Don’t Get Fooled! Debunking Myths of Healthy Eating

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As in all good movies, there are heroes and villains. Hero: you.

Villains: false information, hidden oils and more. Know the pitfalls to be successful.

If you ever see a company or person promoting a quick fix and think to yourself, it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Experts suggest that weight loss should be a gradual process as you make lifelong changes to your diet and exercise. Consider using the following diet and exercise methods:

  • It’s achievable – you can do it
  • Sustainable – able to sustain itself

How much should you be aiming to lose? A loss of 0.5 – 2lbs per week is considered very good depending on your body weight. Very quickly and there is a chance for your body to yo-yo and save more than before. It’s a marathon not a sprint, gents.

What about a single meal?

Have you ever heard of a diet plan that says if you eat just one food, like grapefruit, you’ll ‘lose 7 pounds a week’? Yes, that’s right guys. Not only will the schedule be unsustainable, it will leave you hungry, lonely and eventually, malnourished. In the short term, you will be cutting calories too much which causes side effects such as dehydration, gas and in some cases irregular heart rhythms. Furthermore, a diet that’s too restrictive can actually increase your chances of binge drinking, leaving your body struggling to recover.

No meat, no problem?

A balanced vegetarian and vegan diet has been linked to lower rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. However, vegetarian/vegan options are not necessarily low calorie or low fat. Starchy carbohydrates such as pasta can pack on the calories if the diet focuses on them. Like cheese, which is often the default offering for vegetarians.

Many processed and junk foods are now vegetarian/vegan friendly which does not make them healthier, they do not contain animal products. They can still be high in fat, sugar and additives. If the basics of your diet are wrong, you can still gain weight and become unhealthy.

Top tip: avoid highly processed foods. Make vegetables the focus of each meal and complement them with protein sources such as beans, tofu, pulses and nuts as well as essential amino acids from foods such as brown rice and sweet potatoes.

The best thing? Dark chocolate. Avocado. Berries. All the so-called ‘superfoods’, and they have health benefits, but don’t overdo it.

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Cashew nuts, for example, are rich in protein and heart-healthy fats. They contain 43.8g of fat per 100g which makes them a moderately large meal but if that handful of nuts turns into a whole bag, you risk feeling it around your waist and seeing it on the scale.

Know the energy contained in your favorite superfoods so you don’t hinder your progress.

  • Olive oil. Benefits: source of monounsaturated fats (good fats) and antioxidants. One tablespoon = 120 cal.
  • 70%+ dark chocolate. Benefits: iron, magnesium, antioxidants. 50g = 226 kcal.
  • Almonds. Benefits: high protein, vitamin B and E, copper. 50g = 300cals.

Red wine contains antioxidants that are associated with reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Red wine, enjoyed in moderation, offers some antioxidant benefits. However, fruits like berries, along with seafood and nuts, are excellent sources of these health-promoting compounds, all without the presence of alcohol. In large quantities, alcohol can increase the risk of heart problems and cancer.

Top tip: know the nutritional value of your favorite foods and make them part of your overall healthy eating plan in a balanced way.

Don’t get caught up in superfoods Most foods are good, they contain nutrients that support your health and well-being. You can’t be on a diet of donuts and food, then eat a few berries and expect to thrive. We are sorry guys. Food works in synergy with each other, the big picture is important.

Remove the termination
Does it sound like we’re talking riddles yet? After the superfood obsession, it’s easy to demonize certain foods. There are many foods that provide nutrition (eg sweets) and potentially health risks (eg processed meat) that you would do well to reduce. There are also foods that if we eliminate completely can lead to deficiency.

Carbohydrates are a good example. While whole grains like wheat, rye, barley, oats, and rice offer a wealth of fiber and B vitamins, particularly folic acid essential for health, refined carbohydrates found in cakes and pastries come packed with calories and fat but lack significant nutrients.

Oil free?
The popular ‘low-fat’ and ‘no-fat’ options produced by food manufacturers often cause confusion among dieters, with overeating due to reduced fat.

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We now know that the types of fat we eat are important. There are fats that help our bodies (poly/monounsaturated) and those that hinder it (saturated and trans fats).

Top tip: fat is satiating, helps us feel full longer and for our cells to function properly, we need fat in our diet. Try to choose healthy, plant-based oils and remember that less is more.

Eat them for days
Snacking throughout the day can keep your blood sugar stable and make you feel hungry. It can also mean you don’t keep track of your food intake which can spell excess calories. You may feel unsatisfied if you are used to feeling large amounts of food in your stomach.

Top tip: If you are a foodie, schedule small meals every two to three hours, limiting each one to 200-300 calories.

Secrets of sustainable success Nothing destroys the soul more than yo-yo dieting: lose weight, put it back on, repeat. Finding a way to eat and exercise that fits your lifestyle is where you will find true success.

We can all eat the food we like. What we want to do is avoid overindulging in a way that interferes with our goals.

  • Think about what balance means to you. To achieve moderation, first analyze your habits. Consider if this means measuring portions or perhaps reducing your overall weekly or monthly consumption
  • Make small, sustainable changes, like cutting out sugar in tea and parking farther away from work. They will merge soon.
  • Don’t ditch your favorites! Enjoy them in moderation alongside healthy choices, like dark chocolate-covered strawberries It’s delicious.
  • Increase your movement, from housework to team sports, add more movement to your day.
  • Keep an open mind and be kind to yourself. Once you are able to eat better, weight loss usually follows.

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