Are you confused about what you should and shouldn’t be eating? Are eggs good for you or will they give you a heart attack? Have you been enjoying your nightly glass of red wine only to read the latest study which claims that any amount of alcohol is bad for your health? Tired of being whipsawed? Here’s the lowdown on six prominent myths about diet and nutrition:
Myth #1: Diets Work
Many dieters are successful in the short run and are motivated by the fact that the weight comes off fast. The problem is that eventually all dieters get tired of deprivation and go back to their old habits. The only answer is to learn how to live in the real world with all of its fast food temptations.
Myth #2: You Can Exercise the Weight Off
Tempted to join a gym and maybe even hire a personal trainer to get the weight off? Don’t. We overestimate how many calories are burned by exercise. Just one example proves my point: Go for a moderate jog for 45 minutes and you get to eat 8 Oreos. Woo hoo! Maintaining a healthy weight is largely a function of what you put in your mouth. Exercise is an important ingredient of a healthy life, but it is not an effective weight loss technique.
Myth #3: Skipping Breakfast Saves Calories
Do you skip breakfast because you (1) are too busy to eat, (2) don’t feel hungry, or (3) think you’ll save calories by not eating until lunch time? If so, you’re likely to be overweight. Think about it. Your body has been fasting while you were sleeping and now expect it to get up and go mentally and physically with no fuel. Would you expect your car to run without gas? Many studies demonstrate that skipping breakfast only results in back-loading extra calories late in the day and making poor food choices.
Myth #4: Dr. Oz Has All the Answers
Dr. Oz has marketed himself into the Nutrition Guru of America. Every week he uses his wide-reaching media outlets to get his audience all excited about a magic pill that will melt the excess weight right off your body. Have you tried Raspberry Ketones, Garcinia Cambogia, or Green Coffee Beans? I bet the only thing that got lighter was your wallet. Think about it: He trumpets a new product every week. Doesn’t that make you wonder about last week’s “miracle?”
Myth #5: Your Body Needs a Colon Cleanse
Colon cleanses involve extreme calorie deprivation. As a result, you will likely lose weight immediately. But, no one can live on juice alone for long. Many people who go this route seem to be doing some sick kind of penance to punish themselves for their bad eating habits. The body is a self-cleaning machine. Enough said.
Myth #6: There are “Magic Foods”
Blueberries, acai berries, quinoa, kale. Are you tired of them? I am. They all have excellent nutritional value, but so do a lot of other foods. There are no special foods that will make up for eating junk food. Eat real food. Leave the packages on the grocery store shelves and aim for variety and color on your plate.
Now that the quick fixes are gone: Get Real. Get Healthy.