Are the “rules” of weight loss stressing you out? Don’t labor over them – for every myth, there is good news that will help you drop the pounds and keep you smiling. Here are just a few.
Myth: Snacking is bad for you
Don’t think about snacking as cheating on your diet. In fact, snacking may actually help you eat less, and stave off the urge to overeat or binge later. When your stomach grumbles, don’t go for salty chips or cookies full of processed sugar. Your body will just crave more with no favors of energy or nutritional value. Instead, grab your favorite fruit or vegetable in the morning and drop it in your handbag or briefcase. This small act will reward you with mid-day energy, instead of that lethargic feeling you get after eating sugary snacks.
Myth: No fast foods
American culture of dine ‘n dash makes it nearly impossible to never eat at a fast food establishment. Most restaurants post calories on their menus making it a cinch for you to choose healthy over harmful. You just might find well-balanced meals with fewer calories than that scrumptious salad with exotic dressing and add-ons. Choose water over soda, which is loaded with sugar, empty calories, and is a waist expander. Water is calorie-free, hydrating, and the benefits are priceless.
Myth: Stay away from carbs
Not all carbohydrates are bad; just educate yourself on which ones to enjoy, guilt-free. Reap the benefits of good carbs by choosing those with fiber like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans which absorb into your system without spikes in blood sugar levels. Bad carbs to avoid include white bread, white rice, fried potatoes, and foods made with refined flour. And don’t beat yourself up if you do go for that slice of cake – if you must indulge for a celebration, do so with moderation.
Myth: Exercise constantly and you will not gain fat
Use caution when comparing yourself with others regarding extreme exercise; everyone has their own metabolism rates and exercise programs can differ drastically from person to person. Let age, lifestyle, and your attitude be your first consideration. If you hate gyms, here’s good news: Even mild exercise is beneficial when combined with healthy eating habits. Choose an activity that you love (even if it’s simply walking or swimming laps); always stretch to warm up your muscles; and drink water before and after you begin your activity.
Good News Overall:
Enjoy your foods! Small acts of slowing down could help in your quest to a slimmer waistline and a happier you. Sit down when you eat and be grateful for the abundance in front of you. Appreciate your food by eating slower, making sure to chew every bite to assist in better digestion. It takes about 20 minutes for feelings of fullness to reach your brain, so stop eating when you feel full! Remember food is not your enemy, but excess is.
When it comes to healthy living, nature defines your best options. Choose fresh, deep-colored foods, and replace sugary drinks with hydrating water. Think about doing all things in moderation, and you’ll be just fine.
Abella Carroll, Freelance Writer