“I heard saturated fats are good for you now?”
“Sorry. I don’t eat carbs. I’m on a diet.”
“I can eat whatever I want. I go to the gym regularly.”
You probably have heard these lines before. Tempting to believe, right? Since many still tempted believe such lines and are guilty of thinking them time and again, we have decided to compile some commonly propagated myths and misconceptions about nutrition and weight-loss, and asked our diet coaches to give you the skinny on them.
- Desserts are evil
We have grown accustomed to always blaming carbohydrates and primarily, desserts to our weight-gain or slow weight-loss progress. What you should be doing is to check the quality and quantity of the dessert. Is it too sugary? Is it fatty? Is it too big for a portion? If you say yes to all, one good solution is simply to cut down the amount by a big portion. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day (or about 100 calories), so keep this in mind and adjust your sweets accordingly. But if you still feel guilty but wanting to have something sweet, try snacking on fruits. Fruits are the best replacements to our refined sugary desserts. These foods boast high amounts of dietary fiber, water, vitamins and minerals, are low in calories and are refreshing. So generally, desserts need not be antagonized.
- If you are working out, you can feast, anytime.
A straightforward answer is NO. Sadly, the amount of calories that you burn in your workout pales in comparison to the amount of calories that you are getting in your food. For example, you can get 100 calories from half cup of plain rice. And if you want to burn that amount, you need to run half a mile in the treadmill. Sounds unfair? It is a common misconception to solely rely on your daily activities, regardless of intensity, when it comes to weight loss. According to nutrition coaches, 75% of your weight-loss goals will be coming from your food habits. So if you want to lose weight and eat healthier, better ask your handy HAPIcoach on your smartphone to help you improve your eating habits.
- Nope. No Fast food!
Though the majority of fast food chains offer a fat laden, cholesterol filled menu items, it’s also fair to say that there are other establishments that offer healthy and well balanced meals. Some offer salads and light sandwiches with lean meats, for example. And in some instances, prepared in healthy manner. The key is to always evaluate the menu items. Does your order go with lean, unprocessed meats? How oily is it? Is there a salad in the menu? If so, is the dressing fatty? How about fruits? You can also do special requests as add extra lettuce and tomato and remove mayo from your McDonald’s burger and other items (most other fast foods can do this, too). Go for black coffee instead of adding sugar and creamer. And surprisingly, there are fast foods that offer healthy choices. You just need to be more discerning with the selection.
- Snacking is bad for your diet
Snacking can be the reason why you don’t lose weight and gain more instead. Depending on both quality and quantity of the food, snacking can be a great approach in your pursuit of a healthier weight. We are all aware that our bodies need fuel to supply energy to the everyday activities, and a snack, if it comes in a healthy portion, is a good addition to your eating habit. Since you don’t deprive your body of food, snacking helps signal your body to keep burning energy instead of storing it thus, avoiding storage of fat, keeping your metabolism at constant speed. Also, this is a good approach to avoid hunger pangs, lest you overcompensate on your next meal.
- Water can make you gain weight
Yes, but just for a few hours. But you will eventually expend the extra water that you don’t need. And for the record, water doesn’t have any calories, so no negative lasting impact on our weight can be expected. In fact, having sufficient amount of water is also an important key to weight-loss. Our body can recognize if we are not having enough water. When we don’t drink enough water, our bodies conserve what we have, in order to supply necessary fluids to keep our bodily processes going. Our body’s reaction to the lack of water supply is to retain water in our bodies, anticipating a shortage in supply. And this water retention reflects on our weight. Therefore, it is imperative that we drink water in sufficient amount.
At this age of overwhelming information, everyone should learn to sort out facts from myths. Nonetheless, when it comes to your diet it is much better to ask your diet coach to get informed answers about your diet and food choices.
By Registered Nutritionist HAPI Romer