With all of the diet and weight loss information out there, it’s hard to know what will work for us. It seems that there is a always a new and better way to lose weight and keep it off. What really works, and why? Here are the most common misconceptions about diet, nutrition and weight loss.
Contrary to popular belief, carbs are essential to a balanced and healthy diet and maintaining energy levels. Simple carbs, those that are high in refined sugar (soda, candy, etc.), are bad for us. Eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables is actually really important to overall health, fitness and improving the way you look and feel.
Many non-fat products are full of refined sugar and salt to make them taste better. Small amounts of fat are actually really important. Fat helps us feel fuller longer, making us less likely to overeat.
Remember that losing weight means burning more calories than are consumed. Working out is a great way to burn calories during and even after the workout. However, most of us tend to overestimate how many calories we burn during our workouts. We also underestimate how many calories are in the food we eat. If you’re burning 350 calories during your workout and downing a cheeseburger, fries and a coke afterwards, you might actually gain weight! Try a heart rate monitor to get a good idea of how many calories you’re burning, and check online to see how many calories are in your favorite foods.
While it might feel really great to eat healthy foods and work out all week, try not to overdo it when you let loose. A few days of taking in too many calories leads to weight gain, regardless of how good you’ve been all week. Try to enjoy yourself in moderation throughout the week so you’re less likely to go overboard.
Going for long periods of time without food slows metabolism, confuses the body, and usually leads to eventual overeating. The body needs good, healthy food on a consistent basis to burn calories efficiently. Eating regularly can actually help weight loss.
Lisa Corsello is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, nutrition consultant and group fitness instructor who works with clients to create customized, goal-oriented exercise and nutrition plans. She works with a wide range of clients, from absolute beginners needing basic knowledge, enthusiasts who want to increase lean body mass and reduce body fat, people recovering from sports injuries or serious illness, and professional athletes in training.