Fitness, lifestyle, Nutrition

Debunking Popular Health & Fitness Myths – Part 1

By Adrianna McDonald


Sit ups are definitely great for strengthening your abdominal muscles and lower back, but they won’t melt the body fat from your abdominal area even if you do 100 a day. If your waist is a problem look into your diet as the truth is “Abs are made in the kitchen” combined with a great workout routine. The less body fat you have the more visible your abs will be. The magic lays in between the energy in and the energy out.



If your daily calories meet the requirements for the day, and your diet throughout the day is balanced, it won’t matter much when you eat them. Your resting metabolic rate doesn’t change much when you are asleep. Weight training during the day can increase your sleeping metabolic rate, resulting in greater fat oxidation while you are dreaming of a perfect beach body. Focus more on quality of carbs and the daily intake of both calories and carbs.


A lot of products labelled fat-free, sugar-free, diet, low sodium and low carb are selling very fast these days! People blindly believe that these products are healthy and can be eaten without limits. The truth is often these products which are “free” of something are full of other replacement ingredients: artificial sweeteners, salt, MSG, artificial flavors and crazy additives. These highly processed foods create increased hunger, less satisfaction from eating and consistent cravings thus making you eat more.


Egg yolks are seen as the bad boys in eggs and are often removed from most dieters’ menus. I still see people asking for egg-white omelets. The poor youlkies got a bad rep for increasing cholesterol levels, promoting heart disease, and wreaking havoc on your waistline. But you should know that they come with nutritional benefits and taste better. One whole egg contains around 7 grams of complete protein, and it is a great source of heart-healthy omega-3s, B vitamins, and choline. Unless you are eating 20 eggs a day there is no need to remove the yolk.


This is still by far the most popular myth amongst many women who are scared to lift some weights as they don’t want to turn into “HULK”. Unfortunately cardio on it’s own burns away fat and muscle, leaving you with a “floppy “ body. Combining strength training with a healthy diet will give you better results. Weight training builds lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and burns more fat in shorter time, and continues to burn fat while you are resting.



7 Reasons Why Governments (and you!) Should Take Action Against Sugar

This week the British Medical Association announced plans to propose a 20% tax on sugary drinks with the funds levied to be used to subsidise the sale of fruit and vegetables. Of course, their proposal is based on a detailed research, the report of which found that poor diet costs UK’s National Health Services 6 billion pounds a year and results in 70,000 deaths.

Sweet tooth: This graphic shows how many teaspoons of sugar are in each of the fizzy drinks and sugar-laden juices above. Doctors will today demand that sugary drinks be taxed at 20 per cent to tackle the obesity crisis

We are drowning in a world of sugar. Image Copyright: Daily Mail

Should this tax be imposed it is estimated that the number of obese people in the UK will go down by 180,000. The success of such a tax has been seen in Mexico, which was the first country to introduce a similar levy in 2014. Other countries who have already applied a ‘sugar tax’ include France, Finland and Hungary.

However, the British Government and Food Industry Federation are against the tax, claiming it will hit the poorest people. Clearly, the problem of regulating sugar has no simple solution, yet many studies have shown undeniable links between it and health problems.


Photo credit: Uwe Hermann

So here are 7 reasons why governments (and you!) should put up a fight against sugar:

  1. Sugar is highly addictive as it activates the same parts of the brain as drugs.
  2. It is the root of many health problems, not just insulin resistance and diabetes.
  3. Sugar messes up your hormones and has a fat-promoting effect (=risk of obesity)
  4. In fact, sugar can (indirectly) cause cancer! A high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer (oh and by the way, cancer cells feed on sugar, just like bacteria and parasites).
  5. Sugar is much more harmful than saturated fat – studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise bad cholesterol (LDL) in as little as 10 weeks.
  6. It puts a lot of stress on the liver, as it is the only organ that processes this sweet poison. Excess sugar is turned into fat, some of which remains in the liver causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  7. Other sugar-induced issues include: fatigue, uncontrollable cravings, brain fog and aging skin.

The Take Home Message:

Don’t confuse sugar with actual fuel / energy sources. If you are tired  have a coffee – you will not experience the post-sugar crash. If you need fuel for a tough workout opt for carbs as muscles don’t feed on sugar (which is processed in the liver). In reality, sugar (especially the one added to commercial foods) has no nutritional value so you are better off with fresh fruit, dark chocolate and spices like cinnamon. If you really can’t survive without adding some sugar, then opt for stevia and try to consume no more than 7 teaspoons of the white stuff a day.