Diet Myths

On todays post boys and girls I thought we would talk about some diet myths.

The diet industry rakes in billions of dollars a year. From what’s sold in grocery stores to what your neighbor is pedaling, it’s all aimed at a specific need…..

Over weight people looking for the secret sauce to lose weight.

Diet culture perpetuates so many harmful myths that can lead to disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with your body and food.

The diet industry pushes so many ideas that people feed on ( pun intended, sorry πŸ˜‰) I thought we would take a look at some of these myths.

The reality is, weight loss is science. Every person needs a certain amount of calories to live. They need a certain amount if they are more active or less if they’re not. Whatever your caloric need, if you reduce them, you will most likely lose weight.

You don’t need cleanses or detoxes

Have mercy. When I see ads for this, or posts of people asking about them or the “best” ones to do, or worse, selling them, my eyes just wanna roll outta my head.

Just say no.

Our bodies are amazingly made. They have an incredible detox system called the liver and kidneys. They do a spectacular job from the day you’re born til the day you die. Putting your body through a “cleanse” will probably make you miserable, lighten your bank account and have no long term sustainability to it. Doing a cleanse doesn’t kick start your weight loss or make you “healthier “. Yeah you may drop some water weight ( big deal) but it won’t contribute to real weight loss. Run from anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

You need to eat a lot less

Actually, no. Sometimes people are so restrictive with their food they lose slowly or hardly at all. Really, you probably need more calories than you realize to sustain daily living and lose weight. Eating to little can hinder weight loss. Wanting to gain more muscle? Then you really need to eat and know exactly how many macros you need in your day.

You have to skip meals

Really you shouldn’t skip meals. And a meal doesn’t have to be something “big” it just needs to be something small and healthy. Eating regular meals keeps your blood sugar levels steady, keeps hunger at bay and hopefully keeps you from devouring your “real” meal because you’re so hungry.

Eat real food

1200 calories are for everyone

Um….no they’re not. That is such a low calorie diet that you are guaranteed to be hungry. Not to mention, no one will fit into a standard cookie cutter diet. Our needs are all different.

For instance when I would be in the heaviest part of marathon training my calories were obviously quite a bit higher than days I wasn’t training. The same applies to you. Every day could be different depending on your activity level. Find an accurate BMR ( basal metabolic rate) calculator. This will help you determine your personal caloric needs based on your lifestyle. Use this as a guide for food intake. You can adjust to maintain, or reduced by 10% to help with weight loss.

You have to exercise to lose weight

Oh yeah, the diet world will tell you in fact, the more, the better. Feel the burn and all that right? Exercise off last nights dinner or the dessert you had.

Here’s the reality. Exercise is great. It’s wonderful for your body and mind. It makes you feel good. It can help with weight loss. But really, it’s what you put in, or don’t put in your mouth that largely contributes to it. If your diet is awful weight loss will be a struggle. You need to start with your nutrition for successful weight lost. And please remember, you can’t “work off” food you’ve eaten.

Start your day right

You have to cut out food groups

Please don’t. Unless you have a need to do so, for your health, your body benefits from nutrients found in all food groups. There are no “bad” food groups so stay away from programs that demonize them.

Sugar is evil

Listen let’s be honest. Sugar isn’t bad, a drug or some horrible toxin. You know where the problem is for some people? Their personal control issues with it. Understanding the “why” of their excessive consumption is the first step to dealing with it.

Healthy foods are more expensive

Not really. You can buy lean meats and lots of fruits and veggies for reasonable prices. Learn to shop seasonable items and stock up on sales. Frozen or canned are good options too. Buying less healthy foods or foods that don’t offer as many nutrients are just as pricey.

Slimming pills and teas

No. These things promise unrealistic goals and in reality will only leave you hungry, frustrated and giving up. Not only that pills can have adverse effects on your heart and metabolic system. And please stay away from programs that have you spending tons of money on all of their pills and supplements and eating very little food.

No snacks or treats

We’ve all either been that person or seen them at a meal or party. They are “dieting ” and have restricted all fun things. They do not allow themselves anything enjoyable on their quest to lose a few pounds. The sad part is, this isn’t sustainable as we want to enjoy life and food is a part of that. Instead what works is eating a normal balanced diet and enjoying a reasonable treat. It won’t sabotage your weight loss effort. Allowing favorite foods can help you reach your goals.

Allowing favorite treats should be part of a healthy food plan

Carbs are bad for you

No, they aren’t. But you need to understand there are two types of carbs.

Complex carbs are good and essential for energy and mental clarity. They are found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes etc

Simple carbs are what you need to limit in your daily diet. These are found in things like cookies, crackers, chips, sodas, baked goods, sugary drinks, fast foods and more.

Build your daily nutrition around healthy complex carbs to help with weight loss, energy and mental clarity.

You have to be hungry to lose weight

Hunger is a natural body signal so we know when we should eat. Feeding our body is the only appropriate response. Withholding food, or restricting what you eat is disordered thinking and not good for your body.

In conclusion

As you can see, diet myths aren’t an exhaustive list. To be successful it helps to:

Start small. Don’t attempt it all at once.

Find good foods you love, that satisfy you, and build on that.

Remember there are no “quick fixes ” weight loss is a slow and steady in reverse process.

Do exercise you enjoy that makes you feel good and do it several times a week.

Be patient with yourself. Love yourself. Celebrate big victories and small ones. Look for “nonscale” wins like more energy, inches lost, lifting heavier weights, or just feeling better about yourself.

With some common sense, daily discipline and smart choices you will hit your goals while you dodge the myths.

Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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