A continuation of yesterday’s post…
#4 The Carb Myth: Eating low carb or no carb will make us thin
This is not true! In fact, carbs could even be considered the most important foods in our diet for long-term health. Our body burns glucose for energy (see information on metabolism here), and this glucose comes from carbohydrates. The key is to eat the right kinds of carbs. Refined or processed carbs slow down our metabolism, but complex carbs eaten in their natural state actually speed up our metabolism. Some great sources of complex carbs include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. These carbohydrates contain phytonutrients, which are plant chemicals that are essential for optimal health. Phytonutrients turn on certain genes that help us burn fat and also slow the aging process inside our bodies. Eating unprocessed carbs is also important because they contain more fiber and will not turn into sugar as rapidly inside the body. This will help keep blood sugar levels balanced.
#5 The Avoidance Myth: Skipping meals helps us lose weight
When we eat is just as important as what we eat. When we skip meals, our bodies start to feel starved. This eventually leads to overeating, which can start a viscous cycle of starving and then overeating. This rule applies to the very first meal of your day: breakfast. Don’t skip it! When people skip breakfast or don’t eat a breakfast with some protein, complex carbohydrates and fat, they tend to have slower metabolisms. A balanced breakfast jump starts our metabolism for the day, allowing us to have more energy and burn more fat throughout the day.
Food and calorie intake ideally should be spread out throughout the day. Our last meal of the day should be eaten at least two hours before we go to sleep. This is because our bodies need to put their energy toward digestion. If we try to eat and then go right to sleep, our sleep will be restless and digestion will be incomplete.
#6 The Protector Myth: Government policies and food industry regulations always have our best health interests in mind
Unfortunately, the government does not have the resources to create a food pyramid for each of us as individuals. Every person is different and has different health and nutrition needs. We need to educate ourselves and take control of our own health and that of our family. We are all capable of doing this, as long as we are willing to put some effort into it.
Large amounts of research and money are put into creating foods that are processed and unhealthy. The government is faced with the daunting task of managing our food supply, and inevitably the solutions are not always perfect. But if we can gain a better understanding of what processed foods are and what they do to our bodies, we will be able to make better decisions about what we choose to eat. I strongly encourage each of you to do your own research and make your own decisions – take responsibility for your health. Poor diet is the #2 cause of death in America, behind only smoking.
I hope these myths have helped clear some things up for those of you looking to lose weight. My best advice is to forget about dieting altogether. Instead, try to gradually move to eating 100% whole foods. You can eat as much or as often as you want – just eat whole foods. This is a great first step and I promise you will notice incredible changes in your body. Plus, grocery shopping gets so much easier! Grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, oils… all delicious and the possibilities are endless if you are willing to get creative in the kitchen!