When you start searching for a proper diet plan, you'll encounter an astounding range of myths, rumours, and bad information regarding proper nutrition and the best ways to lose weight.
The worst myth could be the notion that diets really work. "The diet mentality really does not work". People go on and then they go off. They look at it as a quick fix. And when they go off, they gain all the weight back because they haven't really learned anything."
What really matter is that, changing your lifestyle to focus on healthy eating and controlling calorie intake, rather than following the latest fad diet. To help make that change, here's the truth behind other myths about diets and the food we eat.
- Quick weight loss is important for success. Forget quick-fix fad diets. You may lose pounds fast, but you'll pick them right back up when you drop the diet. In the meantime, you might have robbed your body of valuable nutrients and put a strain on your body from the rapid weight loss. "Healthy weight loss is one to two pounds a week". "What that says is you're changing behaviour and it's not just a quick fix. It's supposed to come off gradually because you're making changes to your lifestyle."
- Skipping meals is good. "The idea is, if I skip a meal, I'm eating less". "But what really happens when you skip a meal is you end up eating more later on." It's better to have a healthy breakfast along with four or five small meals throughout the day.
- Eating late at night will cause me to be fat. Timing doesn't affect weight gain or loss. "It's a matter of how many calories you consume during the day". "If you need to eat a late dinner due to your schedule, as long as you don't eat excess calories, you should be fine."
- Eating salad for lunch will keep me thin. "We're not rabbits". "You need to have lean protein because, without the protein included with the greens, you're going to be hungry." If you're having a salad, toss a little lean meat and cheese in with the lettuce.
- Diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates are healthy. If most of your daily calories are from eggs, cheese, and meat, you're robbing your body of important vitamins and nutrients. A reduced-calorie plan focusing on eating the right amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat works just as well.
- Dairy makes you fat. Low-fat and fat-free dairy products are just as nutritious as whole milk products, but they contain fewer calories. Milk, yogurt, and cheese also contain valuable nutrients such as protein and calcium.
- Carbohydrates are fattening. Many foods high in starch are also low in fat and calories. "Bread will not make you fat". "High fibre food can help you lose weight, but not if you eat too much or if you are putting a cream sauce on your pasta vs. veggies."
- Red meat is bad for you. Small amounts of lean meat in your diet deliver healthy nutrients such as protein, iron, and zinc. Just choose cuts that are lower in fat and trim off visible fat.
- Fast food should be completely avoided. You can enjoy fast food as part of a healthy diet - just order smart. Drink water or low-fat milk instead of soda. Order salads or grilled meats, rather than fried food. And ask for smaller amounts of such toppings as mayonnaise or salad dressing, which tend to be high in fats and calories.
To get a strong, healthy, and fit body for life, avoid the fads and forget the extremes. Making small changes gradually, and over the long haul, is the key to getting (and staying) on the right track with your weight.