There is so much conflicting health and wellness information on the internet, it’s often difficult to determine what is fact and what is fiction.
As we wrap up the last month of 2023, I thought it would be fun to debunk some common health and wellness myths.
Myth #1 – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
While breakfast can provide essential nutrients and kickstart metabolism for some people, its significance varies based on individual lifestyle, preferences, and metabolic patterns.
Research shows mixed results regarding the direct impact of breakfast on weight management and overall health. Some studies show that eating breakfast is necessary to break the overnight “fast” and jump start the metabolism. By not doing so, the body remains in fat storing mode.
Other studies show there are significant benefits to having breakfast, including improved mental clarity and energy levels. These benefits can make it more desirable to be active in the morning. Having a consistent morning workout has been linked to weight loss / maintenance, a happier disposition, and a reduction in heart disease and stroke. Some studies show that individuals who exercise first thing in the morning are more likely to make better choices throughout the day.
Some individuals do not feel hunger in the morning. A cup of coffee or tea may suffice. Intermittent fasting or delaying the first meal of the day may be preferred. However, it’s important to note that delaying or avoiding breakfast should never be a reason to overeat at lunch. If this is consistently occurring, it is recommended to have a snack in the morning, such as a piece of fruit, to avoid being overly hungry later in the day.
What matters most is your overall dietary pattern and how well it aligns with your body’s needs. Listening to your body and focusing on balanced nutrition throughout the day is paramount. It’s about finding what works best for you and supports your overall health goals.
Myth #2 – Skipping meals can help you lose weight
Skipping meals is not the answer to losing weight. It robs the body of essential nutrients that are needed for the body to function properly.
Skipping meals causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels, depleting energy, and can be very dangerous for individuals with diabetes. It can also compromise gut health and the immune system.
Skipping meals can be linked to weight gain, due to the body storing fat for energy, and not receiving enough nutrients to run efficiently. I have witnessed this with many of my clients. When weight loss becomes minimal or non-existent, it can be attributed to not eating enough of the right foods, as opposed to eating too much in general. I tell clients they will most likely be eating more in volume when they are eating the right foods (ex: fruits, vegetable, whole grains, and lean protein). Think of it as putting oil in your car. Your car may run with a low amount of oil, but, if not replenished, will eventually burn up the engine.
Myth #3 – If you don’t feel sore the day after a workout, it means you didn’t work out hard enough
This is not necessarily true. While muscle soreness after a workout, especially when starting a new routine or increasing intensity, is common, it’s not a requirement for gaining health benefits.
Consider swimming. Unless you’re a competitive swimmer, it’s unlikely you’ll feel sore after swimming, as there is less stress on the joints, muscles, and tendons. However, swimming has excellent cardiac benefits in addition to building lean muscle.
Walking is another great source of exercise. You may not feel muscle soreness if walking frequently and on similar terrain, but you receive cardiac and muscle toning benefits.
Myth #4 – Vitamin C prevents a cold
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports the immune system. Although there is not enough substantiated evidence to support that vitamin C prevents colds or other viruses, some studies show that taking vitamin C regularly can decrease the duration of cold symptoms by about 10%.
Other studies have shown that increasing doses of vitamin C and Zinc, when first exhibiting symptoms of a cold, have been known to reduce the duration or severity of the cold.
It’s crucial to note that while vitamin C is water-soluble and excess amounts are usually excreted through urine, consistently consuming high does can have potential risks and side effects for some individuals, especially if consumed over an extended period of time. Consult with a healthcare professional before taking high doses of vitamin C.
Myth #5 – You can catch up on your sleep
There is a common misconception that you can have minimal sleep (5 hours or less per night) during the workweek and “catch up” by getting 10 hours or more on the weekend. This is not true. Your body needs between 7-8 hours per night in order to function properly. It’s also important to have a consistent sleep schedule throughout the week, meaning, going to bed and waking at roughly the same time every day.
In my best-selling book, From Burnout to Best Life, how to take charge of your health & happiness, I bust additional myths, including:
- Carbs are Unhealthy and Should be Eliminated From the Diet
- People With High Cholesterol Should Stay Away From High Cholesterol Foods, Especially Eggs
- Muscle Weights More Than Fat
- The Best Type of Activity is Cardio, as it Burns More Calories
To learn more: From Burnout to Best Life-book by Lisa Hammett
If you have a health and wellness myth you’d like debunked, or to schedule a complementary discussion on how to maximize potential and transform for a balanced, happier & impactful life, please email me at email@example.com