Well, I won’t just term this as a myth, but more of a misconception or confusion in the minds of many people, specially pertaining to health and fitness. This confusion & fear has been spread more by some trainers and nutrition gurus, on social media.
But to clear such myths, I have always told people to go to its origin. Mostly such myths originate from a wrong observation. This one, has come from the in-season or pre-competition timing of bodybuilders or physique athletes, which undergo a very strict regime of diet during this period. They deplete themselves of carbohydrates, eat very little fat, and eventually even restrict sodium and water. This is all done to get the perfect dry and ripped conditioning on the final day of the competition.
During these days, the food intake of these athletes become quite strict and bland. Their aim is to have proper nutrition intake, and not taste. So, they consume things which are pretty raw and as bland as possible, like egg whites, boiled chicken, raw salads, fruits etc.
But the question is how many people in the world are competitive bodybuilders, that too in the pre-competition stage? The problem occurs when these bodybuilders automatically turn trainers, with no idea that there is a huge difference in being a sportsman and being a coach.
Prescribing everyone single body part or bodybuilding style workouts, suggesting absolutely bland diets which have no relation to health whatsoever, prescribing anabolics and tons of useless supplements irrespective of the goals, age and medical condition of an individual etc. all come under the gamut of bogus recommendations by these coaches.
Eating boiled chicken is not a problem for a bodybuilder pre-competition, but for anyone else its absolutely stupid and unnecessary. A person who even has the basic idea about nutrition will not do such a thing. But these stupid advices are commonly seen in Indian gyms and in many other countries around the world.
To bust this myth I do not need any nutrition comparison chart. We eat food, not individual nutrients. Reference to charts is fine to have basic information, but considering them as the gospel of nutrition knowledge, is stupidity.
Chicken is a delicacy in many cultures and there are hundreds of ways one can prepare chicken. Different cultures relish different cuisines which have their own unique taste, way of preparation, mix of spices and herbs and different ways of cooking.
Some cultures eat food which is very mildly spiced for e.g. Mediterranean and a lot of European cuisine, and yet others eat a very rich cuisine like South Asian, specially Indian cuisine. India has the richest mix of culture in the world, and there are thousands of ways in which chicken is cooked in Indian households, with no two dishes tasting the same.
With that much diversity, imagine someone eating bland, boiled chicken with just a little salt, without any reason. The only one given to them is that this would help you lose weight. This, as we discussed, is due to the age old belief, that because this is what bodybuilders eat in competition season, and that’s why they lose fat and get so ripped.
The level of stupidity doesn’t end here. Most people are being prescribed not just boiled chicken but an entire diet which actually resembles a competition diet i.e. chicken breast, broccoli, salads, no carbs, no milk products and you name it . This is along with tons of fat burners, stimulants & other useless supplements and may be anabolics to go with it.
Stay away from such misleading information, before you blindly start following such advice. Nutrition for sports and competitions is totally different from nutrition for health, fitness and longevity. Humans thrive on taste and good food is a pleasure of life. Good food does not mean junk or extremely calorie dense spicy dishes every day. It means the local food which your ancestors have been consuming since centuries and you have been enjoying since your childhood.
Please understand, that you do not need any boiled chicken, or boiled vegetables or any such bland foods at any point of your life. Cook your food properly and use mild spices, the way you have been using. The precaution is from using extreme amount of spices, and oil.
For e.g. here is a difference in mildly spiced chicken made at home, as compared to gravy, spice and oil rich chicken you get from outside. That’s not healthy. To make it short, there is a difference in chicken and butter chicken. Eating chicken is no problem, but butter chicken surely is.
Spices are a powerhouse of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The world is crazy for Indian spices, and here we are, throwing our gemstones away to collect other’s rocks. Cooking chicken with mild spices, and little of oil/fat of high quality like ghee, butter, coconut oil, mustard oil, along with vegetables like onion, garlic, tomato, coriander etc. will not just take the taste to a different dimension, but provide you with tons of health benefits.
If you are a sportsman and are consuming chicken regularly, this is still the best way to consume chicken. But this is not just one way. There are hundreds of ways you can cook chicken and there are so many healthy recipes available online both Indian and western, that you can relish different tastes every time you eat, and at the same time benefit from its amazing health effects.
So, anyone who wants to relish chicken for health and taste, just enjoy cooked chicken with spices. Even for bodybuilders, the need to eat bland & boiled chicken is just couple of weeks before the competition. Otherwise just enjoy it like everyone else does.