Diet Myths = Diet Lies

I wrote the following article in 2013, and it was published on RXGirl.com 

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Copyright : Nipon Temsakun

MYTH: You should avoid eating fat.

FACT: Despite the fact that fat carries more than twice the amount of calories per gram when compared with carbohydrates and protein, fat takes longer to empty from the stomach and thus keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Fat also adds flavor to foods and heightens the dining experience. In addition, you must consume some fat in order to maintain proper cellular health. Omega fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, all of which are healthy forms of dietary fat, actually lower LDL cholesterols in the blood.

 

MYTH: Healthy foods are more expensive.

FACT: Many unprocessed foods such as grains, fresh vegetables and fruit are extremely cheap. Think about it. You can purchase a five pound bag of potatoes for a couple of dollars, or you can buy a bag of potato chips for $3.49 or more. And I don’t need to tell you that the bag of potatoes will provide sound nutrition and far more food bulk than the chips. I am not a big fan of certain natural food markets because they are grossly overpriced, so I visit other markets which have very reasonable prices on their unprocessed foods. Processed and fast foods may be more convenient, but they are more costly over time, especially if you eat them frequently.

 

MYTH: Late night meals will make you fat.

FACT: Your body doesn’t process food differently once the sun comes down. The problem that many people have is that they restrict their caloric intake too much during the day, usually by skipping meals. By the time they get home from a busy day, they are starving, and will eat an excessive amount of calories to satisfy their hunger. Another issue is the mindless munching on snack foods which people often do while watching TV or sitting at the computer.
As long as you eat a reasonably sized, healthy meal, nighttime eating shouldn’t result in weight gain.

 

MYTH: You can eat any foods you want as long as you do it in moderation.

FACT: It’s okay to indulge in a calorie dense or unhealthy food item once in a while, but if you make it a regular practice to eat junk foods every day, you are doing your body and your health a huge disservice. Trust me, a chiseled physique can never be built on a pizza diet (I know, wishful thinking, right?). Your body requires high quality protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed or minimally processed carbohydrates to function optimally and to support a healthy metabolism.

 

MYTH: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.

FACT: Spacing your meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism running in high gear. It is true that breakfast is an important meal because it provides essential nourishment, regulates mood and energy levels and boosts mental clarity. People who skip meals are notorious for eating excessive amounts of food when they actually do eat, and those meals are usually unhealthy and of poor nutritional value. If you are prone to skipping meals, try keeping a food journal to monitor your meal consumption throughout the day.

 

MYTH: Carbohydrates will make you fat.

The truth is, carbohydrates are usually consumed in excess by many people. What this does is cause a sharp increase in blood glucose, which triggers insulin release so that the glucose can be converted to glycogen for storage in the liver and muscles. Only a certain amount of this glycogen can be stored, with the excess being stored as body fat. Once the blood glucose level falls below normal, carbohydrate cravings are triggered which many individuals succumb to.

When you cut carbohydrate intake, you will experience a rapid weight loss initially as the body drains glycogen stores for energy. What also occurs is that water is released as the glycogen is utilized, resulting in weight loss from the increased urination which results. But after about two weeks, the increased urination ends, and along with it, the rapid weight loss.

Skipping Meals Does NOT Work For Weight Loss

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Yes, you read that title correctly. If you have been on one diet after another in an effort to try to lose those last 5, 10, 15, or however many pounds, perhaps losing some weight only to gain all of it back plus some bonus weight, then it is highly likely that you have damaged your metabolism via severe calorie restriction. There is a very good reason why the weight loss industry is so successful and why certain well-known weight loss programs keep their customers coming back. The reason has everything to do with severe caloric restriction which squashes metabolism.

Another common practice among those trying to lose weight is to skip meals in an effort to cut calories. As stated before, you wreak havoc on your metabolism when you skip meals by causing it to slow down. Why does this happen? When there is no food to break down, the body’s furnace slows down and becomes so sluggish that when you actually do eat something, your body is less equipped to break down the food quickly, so much of it is stored as fat. Depriving yourself of food also causes sharp drops in blood sugar, robbing you of energy and increasing insulin resistance. Increased insulin resistance over time can precipitate the development of diabetes.

Other consequences of skipping meals include the following:

• Malnutrition – If you do not feed your body regular, balanced meals, it is highly likely that you are depriving it of essential nutrients. Malnourished states can lead to weight gain, poor health and progression of disease over time.

• Poor concentration – This is due to the depletion of glycogen stores which occurs. The brain simply does not have enough fuel to run on, resulting in fogginess.

• Hunger pangs – When you skip meals, you may experience intense feelings of hunger along with anxiety, dizziness or nausea. In addition, such feeling may lead to overeating when you finally sit down to eat something. Loading the body with a large meal is overkill, and leads to poor digestion and absorption as well as increased storage in body fat stores.

Do yourself a favor and practice the following guidelines. If you do, you will be rewarded with a healthy weight for a lifetime.

1. Don’t skip meals.
2. Make sure to eat enough protein to sustain your energy levels and satisfy your hunger.
3. EAT BREAKFAST.
4. Commit to healthy meals.
5. When you turn to snacks, make sure healthy alternatives are available so you aren’t tempted to reach for a nutrient-poor convenience food.

What Happens When You Skip Meals

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You might be under the impression that skipping meals benefits you since you aren’t taking in calories constantly. Well, I’ve got news for you. By skipping meals, you are putting the brakes on your metabolism. Think of it this way. When a fire is burning in a fireplace, the intensity of the fire dies down dramatically when there are only embers and no logs on the pile. Skipping meals has the same effect. What makes it even worse is that, since the metabolism is now extremely sluggish, when you finally DO eat something, your body can’t break down the food as efficiently, and more of it ends up being stored as fat.

If you skip meals, you probably suffer to some extent from malnutrition, since you aren’t consuming sufficient nutrients throughout the course of the day. Chronic malnutrition can trigger the development and progression of a multitude of diseases. The sharp drops in blood sugar which occur as a result of skipped meals cause an increase in insulin resistance, which can result in the development of diabetes.

When you consider how much of a negative health impact skipping meals has, why would you ever do it?