Being fit, losing weight and enjoying your body doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your happiness. For many of us, the reason we’ve been struggling so hard to see results is because we’ve listened to mistaken diet “experts” who’ve effectively demonized the keys to success.
The first key is to enjoy your healthy lifestyle. Life-sustaining habits will bring you peace, not stress you out. Instead of making you more rigid, you’ll be more flexible. Instead of following diet-laws by rote, you’ll understand your body, your preferences, and the best path for you and your family. When making the change also nourishes your soul, not causing stress but peace, it’ll be a lot easier to turn new efforts in effortless habits.
You may have grown up hearing these three myths as if they were textbook truth. Nevertheless, they’re myths. Replace the wrong idea with the right one. Enjoy food. Enjoy fitness. Be well.
Myth #1: Fat Makes You Fat
Fat doesn’t make you fat. Consuming calories and not using them causes the body to convert glucose to fat, which is very efficient in storing energy. For most of us, the dietary culprit behind stubborn pounds and lack of energy/motivation to work out, are high sugar, refined, nutrient-deficient foods that don’t feed our cells. These empty foods can also cause sugar levels to spike and crash, slowing metabolism and making you more hungry, more often.
The awesome truth is that you can and must enjoy all kinds of foods that used to be on the “illegal” lists because of fat content. Our bodies require fat to live. There are vital, fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, E, D & K, which cannot be absorbed and used by our bodies without fat. Some of the healthiest fat sources that are not only yummy but actually promote weight loss include:
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and superfood seeds pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds. Studies show that nuts such as almonds reduce calorie and fat absorption, and when coupled with moderate regular exercise, actually cause abdominal fat to melt away.
Whole-food vegetable fats such as avocados, coconut oil, olives and olive oil. Coconut oil had a bad rap because of its saturated fat content; but it turns out that the medium-chain triglycerides that comprise the oil literally promote fat loss and lower unhealthy cholesterol levels. When coupled with even light exercise these fats help to fuel great energy, increase metabolism and burn fat.
Fatty fish and fish oils contain omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, and play a vital role in mood and behavior.
These fats don’t make you fat, they nourish you. And when you eat them, you feel fuller faster.
Myth #2: Low Fat Diet Is Healthy
Low-fat diets are now being associated with cognitive dysfunctions from mild brain fog and aloofness all the way out to Alzheimer’s Disease. Fat-deficiency negatively affects the brains cholesterol uptake; meaning, it doesn’t get enough of it. Cholesterol not only plays a significant role, but is possibly the key nutrient in forming healthy synapses in the brain, and these are vital for all cognitive function.
Fats are needed to form healthy cells, including beautiful glowing skin cells. Low-fat diets can contribute to early aging in the brain and skin.
In the article, “Fat Deficiency Kills More People Every Year than Breast Cancer,” osteopathic physician, researcher, author, health expert Dr. Mercola reported, “…omega-3 (fatty acid) deficiency is likely the sixth biggest killer of Americans.” Low-fat diets actually cause your healthy cholesterol levels to drop, thereby raising the LDL:HDL ratio, and increasing risk of heart disease.
Low-fat food products are often unnatural and processed, where the fat was stripped away and sugar added to compensate for the flavor. As a result, eating these foods leaves the body’s cells starving for nutrition. This causes people to overeat, to say the least, and is a straight path to insulin resistance.
As a new habit, don’t be afraid of fat. Eat healthy, whole-food source and superfood fats as mentioned earlier. Replace “low-fat” with “low-sugar” and “fat FREE” with “white flour and rice FREE” in your health paradigm.
Myth #3: You Need To Eat 5-6 Small Meals Per Day
I’m so glad this crazy claim has been officially debunked. Years ago I had a friend who insisted that the best way for me to stay in shape was to eat throughout the day. This never proved true for me, and only kept me slave to thinking about food.
As it turns out, the “graze” diet trend had little scientific basis, and for many people, is a fast-track to insulin resistance.
Today’s experts say you need 5-6 hours between meals for optimal health, digestion and fitness. From experience, I can vouch for it. Here’s why.
During the first three hours after digestion, insulin carries glucose from the blood into cells to be used as energy. During that time, fat burning is impossible.
What we call “burning fat” is our body’s use of fat for energy. This only happens when insulin levels are low. After three hours, insulin levels have dropped, the liver uses up it glycogen supply for energy, and now turns to fat. This process is healthy for the liver, and necessary for fat burning.
Always consult with your doctor before making dietary changes. If you are diabetic this may not be suitable for you. Talk to your physician.
I learned a long time ago to become friends with a little hunger. It’s uncomfortable at first, but commit to the time frame. You’ll learn to tolerate that sensation in your tummy. You’ll find a new means of satisfaction. You’ll survive. Before you know it, 5-6 hours won’t even be hard. And you’ll be delighted because the results from making just this small change can happen FAST.
- Make sure you’re fully satisfied after each meal. Eating healthy, fat-burning-fats like coconut oil, or high fiber foods like bran and flax, will make you feel full, faster, for longer.
- Drink more water between meals. Adding some lemon juice makes for a gentle cleansing tonic.
- Enjoy essential oils throughout the day. Diffuse them, sniff the bottle, or have a drop in your water to help to satisfy your senses and cool appetite. Peppermint and grapefruit are good appetite suppressants. There are also proprietary EO blends available.
- Kola nut is known to naturally relieve hunger pangs and suppress appetite. These contain caffeine, however, so use wisely.
- If you’re doing intense exercise every day, you need more calories. Take that into consideration.
- You know the lingo: eat a diverse diet with a wide variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains, proteins and fats.
- Taking a quality multi-vitamin is a good idea.
- If you’re not exercising yet, starting out with a daily 10 minute walk could change your life forever. It will grow to 20, 30 and eventually 60 minutes. And who knows, maybe someday you’ll go from walking to running. Start slow, and enjoy the ride.