The abundance of diets is overwhelming, and it is all about myths, realities and choices. We are buried under information about diets in magazines and on the internet. When we visit with friends, discussions about diets are par for the course. However, many myths about weight loss, fitness and nutrition exist, and recognizing myths from reality is part of the challenge. Don’t ever become so desperate to lose weight that you compromise your health in the process. Diets are all about choices, and getting that right can ensure healthy weight loss.
Carbohydrates myths, realities and choices
Myth: Cutting out all carbs can guarantee weight loss.
Reality: Contrary to the common belief that carbohydrates are nothing but fattening, they are essential to sustain health. Carbs are macronutrients responsible for supplying energy to the brain. Choice — the trick is to tell good carbs from bad carbs. Leafy green vegetables, potatoes, corn, whole grain bread and legumes are good carbs because they digest slowly. They cause a satiated feeling that prevents overeating. Bad carbs include processed and refined food items like pasta made from refined grain. Also, white bread, instant noodles, cookies, pastries, ice cream and more.
Snacks are allowed
Myth: All snacks are bad for you.
Reality: Just like carbs, there are good snacks and bad snacks. Choosing deep fried, ultra-processed and sugary snacks like doughnuts and potato chips will ruin your weight loss program. However, fruits, nuts, oats, trail-mix and whole grain muffins are all healthy choices. They can still hunger pains in between meals and boost your metabolism but having small portions is crucial.
Fats, myths, realities and choices
Myth: You must avoid all fats.
Reality: Yet another choice because there are bad fats and good fats. Consuming good fats is crucial for healthy skin, and your body also uses fats in building arterial walls. Good fats in small servings include avocado, cheese and olive oil. Any fatty, oily foods and anything with lots of sweeteners or sugar are bad fats. These include pastries, candy and soda, among others.
Myth: Workouts must take place on an empty stomach.
Reality: Your body needs energy during your workout. If your stomach is empty, your body will take the necessary energy from your muscles, which will cause muscle loss. Always have a light, nutritious snack before your workout. Choose from the healthy snacks mentioned earlier.
Skipping meals when you diet
Myth: Skipping meals will speed up weight loss.
Reality: New fad diets come in a steady, almost daily supply. Regardless of the benefits advertised, starvation or intermittent diets are unhealthy. Although you might lose weight quicker, you will not maintain the weight loss. You cannot continue such a diet forever, and before you know it, the weight will be back — and more. Choosing a healthy, nutritious diet with a fitness program based on your unique needs can become a new lifestyle. Eating three balanced meals per day, with healthy snacks in between is sustainable.
Excuses or results — you choose
Of the 24 hours in a day, eight hours are for sleeping and another eight hours to spend at work. That leaves you eight hours to do what you like. Eating, family time, running errands, social media and exercise happen during this time. Experts recommend only 30 minutes of exercise per day, or 150 hours per week.
However, the number of available excuses is endless. The most popular excuse is the lack of time — 30 minutes a day — really? Nevertheless, if you are serious about changing your lifestyle, you will find the time. You don’t need a gym to get a workout. You can spend 30 minutes per day walking, and here’s another choice — avoid lifts and escalators. Without much effort, you can get your share of daily activity.