Heidi

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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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2008-05-08

Weight Loss And Diet Myths Revealed

In my life I have probably tried just about every diet and perpetuated most of the below myths. It seems like we are forever hearing about the latest and greatest diet, foods to eat or not to eat to lose weight, and waiting for the next diet pill that will instantly dissolve all our fat (I am personally waiting for the get bigger breasts, see ya later cellulite, and the instant tone and give me muscle pills). It can all get quite confusing so I decided to try and clear up some of these diet myths so that if you are trying to lose weight you can avoid these pitfalls.
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Top Diet Myths To Ditch

**Eating mostly low-fat or no fat foods will make you lose weight-Before you run to the store and stock up on fat free and low-fat foods, keep in mind that it is all about portion control. Even though light versions have less fat than their regular counterparts, they often have as many or more calories (some diet foods contain more sugar than the regular versions).

***Food eaten late at night is more fattening-Many diets tell you not to eat after a certain time in the evening. They say the body will store more fat because it is not burned off with any activity. A study at the Dunn Nutrition Centre in Cambridge suggests otherwise. Volunteers were placed in a whole body calorimeter, which measures calories burned and stored. They were fed with a large lunch and small evening meal for one test period, then a small lunch and large evening meal during a second test period. The results revealed the large meal eaten late at night did not make the body store more fat.It's not when you eat that's important, but the total amount you consume in a 24-hour period. Lyndel Costain adds: 'It is true that people who skip meals during the day, then eat loads in the evening are more likely to be overweight than those who eat regularly throughout the day.'This may be because eating regular meals helps people regulate their appetite and overall food intake.' More here.

**Fad diets work for permanent weight loss-I can attest to this one. In my life for every fad diet that I lost weight with I gained it right back. Think of the Cabbage Soup Diet, or similar when you would eat only a few bizarre things and then of course when you went back to eating normal the weight came back too. Fad diets may be unhealthy because they may not provide all of the nutrients your body needs. Diets that provide less than 800 calories per day also could result in heart rhythm abnormalities, which can be fatal.

** Certain foods, like grapefruit, celery, or cabbage soup, can burn fat and make you lose weight-MMhmmm, I have tried those too and I am sorry to say that anyone who joined me in eating grapefruit like it was the last food on earth will be sad to know that no foods can burn fat. Some foods with caffeine may speed up your metabolism (the way your body uses energy, or calories) for a short time, but they do not cause weight loss.

** Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight-Another painful method I tried that never yielded results. Studies show that people who skip breakfast and eat fewer times during the day tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast and eat four or five times a day. I eat all day now in little meals. I much prefer eating little meals to big ones and I am thinner and almost never hungry.

**Lifting weights and strength training will make you bulk up and not lose weight-Lifting weights or doing strengthening activities like push-ups and crunches on a regular basis can actually help you maintain or lose weight. These activities can help you build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than body fat. So if you have more muscle, you burn more calories—even sitting still. This is what my online personal trainer Christopher (see widget on right to check out his site) has me doing and in just 2 weeks I lost 3 lbs and I was not trying. More here.

**Nuts are fattening and you shouldn't eat them if you want to lose weight-I thought this for years and never ate nuts (I was missing out). I now realize that nuts actually help me lose weight and I call nuts my no. 1 diet secret. Although high in calories and fat, most (but not all) types of nuts have low amounts of saturated fat (the bad fat). Nuts are a staple of my diet and I love how they fill me up and help my chocolate cravings (really).

On that note, even though it is almost midnight I am going to go have some cashews . Years ago I would have been horrified at the thought but now that I know better I can enjoy.

15 comments:

Nadine said...
I love nuts, I just have to limit myself and use the measuring cups, or count them out. Then give them to the rest of the family to finish. lol All of these are great tips! I especially like the one about not eating after a certain time. If you're hungry and within your calories/points for the day, go for it. I just finished a bowl of cereal.

Thank you so much for your note. I love your blog as well. I will add you to by blogroll also. Right now I'm in the process of switching both sites to one wordpress. Makes no sense to keep two on the same thing. I'll let you know when its done.
Ruthie said...
Great tips!! :)
Great post, I linked back to this from my blog it would be great if you could stop in and leave a comment.

I've been on diets most of my life and it wasn't until I was in my late 20's that i realized that watching what I eat and how I eat was one the most important things I could do for myself. Because I'm celiac I have no choice but avoid foods that others eat without a second thought. Thanks for the great post.
Mcneri said...
You are an expert in this field. This is a wonderful factual post. In my experience, nad because of my profession, I have eaten at odd times and still do. I view the world as a continuum. When it is breakfast time in Chicago, it is dinner time in Sydney!
Thanks for this.
Shine said...
great post, I love nuts and I know they are so good for your healt, you tips are awesome, thank you!
Sandpiper said...
Hi Heidi, I don't know if my first comment went through or not on my earlier visit. Blogger was having trouble loading the scrambled letters and when they eventually loaded, it wouldn't accept them anyway. :-) I really enjoyed this post. It makes great sense! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.
Sogeshirtsguy said...
thanks for the info heidi. Some interesting myths exposed.
Nadine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christopher said...
Great post Heidi! I thought you'd like another tidbit (sorry it's so long). . .

Per Myth #1 (Low fat/no fat will help you lose weight). The low fat craze is the product of two things: 1) eating too much fat (saturated in particular) increases heart disease risk and 2) eating too much fat, at 9 calories/gram, will make you fat.

The reality? Fat is not only beneficial, but essential for survival - it provides you with energy, it's used as a building block (transport molecules/cell membranes) and it enables you to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat, in it's "natural" state is not the enemy; it's the engineered fats - partially hydrogenated oil, trans fat and interesterified fat -- that wreak havoc on the body.

Do you have to be concerned with caloric intake? Sure. But it's just as/more important to be aware of the QUALITY of the fat/food that you're consuming.

The other issue with low-fat food (and probably the biggest reason why it doesn't "work" to make you thinner)? The SUGAR content! Read the labels of a food - one "regular" and the other "low-fat" - and you'll often see that there's more sugar in the low-fat variety -- something's gotta replace the flavor! :) This effects you in two ways. . . 1) Sugar consumption = insulin secretion = storage of body fat (I've oversimplified, but there is a direct correlation). 2) An imbalanced consumption of sugars promotes erratic blood sugar fluctuation which triggers erratic eating (typically of less-than-desirable foods!).
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workout mommy said...
this is a great list! and I agree about the nuts, I used to avoid them too but have realized they make such a difference in my diet.
Nancy Ellyn said...
You always have so much great info in your posts!
ssgreylord said...
Can't believe all that I learned from one post. Thank you. I'll be checking in on an RSS feed so I have you bookmarked so to speak. P.S. You have a beautiful family...
Tom Parker said...
Great list you have here. It's amazing how much false information there is floating around the weight loss industry. The one that really amuses me is that people believe late night eating is fattening. I think this myth must originate because generally when you eat late at night you are eating additional food - it is not usually one of your normal, planned meals. However, if it is part of your planned daily intake of food there shouldn't be a problem. If you consume 500 calories in your meal it should have a similar effect on your body, no matter what time it is eaten. What you are eating is a lot more important than when you are eating.
Mike Layman said...
I have found this blog really intersting and have bookmarked it. I am suffering from obesity and so I brought some pills online. I have been on acai berry diet for some quite sometime. I am a mother of a 8 year old baby. So, I have a question. Can i do the acai berry diet and breast feed ? I think experts in this blog can help me out. Thanks..

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