There is so much contradictory information out there on what we “should” do for our health and wellness. The wellness industry is flooded with all kinds of articles and research that claim to be the next it thing. But there is some old, outdated advice that just doesn’t seem to disappear no matter how hard we try. And honestly, I feel like it gets a new facelift every couple of years – carefully disguised as something new, but really it’s just the same old diet.
The problem with this old news advice is that it actually quietly sabotages us. Sure, you might get some results when you first start off, but over the long term, they slowly become less and less realistic in our lives and then we slowly feel our energy starting to wane.
It’s tough too because we don’t understand why it’s not “working” anymore. We blame ourselves. We think we’re just not disciplined enough or we need to get back on it to reclaim our energy. This is what diet culture would have us believe. We’re failing. We aren’t disciplined enough. If it worked before, it will work again and it’s our fault it’s not.
Now, this isn’t exactly a post about diet culture, but it is important to note that this is the cycle we find ourselves in meanwhile we’re getting more and more tired and not sure what is happening. We reach for what we’ve heard. What we believe are the tried and true ways to get back to feeling great. But they’re not doing what we need them to, otherwise, we’d all be bouncing around town with boundless energy, right?
Let’s debunk the myths that are slowly sabotaging your natural energy.
Going Low Carb: Yes, this includes the ever popular Ketogenic diet. Quick disclaimer, the ketogenic diet can have incredible therapeutic results for many people, especially those that have type II diabetes, epileptics, and certain cancers. Now, last time I checked, most of us don’t have this – so I just do not understand why everyone is jumping on this keto bandwagon. The only reason I can think is that it’s a diet and people lose weight on it – thus feeding this diet culture that we’re all entrapped in.
Anyways, low carb diets actually deprive our bodies of our most efficient and abundant energy source in the body – glucose. GASP! Did I just say, glucose – the devil?! Carbs are not the devil that they are made out to be. There are various sources of carbohydrates well beyond white bread and cupcakes. Did you know that fiber is a category of carbohydrates? And it’s what keeps our energy in check and sustained? When we cut out carbs, we also cut out other essential nutrients that we need for our energy. So, going low carb, although praised around town, quite literally can suck the energy out of you.
Low-Fat Diets: Despite what you may have heard out there, we need fat in order to live. It’s one of the major macronutrients. Fat gets a bad rap (similar to carbs) and everything is low fat. This is becoming a little less popular, but it’s still old diet advice, that was completely debunked in a New York Times article back in 2016 exposing that the sugar industry actually paid the researchers off to point the finger at fat instead of sugar. Yeah, I know. Wild. But it’s true. And you know what all your low-fat foods replaced the fat with…? You guessed it, sugar! Regardless of being completely lied to for years, that’s not even the point. The point is, fat is fuel for our brain. We need great quality fat in order to thrive, think sharp, and be on our “A” game. So, going low fat takes away our brain food and I’m not sure about you, but I want/need all the brain power I can get.
Exercising too much or not at all: So, this one is a bit tricky. We can get too much of a good thing. Moving our body is essential, but sometimes we can fall into the category of using it as our safety net and we can overdo it, especially when it’s coupled with number 4 below. When we exercise too much and don’t allow our body time to rest between/do restorative classes, we put our body in a consistent state repair. When our body is in repair mode, it’s focused on just that, repairing the muscles. It’s not focused on giving you the energy to go about your day.
On the flip side, when we don’t move at all (simply walking 30 minutes a day is enough!), we get better blood circulation throughout the body, increase our moods (can’t help but think of Elle Woods – haha), and it improves the way the body processes and regulates our blood sugar. Managing our blood sugar is a major component in maintaining our energy levels!
Calorie Restriction: Ok, this is a big one and very simple, but needs to be said. When we restrict our caloric intake, we also restrict our nutrient intake. We need nutrients for literally every process in the body. When we reduce our calories, we reduce our nutrients and therefore sucks the energy out of our body. Think about it this way, if our body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, it’s naturally going to do everything it can to just get by. We fall into a survival mode rather than thriving mode. We want to thrive, not just survive. So, stop restricting your calories. This advice is INCREDIBLY outdated and harmful long term. First of all, not all calories function the same throughout the body, so if you want to count anything – count nutrients, not calories. You’ll be surprised how many calories you’ll need to consume to get all those nutrients you need throughout the day.
Allow this post to give you permission to say… no thanks and leave all of this nonsense in the past. Next week, we’ll dig into what you can do instead – and you’ll be surprised by how simple it can all be.
I would love to hear from you, how are you going to step away from these myths that are holding you back?
Keep Learning >>> Read the next post on Three Steps You Can take to increase your energy and snag the FREE action guide. Click here to learn more.