You may have lived your whole life under the impression that fewer calories = slimmer waistline or thinking that fat-free foods are better for your health. A lot of nutrition information that we pick up from the internet (or from our peers) can be misleading, outdated, or difficult to understand! Research about what is beneficial or detrimental to the human body is always changing, though I've chosen three diet myths that hold up despite the comings and goings of popular health trends.
You may experience weight loss by severely limiting calorie intake, but this strategy won't work for long. It's hard to stick to a deprivation-based diet plan because your body is hungry and WANTS you to feed it, and this is why most people who restrict calories end up gaining weight back - sometimes even more than they started with! Our bodies are designed to adapt to situations in which resources are scarce, so survival mode kicks in when you starve yourself and fewer calories are needed to survive. In turn, the calories you do consume would be stored efficiently and harder to get rid of because your system doesn't know when it'll get properly fed. That being said, it's not hard to go overboard on calories considering how easy it is to access packaged, processed foods, so it's important to learn about how many calories your individual body requires to maintain a healthy weight.
A modest amount of fat can help you feel full and satisfied longer than other dietary components (such as simple carbohydrates); because of this, you may eat less food overall if you're incorporating healthy sources of fat into your regular meal plan. Fat also helps with the absorption of certain vitamins and phytonutrients, which are compounds in plants that are thought to promote health.
Opt for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, found in olive oil, most nuts, and fish - these fats don't raise blood cholesterol levels and may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. The fats to limit or avoid are saturated fats, found mainly in beef and dairy products, and trans fats, which are in a lot of packaged foods, fried fast foods, and margarine - these options don't have more calories than good fats, but they are less healthful and could increase your risk of heart disease.
Want my favorite recipes for maintaining a balanced meal plan? Check out my COOKBOOK! With vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, there's something for everyone!
It's helpful to think about food as fuel which drives every important function that our body system serves. When it comes to nutrition, each choice we make impacts our health in some way! Ultimately, we should be choosing quality (nutrient-dense items) over quantity (calories, or even too much of one food at a time); thinking about the impact of nutrition on your body in a bigger way will help you recognize which meals and snacks can make you feel amazing and what kinds of items are making you less focused, more tired, and/or cranky.
Diet's don't work - lifestyle changes do. No two people are the same. What works for someone else may not work for you. Losing weight is a process and getting in shape takes time & commitment. Be ready to modify your plan as you discover what works and does not work for you.
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