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 😉) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.