The shortest of shorts, endless weekend plans and the hottest of summer heat often make it easy to get caught up in seasonal dieting.
While there is no bad time to take care of your body and improve your eating habits, we live in a world where we want instant results, and there are a lot of fad diets and myths so common that they’re recognized as fact. We’re here to clear up some of those myths, many of which actually work against healthy eating and weight loss.
While fad diets might help you lose 5 to 10 pounds in a few weeks, they are unsustainable. That initial weight loss, in addition to making you crazy from food depravation, will come to a halt, making it likely that you’ll become frustrated, give up and often times gain the weight back immediately. Also, you’re mostly losing water weight with short-term fixes.
Yes, it is frustrating to step onto a scale and see the numbers go down slower than we want. But a study by the National Weight Control Registry found that those who regularly weigh themselves have better long-term results. This is an important motivator in taking off and keeping off weight. Those who weigh themselves regularly will catch slip-ups and readjust diet and exercise.
The myth is that snacking equals more consumed calories and therefore a larger waistline. However, snacks actually help keep a diet right on track by keeping your metabolism up. Just make sure you’re snacking smart. Think more carrot sticks and fewer cookies.
Likewise, nighttime eating is fine — as long as you’re actually hungry. Oftentimes we eat after dinner because we’re bored or doing something mindless, such as watching a movie or television show. If you are actually hungry, make a conscious choice about your snacks.
Telling yourself that you cannot eat this or that sets you up for failure. Maybe not today, tomorrow or the next day, but like fad diets, that depravation will rear its ugly head. When it does, it’ll be hard to pry the cookie dough out of your hands. So don’t put off those cravings — simply eat or drink them in moderation. Balance a pizza and beer night with a morning of cardio and a lunch packed with vegetables.
Lowering the number of calories you consume will yield weight loss. But not all calories are considered equal. Eating a bag of potato chips, with all of the fat and sodium, is not good for our bodies. However, eating carrots and hummus for the same amount of calories means more nutritional value — more protein and fiber. Plus, with healthier foods, you can eat more than if you consumed the same amount of calories in junk food.