Nutrition and Weight Loss: Myths and Truths

This article talks about some of the myths and truths of weight loss, nutrition, and physical activity. This information can help you make healthy changes in your daily life.

Myth: Fad diets are a good way for me to lose weight and not increase it again.
Truth: Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight permanently. This type of diet usually promises that you will lose weight quickly. They make you strictly reduce what you eat or avoid certain types of foods. You may initially lose weight, but it is difficult to continue this type of diet.

Myth: I should not eat fast foods when I’m on a diet because they are an unhealthy selection.
Truth: It’s true that many fast foods are not very healthy and can make you gain weight. However, if you are in a place where fast foods are served, select the menu options carefully. At home and on the go, choose small portions of healthy foods that are nutrient-dense and low in calories.

Tip: To choose healthy and low-calorie foods, review the nutritional data. Today you can often find them on menus or on restaurant websites. However, do not forget that nutritional data do not always include sauces or extras. Try these tips:
• Avoid combos or specials, which in spite of giving you more for your money, tend to have more calories than you need in a single meal.
• Choose fresh fruit or nonfat yogurt for dessert.
• Limit the use of extra ingredients that are high in fat and calories, such as bacon, cheese, regular mayonnaise, salad dressings, and tartar sauce.
• Choose products steamed, grilled or baked instead of fried. For example, try the grilled chicken breast instead of the fried chicken.
• Drink water or nonfat milk instead of soda.
• As a side dish, serve a salad or a small portion of rice and beans instead of cassava or chips.
Myth: If I skip a meal, I can lose weight.
Truth: If you skip a meal, you may end up feeling hungrier. This can make you eat more than normal for the next meal. Studies show a relationship between not eating breakfast and obesity. People who do not eat breakfast often weigh more than people who eat a healthy breakfast.

Tip: Choose foods and snacks that include a variety of healthy foods. Try the following examples:
• Quick breakfast: Eat oatmeal with low-fat milk and cover with fresh fruit or eat a toast of brown bread with fruit jam.
• Healthy Lunches: Prepare your lunch every night, so you will not be tempted to rush out of the house in the morning without your lunch.
• Healthy snacks: Pack a small low-fat yogurt, a couple of whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter, or hummus vegetables

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