In my last blog I talked about the myth that you could take a pill and “Melt fat while you sleep!” While we would all like to believe this is true, most people realize that this is just garbage. It did get me thinking about all the other diet myths out there. For instance, When I was a teenager, I steered clear of chocolate. Not because of the calories and fat but because everyone told me that chocolate caused acne and the last thing I wanted was zits! Years later, I was relieved to learn that studies had unequivocally shown there was no connection between chocolate and skin problems and that in fact, some types of chocolate may even be good for you!
Another piece of diet advice I was given over the years was that calories eaten at night are more fattening than those eaten early in the day. My opinion: Calories are calories are calories, and it doesn’t matter what time you eat them. What matters are the total calories you take in versus calories burned that day.
You can find healthy eating advice on every corner but that doesn’t mean its good advice. Nutrition research is confusing and they are always changing their minds! Its very frustrating. Then you throw in the sensationalistic headlines and its no wonder we can’t trust all the suggestions thrown at us. Worst-case scenario, you end up choosing unhealthy options, thinking that your choosing something good for you.
Now I’m not a doctor or even a nutrition expert. I’m just a chick who has lost 30 pounds and expressing an opinion based on what I have learned over the last 3 months. Take it or leave it.
MYTH: You can lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks!
You probably can lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks if you crash diet, but you’ll feel terrible - and most of the weight will return once you start eating normally. To lose 1 pound, you need to eliminate 3,500 calories by eating less and moving more. If you cut out 500 calories, or burn it off in exercise, every day of the week, you’ll lose about a pound a week. And thats real weight loss.
MYTH: Egg yolks are bad for you!
Cholesterol has been wrongly accused of raising our blood cholesterol levels for years. Now its becoming clearer that saturated fats and trans fats are more influential in raising the cholesterol levels in our blood. While eggs, the yolks included, are high in cholesterol, they are relatively low in saturated fats. Lots of research has been done in recent years, and the verdict is that the entire egg can actually be a part of a healthy diet and in most people, do not impact cholesterol levels or heart disease.
MYTH: Coffee is Dehydrating!
Yes, coffee is a diuretic (aka, makes you pee), but it’s an extremely mild one. It also has a lot of water in it and therefore you can count it towards your daily fluid intake! The amount it would take to dehydrate you is more than anyone should be consuming in a day. If you drink 2-3 cups daily, your fluid levels will be just fine.
MYTH: Organic food is automatically healthy!
The word organic comes with a big health halo around it. The truth is that organic snacks are still snacks. Organic chocolate syrup is still chocolate syrup! Organic foods still have the same amount of sugar, fat and calories as non-organic versions. There are good reasons for choosing organic, such as cutting down on the amount of chemicals your eating, but the word organic does not mean you can stuff your face with cookies and chips because they are “good for you!”
MYTH: Salads are always a healthy option!
You’d think choosing to eat a salad is safe. It can be. I make them all the time. However I limit it to 3 toppings. I like meat, a little cheese, and green olives. Usually I opt for a oil and vinegar dressing. It’s all the add-ons that can get you in trouble. I have ordered a couple of salads when I’m out and after putting the ingredients into my food tracker, fell out of my chair! I might as well have had a big, fat juicy burger!
MYTH: Low-Fat foods are better than Full-Fat.
Fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet. You need fat in your diet. Say it out loud, “Fat is not bad! Fat does not go directly to your hips!” The truth is ANY extra calories you eat that your body can’t use will be converted into body fat. When fat is removed from foods it is replaced with other things, such as sugar. Fat is more densely caloric, therefore more filling. It also taste better which keeps you more satisfied and not craving more as soon as your done eating. Read the ingredients list before making the choice. Usually you will be better off with a small serving of the full-fat version that you will enjoy and actually feel satiated.
MYTH: If you exercise, you can eat as much as you
Unless your an olympic athlete you still need to watch how many calories your eating. “Calories in” add up way faster than “Calories out.” 2 cookies cost you about 400 calories. In order to burn those 400 calories off you would need to run or walk 4 miles. (or Fitbox for an hour!)
If anyone thinks these are truths and not myths, please don’t hunt me down to correct me! I know I am not an expert, but the knowledge I’m accumulating is helping me reach my 60 pound weight loss goal. Halfway there! Besides, we all know in 20 years the “experts” will have changed their minds…again…and chocolate will be the death of us all!