Sunday, December 5, 2010

Breaking The Myths

Hello fitness lovers! And soon-to-be fitness lovers! (Hey, I'm not discriminative and I don't want to leave anyone out! I'm sure sooner or later if you keep reading this blog I'll convert you to the healthier side of the road! :) ) It's December 2010, we've got less than 30 days before the new year and whether you're just recently new to healthy living (i.e. - eating a healthy diet and incorporating a regular fitness routine), you've been doing it for years or you've decided to make getting healthy your new year's resolution for 2011, I'm sure you've already been a victim to believing some common myths or misconceptions of dieting. Don't worry, you're not alone, I was a victim of hearing and believing the hype, too. From downing your weight in water to loading up on grapefruit, there's a long list of tricks and tips that promise to help you drop those extra pounds. It's now time to separate the fact from fiction and be a victim no longer! This post will be all about stating and breaking common diet myths in order to help you end this year and start the new upcoming year right! 

10 Diet Myths That Won't Go Away

1. Myth: Calories eaten after 8 p.m. turn to fat. This has to be the number one, biggest myth out there! I can't tell you how many times I've heard this!
Fact: The reality is this is an urban legend and the fact of the matter is, if you eat more calories than your body burns in a day, the excess calories will be stored as fat. Whether you consume them during 'Good Morning America' or 'Letterman' doesn't matter; there is no connection between calories and the clock. I know a lot of people have been taught the opposite, but I'm hear to tell you, don't believe the hype! I am now maintaining my weight but even while I was in the process of eating less in order to lose weight, I often ate at 9, 10 or even 11 p.m. (still do to this day) and NEVER GAINED WEIGHT! The idea that anything eaten after 8 p.m. will turn into fat is ridiculous and just not true!  The key to losing weight is counting calories and burning more than you consume in a 24 hour period. In other words, it doesn't matter what time during that 24 hours that you eat, as long as you're keeping track of your calories and only eating the certain amount you've allowed for yourself YOU CAN EAT ANYTIME YOU WANT! I get so sick of people spreading this myth around. A lot of people go to bed starving and wake up eating way more calories than should be consumed believing this myth. Now, I don't want to knock whatever eating routine you have going. If not eating after 8 p.m. works for you, keep with it, but just know, if you happen to have to eat after 8 p.m. it's NOT going to harm your diet in anyway!

2. Myth: To jump-start your diet, you should fast.
Fact: The truth? Skipping meals for extended periods of time is actually the best way to sabotage a diet. Though fasting may temporarily help you lose weight, it's predominantly water weight. Fasting is not recommended because not eating for extended periods can cause fatigue and dizziness. Ultimately, fasting usually accomplishes two things, It makes you hungry and leaves you feeling deprived. Once you become over-hungry, all common sense is lost, and you're bound to make high-calorie, high-fat choices in that state of mind. Furthermore, feeling deprived tends to lead to binging when you do eat again. So really, the more you don't eat, the more likely you are to overeat in the end.

3. Myth: Low-carb (high protein) diets are the most effective route to weight loss. I'll be the first to admit, I believed and adopted this myth into my diet for a long time. Whenever I stopped bread and anything "white" (pasta, potatoes, ... you know the deal) I always lost weight, so I just assumed this was true.
Fact: Before you ban bread altogether, consider this: Although preliminary research suggests that obese people can lose more weight on a low-carb diet than on a conventional low-fat diet, the benefits appear to be small and may be short-lived. One year long study comparing low-carb dieters to low-fat dieters found that low-carbers began regaining the weight they lost after six months. By the end of the year, they were no better off than the low-fat group. What's more,
the dropout rate among both groups was extremely high. It really is about the calories and striking a balance between what you consume and what you burn. To do that for the long haul, you have to choose a diet that is sustainable. And permanently cutting out entire food groups doesn't qualify.

4. Myth: Eating white foods is bad for you. Ha, ha! As I said in the above myth, I believed this to be true, too, but the joke was on me!
Fact: Don't judge a food by its color. Some of the best foods for you are actually white. The color of a food has nothing to do with its nutritional value and it's not always an indication of how processed the food is either. Think bananas, pears and garlic, all of which pack a nutritional punch and are also naturally white. Instead of focusing on the color of the food, you need to consider what else it delivers in deciding whether to eat it. Find out what nutrients and vitamins it has. And look at the list of ingredients to determine how highly processed it is. Even a processed food, such as cake mix, doesn't have to be a diet wrecker as long as you eat it in moderation.

5. Myth: Drinking lots of water will help you lose weight. Now this is a biggie! We've all heard it a billion times and almost every diet or nutrition book suggests this.
Fact: It's true that if your daily drinking habits consist of sweetened teas, juice drinks and sodas, then replacing them with water can result in consuming fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss. But simply upping your water intake WILL NOT help you shed pounds! Though drinking water may make your belly temporarily feel fuller, you have to remember that hunger is not simply a function of your stomach - your body is crying out for nutrients in food, so filling up on water won't satisfy you for long. Of course staying hydrated is important for maintaining your overall energy and body functioning, but contrary to popular belief, drinking it in excess won't boost your metabolism or flush away fat.

6. Myth: When you're on a diet, drinking juice is a no-no. Gotta' admit, I subscribed to this one for a long time.
Juice gets such a bad rap these days, but the truth is, juice isn't inherently bad for you, provided you're actually drinking 100% JUICE - NOT A JUICE DRINK. Juice drinks are loaded with added sugar and preservatives. So check the label to be sure you're only reaching for 100% juice. Because juice is much more concentrated than fruit, you need much less of it. Limit yourself to 4-ounce servings of juice. And whenever possible, choose whole fruit over juice because fruit contains fiber, which fills you up and is left behind when you extract the juice.

7. Myth: All sugar is bad for you.
Fact: When it comes to the sweet stuff, not all sugar is created equal. Food labels don't distinguish between added sugar and sugar that was naturally in the food to begin with. For example, most dieters wouldn't consider eating canned fruit because of the grams of sugar listed on the label. However, if it's packaged in its own juice, then you're just eating the sugar that was already in the fruit. Lots of good-for-you foods naturally have sugar in them, such as low-fat milk. Instead of looking at the grams of sugar on the nutrition label, read the ingredient list. Foods containing items like high fructose corn syrup should be kept to a minimum.

8. Myth: Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat.
Fact: If only it were that easy! The real deal? When you do aerobic exercise, your body is burning fat as well as carbohydrate stores from food you've recently eaten. So if you skip your pre-workout meal or snack, you won't have carb stores to burn. But that doesn't mean you'll burn all fat, instead, your body starts to burn its own muscle for fuel. And less muscle means lower metabolism - not the goal of any dieter. Not to mention that exercising on empty means you'll probably be too tired to go all out, which translates into burning fewer calories during your workout than if you had properly fueled up beforehand. Ideally, you should have a meal three or four hours before a workout, or a snack one to two hours before exercising.

9. Myth: Drinking liquid meal replacements will help shrink your stomach.
Fact: No way! Any shrinking that happens from a liquid diet is likely to be in your imagination, NOT in your stomach! Why? Your stomach is a muscular organ that will stretch temporarily when you eat, and then return back to its normal size. There is nothing you can eat or drink that will "shrink" your stomach.

10. Myth: Eating grapefruit will help you burn fat.
Fact: That eating grapefruits will help you lose weight is one of the most persistent among diet myths -- and just when you think it's gone, it resurfaces and becomes all the rage again every few years. There is no food that has intrinsic "fat-burning enzymes" that magically melt fat from your body. If you want to eat grapefruit as part of a well-rounded diet, go for it, they're rich in lycopene - an antioxidant that protects against heart disease and breast cancer. Incorporate it and other lycopene-rich foods, such as tomatoes and watermelon, into your diet each day, but don't expect it to help you burn any fat.

So that's it! 10 common diet myths, BROKEN! How many were you a victim of believing? For me, quite a few. And this is only 10 myths but there are many, many more! With so much misleading diet/nutrition information out there it's easy to get confused, but now ya' know the truth! So keep this in mind when continuing or starting your healthy lifestyle!

Source(s): "10 Diet Myths That Won't Go Away" from

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