3 Truths and myths about nutrition

There are many saying when it comes to nutrition, but they are not all true. Mostly when we talk about weight loss. Let us separate together the truth from the myths in those three frequent ones.

An increase in physical activities often brings a modification of the food preferences.

The answer is yes and no at the same time.

It is true that some people witnessed a natural difference toward healthier food habits after increasing the number of physical activities performed daily and/or the intensity of it. It might also seem normal that burning more calories makes us want to decrease our consumption of fatty aliments and raise our input in carbohydrates. Though, science is not sure yet if this is those physiological effects are due to the increase in exercise or if it is more about the new hype that people feel about getting heathier habits. What we do know is that an intense physical training will tend to lower the appetite up to two hours after the exercise.

The actual data point toward the fact that exercising has no effect on the proportion of macronutrients (protein, lipids, and carbohydrates) found in obese persons’ diet. An overweight person who eats too much fatty aliment would continue to do so even if she starts training. We cannot assure that an increase in physical activities has anything to do with a spontaneous modification of the alimentation habits.

The diet alone has more impacts on fat loss than only exercising.

The answer is yes and no.

It is common for kinesiologists to say to their clients that 80% of the weight loss is about changing your alimentation and the other 20% is about physical activities. It is often true that it is easier to eat less cake than adding sufficient exercises to your daily routine to compensate a habit of eating cake after a meal creating the needed energetic deficit to lose weight.

Though, reducing ingestion of aliments can create a lean mass (muscle) loss if an appropriate muscular training does not support the habit change. You could then lower your basic metabolism which is more important than losing fat. Basic metabolism is responsible by itself for the highest consumption of energy in your entire body and a healthy muscular mass help in maintaining it high.

Also, each body is unique. A study from Ross and his collaborator compared obese subjects with a hypo caloric diet without influencing their physical exercise habits and another group which was following a strict program of fast walking or running without any dietary change. In both cases, the daily caloric deficit was 700. The study showed that physical activity will be more efficient in lowering the fat mass (-6.1 kg and -4.8 kg) than only changing one’s diet since the latest will decrease the balance of the total wight loss, although the lean mass loss is identical.

Sports will increase your hunger.


A good way to gain control over appetite is to reach a certain threshold of energy expenditure throughout the day. At this point, appetite control should be inherent instead of extrinsic.

The simple availability of food and how tasty it looks should influence less our choices than our real energetic needs.

People who do not reach that threshold through physical activity will be more inclined to get a positive energetic result and gain weight. Furthermore, their appetite will be harder to manage.

On the other hand, when you go past that caloric threshold, appetite becomes easier to manage, the energetic inputs more balanced by inherent factors and proportional to the real needs and by doing so, decreasing your weight.