6 Myths, Mistakes & Lies to Losing Weight and How To really Drop the Pounds & Keep It Off!
#1: Crash Diet
A fast weight loss promised sounds good. Who wouldn’t want to drop a large number in a short amount of time? Take a pill to keep your appetite at bay, sounds like a good temporary fix. One might think okay, I will lose the unwanted pounds and then eat regular after I am done. This may seem to work when you’re in your twenties and you are of a thin build in general, because in youth, one has a quicker metabolism and recovery rate than those in their thirties and older.
The problem with this myth is trifold: Our bodies are made amazingly well; it is equipped for survival. The problem with crash diets is the body and mind cannot tell the difference between famine and an attempt to lose weight. So, the automatic response is to hold on to the fat cells at all cost, slowing the metabolism down to survive and then even burning lean tissue before it will allow the fat to go. The metabolism adjusts to the caloric intake you provide it. I call this the starvation mode, a mechanism that we would benefit from if we were in a disaster of some kind, but not something you desire to kick in while you are trying to lose weight.
Fact and how to Fix:
Instead of slowing the metabolism, speed it up by eating more food. More food means healthier food, the right kind of food. I’m not talking about Twinkies here. Eat a variety of foods from every food group. And, don’t deprive yourself from a small portion size of something that you really want. A tiny slice is better than feeling deprived, which leads to the willpower crumbling and then devouring the whole pie. Instead of taking away all your calories, take down your calories 100 a day. A gradual change like this will not kick in the “Starvation Mode” because the body does not recognize the slow decrease. And a 100 calorie decrease is a small step, not an overwhelming large task; it is something you can easily do. I find a food diary is the best and easiest way to keep track. It is just like writing down every dime of money spent; allowing us to recognize where we spend our money; the same goes for tracking what we eat. Count every calorie, get know yourself and then how to feed your body with what it really needs.
#2: After Crash or an Adkins Diet, return to Normal Diet:
After a fast weight loss that is mostly water weight, the body is in a deprived state. It has hung onto its fat cells, although in their shrunken state you may have an illusion that they are not there. The body is dehydrated and still in starvation mode. Depending on how long the starvation continued, lean tissue may also be gone. Have you ever noticed a thin person with no muscle tone? This is the result. An additional problem is now that the weight seems to be off, who wouldn’t think they can simply return to a normal diet? Sounds reasonable, right?
The problem with this myth is that the body is hungry for food. As soon as it receives food, the fat cells plump back up and the lean tissue that was burned to stay alive is gone. This is why I am not a fan of the Atkins diet, once the person returns to carbohydrates, the body acts like a sponge, and hungry for the fuel, it sucks it right up like a starving animal would. Carbohydrates in moderation are a fuel for a person. Cutting back on them is fine, cutting them out altogether can cause problems.
Fact and Fix:
Stay on a healthy normal diet, do not deprive the body. Keep it hydrated, feed it with a balanced meal plan that has smaller portion sizes. Plan ahead so that one food group does not monopolize your eating pattern. Some people can find themselves only eating carbohydrates because the body will crave them whenever it is deprived. The need for instant fuel can be fixed by not allowing yourself to get hungry.
#3: Don’t Snack! Just eat Meals:
Thinking of snacks as vending machine type of junk food, snacks have been given a bad rap. Nutritious snacks on the other hand can be a key to keeping you not hungry. Not hungry means no bingeing or no bad food choices. Not to mention the effects on blood sugar and insulin levels in your body. Whenever the hunger dude taps your shoulder, throw it a handful of something healthy, (which has been preplanned, and prepared) into your mouth. Make it easy on yourself to not get hungry.
Fact and Fix:
Each week, when you buy groceries, plan out what you want to have for snacks. Each day, before setting out, pack several healthy snacks in snack size baggies or Tupperware to keep in your purse or car. An insulated tote, lunch pail or cooler work well too. Try cut up veggies and fruits, like carrots, radishes, and apples. Nuts are a great quick fix too. I even have carried boiled egg whites with me. If snacks are at your fingertips and easy to eat, you will not find yourself looking into the eyes of a Snickers bar; and the portion size problem of eating the entire bag of Doritos is taken care of because you have prepared each bag with the amount needed to simply satisfy the bodies need.
#4: Skip Breakfast
A quick and easy way to shave off extra calories in your day can be had by just skipping this meal, right? It sounds good, especially if you are not a fan of eating in the morning. Studies have proved that 78 percent of people who had dropped at least 30 pounds, kept it off by eating breakfast verses those that did not have a morning meal. Additionally, other studies showed that having a healthy breakfast (like eggs) verses the equilant calories in bagels, ate 100-400 less calories in their lunch. Again, skipping breakfast tricks the body into storing fat, rather than metabolize it. The reverse occurs when an early meal is consumed, the body thinks, “I’m getting feed, I can release these cells and burn them, because I can depend on food coming in.” "The metabolizing" kicks in earlier than if you waited to wake your body up until lunch. Studies also show that you’re more likely to consume more calories in a day, if breakfast is skipped.
Fact and Fix:
Eating within an hour of waking up boosts your metabolism like an alarm clock, “time to start burning calories!” Whole grain food gives you an added plus, because the way it is digested. A complex carbohydrate takes longer to digest than a simple one will. The difference is keeping you full longer, verses white flour, simple carbohydrate that is digested quickly into simple sugars. This increases your insulin levels to handle them, which once these calories are used up, the process then gives you that drop in blood sugar, making you weak, hungry and ready to devour. To satisfy and keep your body full, go for things like oatmeal (grain) with nuts (protein), and raisins (natural sugar). The mix of protein and fiber is ideal to hold off hunger; try peanut butter on a wholegrain cracker, poached eggs or a veggie omelet with whole-grain toast, or a low-fat dairy like string cheese, yogurt, or cottage cheese with a fruit, like berries. If you are in too much of a hurry to do any of these, make a protein shake for the road with real fruit (frozen is good), protein powder, flaxseed oil, and I like to throw into the mix a fresh herb, like mint; this literally takes maybe 3 minutes to make. I also have found myself driving down the road eating handfuls out of a wholegrain Kasha cereal box and drinking a Dan Active. Just make sure you eat something healthy in the AM hours.
(Disclaimer: Photo found on fotosearch.com)
#5: Don’t need to Drink Water:
It is a funny thing that the body’s response to thirst is the same as to hunger. We cannot tell the difference between when we are simply thirsty or hungry because the hormones in the intestines that tell us we are hungry are very similar. Most of us reach for food, when we are only thirsty. The next time you are hungry, reach for a long drink of water and you may find that you don’t need to eat. Because water is essential in burning calories, those who drink eight glasses of eight ounces of water a day, burn more calories than those who consume less.
Fact and Fix:
To keep us hydrated, and to keep the metabolism hydrated and ready for action, try drinking water before every meal and snack. This works on several layers, obviously it will keep you hydrated, and aid in the deciphering of hunger verses the water need, but it will also aid you in eating 75 percent less calories in your meal, making a 44 percent increase in your weight loss. A tip to make the task of drinking so much water easier is to increase your water jug size. This concept works on a plate of food as well. Let me explain, if you go from drinking 8 glasses of water a day to 3 or 4 large jugs, it seems like the task at hand is not so large. On the reverse for eating, a smaller plate will look full with a smaller portion size, verses a large, mostly empty plate.
#6: Drinking Extra Calories is the same as Eating them:
Occasionally we find ourselves eating too much at a meal, and the body’s response is to eat less at the next one because we are basically full. It makes since to think the extra calories found in a drink would add up too, right? Our bodies don’t seem to register liquid calories the way it does with the food ones. Cocktails with calories in syrup, or large jumbo cokes consumed will not bring about you eating less at the next meal to “make up” for the extra calories consumed. It will actually do the opposite, because the sugar increase will increase your insulin level, making you need more food when your blood sugar bottoms out. There is also the effect of a willpower decreasing with the effect of alcohol that comes to mind, as well. You know, "that chocolate would sure be good with this port," comes into the picture; Suddenly that piece of cake sounds like a great idea, tonight, "I’m having fun, right?"
Fact and Fix:
Instead of the regular coke with syrup, go for a diet drink. Or leave off the whipped cream and syrups out of your coffee, switching to sweetener, skim milk or black coffee. I even add cocoa powder to my coffee sometimes. Dark chocolate in moderation is good for us; it is the fat in milk chocolate or syrups that we want to avoid. Herbal teas with lemon are wonderful cold or hot. Ask for club soda with 100 percent fruit juice for a cocktail, giving you fizz without the calories. A glass of red wine is good for you, if you only have the one glass; however, on many diet plans, the calories are considered to count as one fat. White wine does not have the same heart healthy benefits that are found in red. And mixed drinks are a usually a drink to stay away from.