There’s a lot of conflicting information in the health and fitness industry that can be immensely confusing when beginning your journey to a healthier lifestyle. I’m going to shine the spotlight on a few common diet and exercise myths that may mislead you as you begin your New Year’s journey. First up we are going to look at DIET and some of the clever marketing ploys created to get you spending more.
Myth—Eat low fat foods for weight loss
Diets low in fat will leave you feeling tired, hungry and craving sugar. One thing I cannot stress enough is the importance of good fats in your diet! The best kinds are omega-3 and monounsaturated fats found in foods such as avocado, chia seeds and coconut oil. These fats are important for nutrient absorption, hormone balance, immunity, thyroid function (the gland in charge of regulating your metabolism) and overall well-being.
However, you still need to be wary of some fats: animal fats, manufactured fats and hydrogenated fats (margarine, vegetable oil and cooked olive oil) can all have a negative effect on your body’s health and may impede the function of the healthy fats mentioned above.
Myth—Low calorie or ‘diet’ foods are the best for weight loss
Just because an item is labelled sugar-free or ‘diet’ doesn’t always mean it’s healthy. These products often are instead packed with artificial sweeteners and chemicals, which are, in fact, worse for you! Sure, artificial sweeteners have zero calories, BUT they are much sweeter than real sugar, which, as you can imagine, confuses the hell out of your body! When you eat something sweet, your body expects the calories to follow, but when they don’t come, your body feels deprived and goes searching for it later (resulting in a late-night sugar binge).
Now I’m not telling you to go eat a big bag of jelly beans and gorge on Tim Tams. I’m simply suggesting that you shouldn’t choose your foods based on their calorie count. For example, if you had to make a choice between a glass of freshly squeezed juice and a zero-calorie fruit drink, I am sure you can guess which one would the better option. Count nutrients not calories!