It is not hard to find advice from well-meaning folks on the things to eat or avoid in your diet. It is also not surprising that some of this advice is regurgitated myths about diets. Here are some facts to help you sort through everything you hear.
Fact: Carbs come in different forms and not all carbs are bad for you. Foods with complex carbs like whole-wheat bread, fruits, and beans have nutrients that your body needs. Although, you should probably cut back on simple carbs like cookies and candy as they lack additional nutrients.
You are probably wondering why people on a low-carb diet lose weight faster if carbs are not bad. Well, that’s because low-carb diets also restrict calories. With lower calories, you lose weight irrespective of whether those calories come from fat, carbs, or proteins.
Fact: While drinking water is good for giving your body vitality, there is no indication that increasing your water intake will make you lose weight. Drinking more water may help keep you away from other unhealthy drinks, thus causing you to lose weight. However, if you increase your water intake without exercising or changing your diet, it will make no difference.
Fact: You need all the classes of food for your body to thrive, including fats. The trick to eating fat is to avoid saturated and trans-fat found in processed food, red meat, butter, and high-fat dairy. Healthy fats help you rebuild cells, give you energy, and produce hormones. You can find healthy fats in fish, nuts and seeds, olives, avocado, and low-fat dairy.
Fact: Irrespective of the kind of sugar you eat, they all contain between 48-64 calories per tablespoon. So switching your table sugar to honey isn’t making the difference you think it does. The body absorbs sugars like agave, table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and honey the same way. Instead of avoiding one kind of sugar or switching it for another, limit the usage of any kind of sugar. This also applies to candy, sweets, and soda.
Fact: The problem with eating late at night is not the “when” but the “what” you eat. People tend to gain weight when they eat late because they go for high-calorie meals or overeating. Also, they tend not to sleep well, which can cause unhealthy cravings the next morning. You can eat late at night with no consequence to your waistline if you eat light, healthy snacks, and don’t eat right before bed.
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