Monday, March 15

Dispelling the Myths

Let’s get the “I thought I heard from a friend who had a cousin who heard on the news one time” beliefs that affect the decisions we make out of the way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a horrible decision thinking the whole time that I was making a good one.

I can lose weight just by cutting my calories—I don’t really need to exercise.

You could just cut your calories. But if you’re not using or building your muscles, you’ll lose weight from both fat and muscle mass. For every ten pounds you lose, four of those pounds will be from muscle mass which will cause your metabolism to slow. And, no, lifting weights and building muscle will not make you gain weight (well, it might, but only if you’re starting out at a pretty healthy weight).

I should simply cut as much fat as possible from my foods.

There is such a thing as “healthy fat.” Healthy fats counter act much of the damage from the bad fats we consume. Even some fats with a bad reputation (like saturated fats) are an important component of nutrition.

Nutrition bars or protein bars can help me lose weight.

I hate to break it to you, but there’s no silver bullet for losing weight. Even if there was, nutrition bars wouldn’t be it. Most nutrition bars are primarily carbohydrates, which will spike your blood sugar. Your blood sugar will then drop quickly: you’ll be hungry and looking for more carbs. Even some protein bars can have five times more carbohydrates than protein. Wouldn’t that make it a carb bar?

All natural and organic foods are better and healthier for you.

Just because a food touts that it is organic and all natural doesn’t mean it is also good for you. Guess what? Fat is organic. Sugar is natural. Both can be consumed in very natural foods, but you definitely don’t want to overload on them simply because of that.

Eating late in the evening will make you gain extra weight.

It doesn’t matter when you eat your calories in a day: your body will process what you eat in the same way no matter what time of day it is. However, we need to be aware of how the time of day affects the choices we make. You may find that you eat a lot of sweets in the evening. If so, you may want to cut out eating altogether after a certain time of day in order to avoid the temptation.

I can diet and exercise, lose some weight, and then go back to how I ate and lived before.

Did you even listen to yourself as you said that? Somebody is in denial… No! You need to make lifelong changes, which is why those changes need to be realistic. Some fad diet will only help you in the short term.

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