Several myths regarding exercise and nutrition

Do you find that deciding what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, and how much exercise you need each day is overwhelming? If so, don't give up because you're not the only one. It can be challenging to determine what to do and which information to believe when faced with so many options and alternatives. By adjusting your regular routines for eating and exercising, you may be able to improve your wellbeing and achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Several myths regarding exercise and nutrition

Fact: If you're trying to lose weight, you don't have to give up all of your favorite foods. You might include a small amount of your favorite high-calorie items in your weight-loss regimen. Just keep an eye on how many calories you consume overall. You must expend more calories than you consume through food and beverages if you want to lose weight.

TIP: Restricting calorie-dense foods may aid in weight loss. Based on a person's age, sex, and amount of physical activity, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025 External link have calculated daily calorie needs.

Myth: Foods made from grains, such bread, pasta, and rice, make you fat. They should be avoided.

Although choosing whole grains over refined grains is healthier and may make you feel fuller, grains themselves aren't always bad or fatty. The American Dietary Guidelines, 2020–2025 Grain consumption is advised as a component of a healthy diet in the external link. You should consume whole grains at least half the time. Brown rice and whole-wheat products like bread, cereal, and pasta are examples of whole grains. Iron, fiber, and other vital elements are found in whole grains.

Try switching to whole-wheat bread instead of refined or white bread and whole-wheat pasta in place of refined pasta. Or include healthy grains in mixed meals, such brown rice in place of white rice when making stir-fries. Visit ChooseMyPlate for further advice on how to include whole grains. your eating plan's external connection.

Myth: Choosing gluten-free meals will make you eat healthier.


If you do not have celiac disease or are not sensitive to gluten, eating foods free of gluten does not make you healthier. Wheat, barley, and rye grains contain the protein known as gluten. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are likely to be prescribed a gluten-free dietary regimen by a medical expert. You risk depriving yourself of the vitamins, fiber, and minerals you require if you eliminate gluten despite the fact that you don't have these health issues. A gluten-free diet is not meant to aid in weight loss and is not a diet.

If you think you have issues, speak with your doctor before you decide to cut out an entire food group.

after consuming foods or beverages that contain wheat, barley, or rye.

MythIf you want to be healthy or reduce weight, you should stay away from any fat.


if you want to lose weight or improve your health, you don't have to completely eliminate all fats. A healthy eating plan should include fat since it supplies vital nutrients. However, since fats have more calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrates, or "carbs," you must limit your intake of fats to prevent consuming additional calories. Eat small portions of foods with healthy fats, like avocados, olives, or almonds, if you're attempting to lose weight. You could also use low-fat cheese or milk in place of whole-fat cheese. Learn how much food is plenty for you by reading about serving sizes.

Myth: Dairy products are unhealthy and fattening.

Dairy products provide calcium to strengthen bones and the protein your body needs to develop muscles and maintain healthy organ function, making them an essential food group. Since many Americans don't consume enough of these nutrients, vitamin D is usually added to dairy products like milk and some yogurts to aid in the body's utilization of calcium. Less calories are contained in dairy products prepared from fat-free or low-fat milk than in those made from whole milk. Discover more about the dairy industry an external link.

Adults should consume three servings daily of fortified soy beverages, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as fat-free or low-fat dairy products like milk. 


Choose fortified soy products, lactose-free or low-lactose dairy products, or other meals and beverages containing calcium and vitamin D if you can't digest lactose, the sugar present in dairy products:

Vitamin D-fortified cereals or soy-based beverages Calcium-fortified tofu produced with calcium sulfate, canned salmon, or dark leafy greens like collards or kale.

Myth: "Going vegetarian" will enable you to slim down and improve your health.

two people preparing vegetables
According to certain studies, a vegetarian diet may be associated with lower obesity rates.
A healthy vegetarian diet or one that consists primarily of plant-based foods may be associated with lower levels of obesity, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart disease, according to some study. However, becoming a vegetarian won't help you lose weight unless you also cut back on your overall calorie intake. Some vegetarians might eat a lot of foods that are heavy in calories, sugar, and fat, for example, which could result in weight gain.


Lean meat consumption in moderation can also be a part of a balanced weight-loss or weight-maintenance strategy. The American Dietary Guidelines, 2020–2025 There is additional information about including meat in a healthy diet in the external link.

Make sure you obtain enough of the nutrients your body requires for health if you decide to follow a vegetarian diet. For more details, see Healthy Eating Tips for Vegetarians External link.

Vegetarians vary widely from one another.
There are many different kinds of vegetarian diets practiced in the United States. For instance, vegans abstain from all animal products, such as milk and eggs. In addition to plant meals, lacto-ovo vegetarians consume milk and eggs.

Some people follow primarily vegetarian diets, yet they occasionally eat modest amounts of meat, poultry, or shellfish. If you are unsure whether your diet is giving you all the nutrients you require, see a registered dietician External link or other health care provider.

Myths about Exercise

Myth: Only engaging in physical activity over extended periods of time counts.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition External link (PDF, 14.2MB), recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes, or 2 hours and 30 minutes, of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. This amount of regular physical activity does not require prolonged periods of activity. Brisk walking is a type of moderate-intensity exercise. You can spread out these sessions throughout the week and even engage in quick bursts of action for 10 minutes three times per day on five or more days of the week.


Find methods to incorporate brief periods of exercise into your day. If your schedule and job allow it, go for a 10-minute walk during your break or hold a "walking" rather than a "sitting" meeting. Take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator. Get off the bus at the next stop. Instead of going out to eat, meet a friend for a walk.

Myth: Lifting weights won't help you lose weight or enhance your health since it will cause you to "bulk up."


Lifting weights or doing other activities 2 or 3 days a week that may help you build strong muscles, such as push-ups and some types of yoga, will not bulk you up. Only intense strength training, along with certain , can build large muscles. Like other kinds of physical activity, muscle-strengthening activities will help improve your health and also may help you control your weight by increasing the amount of energy-burning muscle.

TIP: Using large rubber bands, or resistance bands, or doing sit-ups or household or yard chores that make you lift or dig, may help you build strong muscles.

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