There is an overwhelming amount of dietary mistakes & misinformation especially with regard to weight loss. Lets take a look at some popular beliefs that people follow in their attempt to lose weight.
“I can’t eat carbs – I’ll gain weight”.
Part of proper nutrition means that there needs to be an appropriate balance between macronutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates). Carbohydrates are used by the body as its main source of fuel for the brain and muscles. Too often people fear carbohydrates but that is not necessary. It is usually the amount and the type of carbohydrate that is problematic. Diets that are too low in carbohydrates result in fatigue and breakdown of muscle tissue. Extremely low carbohydrate diets have side effects that include nausea, headache, extreme fatigue and bad breath.
“I’m going out to dinner tonight so I’m going to skip lunch”.
This person is trying to reduce their calorie intake which sounds right for weight loss but what is really happening in this scenario? For one, when you skip a meal your body has no idea when you are going to eat again so its response is to conserve energy and slow down the rate at which you burn calories. In other words your body holds onto its fat stores. This is the exact opposite thing that you want in a weight loss program! Another issue with this behavior is that you will be so hungry by the time you get to that dinner you will most likely overeat and further exacerbate your weight loss difficulties.
“I’m just going to do a detox for a week to get a jump start on my diet – I also like the sound of cleansing my organs”.
This practice is counter-productive and potentially dangerous. Typical detox diets are too low in calories and protein. When you do not get enough calories or protein the end result will be loss of muscle tissue. In addition to dangerously low blood sugar where you can pass out, electrolyte imbalance may occur which can result in a heart attack. The liver and kidneys are natural filters of the body. They are sophisticated organs that do not get clogged and therefore do not need to be cleaned out like an air conditioning filter.
These are just a few of the common myths and ideas related to nutrition. There are many more. The truth is that there is no quick fix for health or weight loss. Always remember that if it sounds to good to be true it probably is!