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!
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!