5 Nutrition Myths You Might Still Believe

Say What?

There is a lot  of information out there about health and proper nutrition, particularly when it comes to weight loss. It is hard to wade through it all. Sometimes we find out that health practices we have been doing for years have been harming our bodies in other ways. We could all use a reminder from time to time regarding nutrition myths that continue to persist.

Myth: All calories are the same.
Reality: When we talk about calories, we are talking about energy. Our bodies convert the foods we eat into the energy our body needs to conduct even the most basic processes. Your body derives different nutrients from different kinds of food, such as sugar from an orange, fiber from oats, or protein from chicken. Some of those calories are consumed in the digestive process, other calories are stored for energy, and others regulate hormone production. Where your calories come from is just as important as how many calories you consume.

Myth: Eating at night will make you fat.
Reality: There are many reasons people think this is true: dinner is often the largest meal of the day, many people are less physically active in the evenings, and sleep is the primary nighttime activity.  Just because your body is at rest, however, does not mean that your body is not using energy to regulate many biological processes.

Myth: You should avoid all fats to lose weight. 
Reality: Your body needs fat, but there are different kinds of fat. Some fats are healthier for you than others. You have heard the following terms: saturated fats, artificial fats, trans fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. You are familiar with the foods associated with fats: animal proteins, egg yolks, avocado, nuts, fish, and a variety of cooking oils. These fats and foods are often linked to your cholesterol levels, some in negative and some in positive ways. Fats can not only make you feel full but also make you feel full longer. It is important to evaluate your overall health and the amount and kinds of healthy fats that your body really needs, which can actually help you get closer to your weight loss goals!

Myth: You can only get your daily hydration with 8 glasses of water a day.
Reality: Without a doubt, water is vital for survival. But hydration doesn’t just have to come from drinking water. Any beverage, from your coffee to your post-workout protein drink, will contribute to your daily hydration. Water-dense foods, like cucumbers, watermelons, and oranges, also contribute to daily hydration.

Myth: The best weight-loss eating schedule is several small meals a day.
Reality: There are many factors that can affect your daily eating schedule: recognizing when you are hungry and eating then, your daily work schedule that may or may not allow you to eat on the job, your mood, behaviors that may be symptoms of an eating disorder, and medications and/or health issues that affect the triggers for hunger and satiety. In reality, you need to pick the best eating pattern that fits your lifestyle, and look at each meal as an opportunity to control the amount of calories you consume. 

Proper nutrition is vital to your overall health and well-being. It becomes even more important when you have weight loss goals. Knowing the facts will help you stay on your weight loss journey!

Keeping Teachers Healthy!

The life of a teacher is a unique mix of lesson plans, departmental meetings, teaching, grading, parent-teacher meetings, classroom management, club advising, coaching, and competitions. When school is in session, it’s go, go, go! Throughout the chaotic school year, many teachers make their students a priority – sometimes at their own expense.

As do some in other professions, teachers often neglect their health during the hectic school day and throughout the school year. One difficult-to-deal-with consequence of that neglect may be unwanted weight gain.

Unlike other professions, teaching provides a summer break, a time for rest and rejuvenation. While teachers may pick up summer teaching, alternative employment, or work to maintain their accreditation, summer also is a time for teachers to refocus their energies on physical and mental health and well-being.

An oft-heard complaint from teachers is that the syllabi and lesson plans sometimes create more work than actually teaching the course. Creating a detailed course-curriculum is actually a boon for teachers looking to develop their own health, wellness, or weight-loss plan – and summer is the optimum time to do it!
As with any course, it begins with setting up objectives and goals. Some of these may be vague, but as you develop your personal “weight loss course,” you can begin to focus on some specifics.

With some achievable objectives in place, you can begin to look at activities to help you achieve those goals as well as creating a realistic timeframe in which to accomplish them.
You don’t have to do it alone, either. Weight loss experts can help you create a personalized “syllabus and lesson plan” for your weight loss goals. 

Now it’s time for your personal health education. With fewer duties and responsibilities, summer is a great time to ease into your “course.” Then you can adapt your syllabus and lesson plan to help you stay on track throughout the school year.

During the teacher workdays prior to the start of the school year, you can adjust to being back in the classroom and adapt your weight loss plan within the school building.

For example, you may be able to keep a small refrigerator in your office versus visiting the teachers' lounge. You can also evaluate the offerings of the vending machine, and examine the weekly and monthly breakfast and lunch menus for the school cafeteria. 
Just as you adapt your lessons to the learning speed of the children, or plan fewer classes due to natural disasters, you will also be able to adapt weight loss activities, goals and timelines when the unexpected occurs. The unexpected could be as simple as a teacher appreciation luncheon or a colleague who shares her birthday cake. 

As variable as your daily schedule can be, your weight loss lesson plan can be designed for these kinds of fluctuations.  

Regardless of the challenges within your school day, it is important to keep your health as a priority. When you do that, you are better prepared to handle any classroom situation that comes your way.