencers of social media… So many women are watching what others do and buying into the notion that following someone else’s diet and exercise routine can get them the same results. This is a total lie!
The truth is, there’s no one right way to eat and everyone’s body is different. You can’t just blindly follow someone else’s plan and expect their results.
We all have different goals, different metabolisms and difference genetics that should be taken into consideration when creating our own, personalized food and exercise plans.
At the end of the day, you have to learn to love your body. Constantly comparing yourself to others and trying to mimic what they do will only perpetuate your insecurities.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is YOU from yesterday.
2. This one supplement will be a “game-changer” for your health.
If you don’t have a base line of eating mostly real, whole foods, then you’re much better off using your resources on that instead of investing in some pricy multi-vitamin, protein shake, or fat burner.
Remember the motto: real food first!
Unfortunately, no one is getting rich off the notion that fruits, vegetable and animal proteins are the best thing for you to eat. That’s why you’ll never see massive ad campaign trying to persuade people to eat more spinach or add more salmon to their diet.
It just ain’t gonna happen.
The supplement industry, on the other hand, is massive. People are making a killing by convincing us that we need their latest and greatest supplements…
If you’re not careful, it’s easy to get caught up in all the marketing and find yourself spending more money on health supplements than on real health food.
Remember, supplements are given that name because they are meant to SUPPLEMENT your healthy diet, not replace it.
If your healthy lifestyle is already dialed in — you’re eating right, drinking your water, exercising, and getting good sleep — adding in proper supplementation can be an awesome way to go the extra mile and get an added edge.
But, until you make those four fundamentals a priority, you won’t be able to experience the full value of extra supplementation anyway.
3. “Try this FAT-BLASTING workout today!”
You’ll hear this sort of thing all the time in the fitness space. People try to make it sound like your fat will just ~melt away~ if you follow their workout plan…if only it worked like that!
While it may be true that some exercises burn more calories than others, that certainly does not make them “fat-blasting”.
Cardiovascular exercise will burn more calories than strength-building exercise during the time when you’re doing the exercise…
However, over time, doing cardio only signals your body to adapt and adjust to the new level of caloric output, leading the body to slow down the metabolic rate in order to be more efficient at the exercise.
This would be great news if you were living in caveman days, food was scarce and you were just trying to survive. But a slower metabolism is usually the opposite of what you’re aiming for when you lace-up and go for a run!
If you do want to exercise to speed up weight loss, by focusing more on exercising for strength (instead of burning calories in the moment), your body will be signaled to adapt and adjust by building muscle.
By building muscle, you’ll actually increase the amount of calories that your body burns naturally (your basal metabolic rate) instead of just burning more during your workout, since muscle burns more calories than fat.
In general, all exercise can be good for you…improving mental health, sleep, strength, mobility, cardiovascular health, etc. But when it comes to losing body fat, you’re better off focusing on other things like drinking plenty of water, getting 8 hours of sleep, reducing processed foods and added sugar and limiting your overeating.
Those will do way more to “blast your fat” than any exercise ever will.
(For more help on this, check out my blog post 3 Keys to Fat Loss Without Counting Calories.)
4. A low-carbohydrate diet is the best way to lose weight.
Yup, it’s a lie. Let’s all take a big deep breath here and just let the relief sink in!
With the rise in popularity of the Keto diet, this lie has been slowly infiltrating our culture. It’s not uncommon to hear people joking about how bad carbohydrates are for you, as if that’s just common knowledge…
Sure, low-carb is one strategy to lose fat that works for some people. Especially if you have hormonal or blood-sugar regulatory issues, a low-carb diet could be the perfect fit for you. But there is no one-size-fits-all diet.
When it comes to low-carb diets, I’ve personally found the biggest benefit is that fats are so more satiating than carbs. Meaning, by increasing the amount of fats you eat and decreasing the amount of carbs, you’ll naturally find it easier to eat less food overall — you just won’t be as hungry.
That being said, there are plenty of people who feel much better including carbs on a regular basis. They feel more energized and satisfied eating that way…If that’s you, go for it! You can still lose weight and reach your goals eating that way.
As long as 80-90% of the time, your carbs are coming from whole food sources (potatoes, squash, rice, fruit, etc.) and not from overly processed, flour-based food products, you shouldn’t feel pressured to cut them out just because Keto is the popular diet of that day.
5. You should eat whatever you want, as long as it’s “in moderation”.
This one really drives me nuts…
Maybe if you ignored the psychological aspect of food, this theory holds true when it comes to weight loss (assuming you have no food allergies, intolerances, or food-affected chronic diseases).
But in real life, trying to eat unhealthy foods in “moderation” is usually the beginning of a down-hill slide. This advice set us up for failure in two ways…
First, highly processed, man-made foods are also usually highly palatable. This means they are engineered to high-jack the brain’s reward pathways to induce overconsumption, cravings, and other addiction-like psychological affects.
Additionally, this advice completely ignores the other ways that food impacts our body, aside from just our weight.
Every bite of food we eat is sending a signal to our genes. The fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, animal fats and proteins found in nature can send signals to facilitate healthy cognitive, hormonal, and immune function.
Meanwhile, things like flour, fried food, sugary treats, and other man-made foods, send signals to our genes that can lead to inflammation and disease.
None of these changes happen over night… But eating unhealthy foods frequently over an extended period of time, could trigger major health issues, especially for those who are already genetically predisposed.
I’m all for planning to eat the foods that bring you joy occasionally (i.e. tortillas chips for me), but that’s very different from planning to eat a “moderate” amount of junk food on a regular basis.
One Last Note…
As you can see, there is a lot of misinformation floating around and sadly, that’s not likely to change any time soon.
That’s why it’s so important to do your own research and be your own advocate with health. Don’t trust that the diet, fitness, and food industries have your best interest at heart!
Always consider your sources — everyone has their own agenda, whether it’s malicious or well intentioned.
It’s time to take responsibility for your health and stop outsourcing your thinking to others. Educate yourself by reading, learning, and seeking out trust-worthy leaders and teachers.
At the end of the day, your health and well-being is your responsibility and no one else’s.
If you want to live a long, healthy life and be the best wife, mother, daughter and friend you possibly can, it’s time to do your part and set yourself up for the best chance of success!
September 2, 2021