Thanks to stereotypical beauty constructs fed to us throughout our childhood and are fueled by mainstream media, a lot of people have become obsessed about being Photoshop-worthy than having a truly healthy body. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not a crime to want to look beautiful and be that person who inevitably looks good in everything that he or she wears. But the thing is, we all take different roads to achieving our dream figure and some even go out of their way to do just that. This is where the problem comes in: sometimes, we can be too fixated on fitting into our chosen beauty paradigm that we neglect our well-being.
Going on a diet isn’t solely about melting body fat and losing weight. Sure, these are two most commonly-known objectives behind nearly every diet regimen invented, but experts will agree that the ultimate goal to dieting is for people to be in good shape—literally and figuratively. However, not all the things that are in your diet handbook (whether bought or made-up) are beneficial. If you compare one manual with another, you’ll find that some tips clash with the other and while this article isn’t meant to elucidate every advice, it’s meant to shed light on what you shouldn’t do or quit doing so that you effectively shed pounds.
Here are six nutrition and diet myths you should free yourself from as soon as you can.
1. The Crash Diet
Remember that one instance (or was that two?) when you starved yourself for a good two weeks so that you can fit into that little black dress you bought for the office party? If you don’t, you can cringe at the fact that your body does—and vividly. While this example may be a little too elaborate, there are a lot of people (hint: not just women) who, in an attempt to lose weight, would skip meals in the hopes of losing weight.
Foregoing meals may give you the feeling that you’re dropping pounds since you’re not eating as much as you used to, but this is actually counterintuitive and potentially harmful. For instance, if you’re the kind of person who skips breakfast for one reason or another, you risk overeating the next time you go hungry. Skipping a meal and getting your fill at a later time can disrupt the rate and efficiency of your digestion and other bodily functions. In fact, reported studies indicate that can up the chances of people of getting a heart attack especially if done frequently.
People who want to lose weight but are pressed for time are often the ones who resort to crash dieting. It would be better though if you go for safer weight-loss methods, such as exercising and sticking to a diet plan that actually work. If you must skimp on eating, condition your body by reducing your food intake gradually. It’s still advisable to consult a physician who can help you draft a diet regimen that fits your lifestyle best.
2. Desserts are a No-No
Most desserts are packed with sugar, a component that many dieters try to swear off. Some people look at sweets as if is the bane of their dieting phases, because they are simply hard to resist especially if they come in the form of cake or ice cream.
Even when you’re on a diet, you still need a sufficient amount of calories and some of these you can get from desserts; you just need to make sure that you don’t go overboard. On the other hand, you still need to cut back on sweets if you are hell-bent on losing weight.
The easiest and most nourishing way to satisfy your sweet tooth is to eat the fruits that are in season. Not only are they natural, their sugar components break down faster than the ones found in cooked treats.
3. All Cholesterol is Bad Cholesterol
After hearing how bad cholesterol and that high levels of it can increase your chances of having hypertension and other potentially lethal illnesses, you automatically thought that cholesterol is bad. Wrong.
Cholesterol is a substance produced by the liver, and among its several functions is to help you digest fat. However, exposing yourself to unhealthy doses of saturated fats, such as the ones you get from your beloved pizza takeaway, can contribute to the building of cholesterol in your arteries and can up the risk of your getting a heart disease. If you want to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, include in your diet a selection of nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils which are known to be sources of unsaturated fat.
4. More Carbs, More Fat
One of the things that people cut back on when they are on a diet is carbohydrates, due to the probable misinformation that its these basic building blocks are responsible for making them fat.
The truth is, your body needs carbohydrates to stock up on energy you’ll require throughout the day. Plenty of carb sources are also packed with fiber which can aid your digestion and give you essential nutrients. What makes you fat is eating more than you have to simply because you pack in calories beyond your ideal intake. If you must minimize your carb intake, go for whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, and bananas.
5 . Eating Before Bedtime Makes You Fat
You’ve been probably told that your body digests food better during your most active part of the day; therefore, eating at night slows your metabolism. Not entirely true.
While a lot of diet plans suggest that you should not eat after 6 PM or 8 PM, the calories you take couldn’t care less about what time they enter your body. These diets aren’t essentially wrong, although there are chances that you may have been misinformed. While it may be true that we tend to be less active when we’re ready to call it a day, the way your body processes calories remains the same. What really contributes to your body fat is the amount of calories and cholesterol that are in your midnight snacks. If you’re the kind of person who just can’t resist munching while watching Netflix pre-bedtime, grab some fruit or cereal that is high in fiber.
6. Anything ‘Low’ and ‘Lite” is Your Ally
The dieting and living healthy hype prompted nearly every food manufacturer to make a fat-free or sugar-free version of their products. Their efforts to try to slim everybody down that was, and remains, extensive went as far as reducing the word “light” to “lite”. The thing is not everything that if affixed with low-, less-, no-, and -free can be good for you.
More often than not, food products with less and low everything sacrifices the taste to make something not as fattening. In addition, manufacturers substitute the flavor with other artificial ingredients, which can consequently increase your calorie intake more than the regular version. Low-fat products can also give you the impression that you can consume more than you have to. You can still enjoy these items provided that you look out for the amounts of good and bad cholesterol and monitor your intake depending on your diet.
For most people, especially those that do not have specific health conditions, there’s not a one-size-fits-all diet that can guarantee the achievement of their goals. This doesn’t mean that you can’t try different plans. If you do, however, remember that it’s always best to consult with your physician or nutritionist before starting on a regimen.