Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 Diet Myths

My mom and I made a goal to go to the gym together once a week.  Which so far means that we have been lucky to make it once a week.  But hey, we are trying. 
 
I got this email from www.livestrong.com, a healthy eating and exercise site that also allows you to track the foods you eat and helps monitor how many calories you consume and use in a day.  I can even count my 8 hours in front of my computer (at work) as a little exercise!  I really like it as a way to see what I am prone to eating, and what I am lacking in my diet.  You can also track how much water you drink everyday.  I was surprised to see how little it was because I have a water bottle at work and I am constantly drinking.  Well, this article is about the top ten dieting myths. I was intrigued by the one about carbs, and about eating at night.  Please read and enjoy!
 
 
 
According to Health.com, about 80 million Americans each year go on a diet, spending $40 billion annually on weight-loss aids and programs. Since dieting takes up so much of our collective consciousness, you'd think we would know everything there is to know about the facts of weight loss. Unfortunately, this isn't true--myths about dieting abound in magazines, weight-loss books and online diet sites and are interwoven into society's conventional wisdom. One of the best ways you can get on the path to real, lasting weight loss is to identify and understand the myths and misconceptions about dieting that can keep you from getting the pounds off and keeping them off.

 

Skipping Meals

Ask most people and they will tell you that the key to losing weight for good--and the reason why they fail at dieting again and again--is to skip as many meals as possible. Eating fewer meals is good, right? Wrong. The National Institutes of Health's Weight-Control Information Network reports that skipping meals--particularly breakfast--and eating fewer meals in the day is linked to heavier weight than people who eat small meals four or five times a day, including breakfast.


Water Will Help You Lose Weight

While drinking plenty of water daily keeps you adequately hydrated, it doesn't take the place of the nutrients in food, boost your metabolism or flush out fat. If you try to lose weight simply by drinking lots of water, your body is still going to need the energy it receives from food and you won't be able to hold that need off for long.

 

Never Eat After 8 p.m.

Many people firmly believe that calories consumed late in the evening turn to fat during the night while you are sleeping. According to dietitians, however, this is incorrect: your body's digestion of food and calorie usage remains the same at any time of the day or night, and energy that is stored in the evening is simply used the next day. It isn't when you eat, but what, how much and how many of the stored calories are burned off with physical activity during the day that determines weight gain or loss.

 

Some Foods Burn Fat

There is no food that, just by you eating it, can burn fat and magically melt away pounds. Throughout the years, dieting gurus have exalted everything from grapefruit to celery to eggs to cabbage soup as the one thing you need to eat to lose all the weight you want. While all these foods are full of essential vitamins and minerals and should have a place in every healthy diet, none of them can speed up your metabolism to the point that you will lose weight.

 

Exercising While Hungry

According to the That's Fit website, exercising when you're hungry not only doesn't cause your body to burn fat exclusively, if it lacks enough available carbohydrates to burn for fuel, your body will begin to use muscle tissue instead. Burning muscle decreases your metabolism and makes weight loss less, not more, likely.

 

 

Small Meals Boost Metabolism

While the idea that simply eating a series of small meals throughout the day instead of two or three large meals can make your body burn calories faster is appealing, Real Simple reports that how you consume your daily calories has practically no effect on your metabolism. The key to upping your metabolism isn't eating a bunch of times a day, but increasing your muscle mass: a pound of muscle tissue burns seven times as many calories in a day as a pound of fat tissue.

 

Eat High-Protein, Low-Carb

According to the National Institutes of Health, a diet that focuses on high-protein foods and strictly reduces the number of grains, fruits and vegetables consumed provides unbalanced nutrition that may yield results in the short-term only because of restricted food choices, but may end up contributing to a number of health conditions, including high cholesterol, increased heart disease risk, kidney stones and gout. Additionally, That's Fit reports that, when compared to low-fat dieters, low-carb dieters lose weight quicker, but gain it back in six months and end up no thinner than their low-fat counterparts. It is also untrue that eating starchy carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes or bread is instantly turned into sugar, then stored as fat. It's extra calories that cause weight gain, not carbohydrates, which should be an essential part of every healthy diet.

 

Fad Diets Work

Going on any short-term diet that requires you to make extreme changes in your regular eating patterns or cuts your calories below recommended daily levels is not only going to be difficult to keep up over the long run, but can possibly affect your health and make you upset when the weight you lost at the beginning of the diet creeps inevitably back. There aren't any quick fixes when it comes to permanent, sustainable weight loss. The best way to get the weight off and keep it off is to make healthy changes that you can maintain for a lifetime.

 

Eating Certain Foods Makes You Fat

Just as consuming certain wonder foods won't magically melt fat off your thighs, eating other "bad" foods like nuts, red meat or dairy products aren't a guarantee that you will instantly gain weight. Nuts, lean red meat and dairy products all provide vitamins and minerals needed by your body and, in moderation, can certainly be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

 

Go Vegetarian to Lose Weight

While vegetarians overall do tend to consume fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians, it is not true that simply switching to a vegetarian diet will cause you to lose weight. There are as many ways to eat high-calorie, high-fat foods and exceed the number of calories your body needs while eating vegetarian as there are eating a more traditional diet. As with every aspect of weight loss, focus on what you eat, how much you eat of it and how much physical activity you engage in regularly.



5 comments:

Heather said...

thanks for posting that article. I am always rolling my eyes when people talk about many of these dieting myths. especially the carbs and the eating late at night.

Joe 'n Kara said...

thanks for sharing

Lisa Louise said...

awesome info! great goal that you and your mom have too!

Kathy said...

Great article Lena. We really need to make it to the gym more often. We both enjoy it while we're there. Even if "someone" doesn't always want to go!

AubGoofy said...

Thanks for the info. Very educational. Glad you posted it.