There are so many confusing health messages that are making us become over weight and suffer illnesses that should be avoidable.

Here are a few myths out there:

1.Artificial sweeteners help you lose weight

False!

These include products such as diet sodas, sugar free gum and most energy drinks.

Artificial sweeteners are both toxic and addictive and do not promote good health. They confuse the body causing it to react in two detrimental ways: (1) as your body gets use to them, you crave sweet things but your satiety hormones are suppressed. You lose the ability to recognise when you are full or satisfied; or (2) your body experiences insulin spikes due to the sweeteners that leads to metabolic disorders such as weight gain.

Instead of using sweeteners a better option is using honey or have drinks containing natural sugars.

2.Workout for hours and you will get the body of your dreams

False!

Overtraining can lead to adrenal (organ that produces hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol) fatigue, which may lead to hormonal imbalances. Cortisol is a stress hormone which when not regulated correctly by the body can lead to weight gain.

The trick is to exercise smarter with adequate rest in order to allow the body to recharge.

You can change your hormonal balance and burn off fat in a short time by doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) and by doing deep muscle resistance training. Why not sign up for our HIIT sessions in the park

3.Low fat/fat-free is the way forward because fat will make you fat.

False!

Fat free foods are usually loaded with sugar. Having these may in turn lead to excess sugar in your diet, which will result in fat storage.

You should not be afraid of fat particularly good fats found in foods such avocado, flaxseed, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and oily fish such as salmon.

Good fats are essential to give your body energy and to support healthy cell growth. Good fats also keep you fuller for longer and produce blood sugar stabalisation. Without these we miss out on vital nutrients (such as vitamins A, D and E) and essential fatty acids (omega 3’s), which are needed to protect the body from all kinds of conditions such as heart disease, cancers, immune system deficiencies, arthritis, skin complaints and menopausal symptoms.

4.If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight

False!

The same way we have no direct control of our cardiovascular system, we also have no direct control over our metabolism, but we can influence how it functions. Metabolism is far more complex than calories in, calories out. The body’s prime faction is to survive and it will therefore hold on to fat stored if it believes it is being starved. If you eat whole foods you are more likely to feel fuller for longer and gain more nutrients. Focusing on the quality of food you have will improve how effective your metabolism functions.

5.Eat three meals a day and don’t snack

False!

We must eat every three to four hours to keep our blood sugar levels stable.

Stable blood sugar is the key to good weight management. This helps to curb cravings, speeds up the metabolism and helps to control your mood.

Not eating for long periods of time leads the body into thinking its starving which results in it going into starvation mode, holding on to fat stores.

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Nutrition 101: Abs are Made in the Kitchen!

With advice from our health and fitness experts, this e-book will start you on your journey to eat clean and get lean.

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