Maintain a healthy weight: myths and facts

One of the ironies of losing and/or maintaining weight is sorting through all the information on how to do it effectively. There are thousands of foolproof weight loss reports and programs touted on TV, online, as well as ideas from family or friends, all with good intentions of course.

With hundreds of weight loss products and theories, confusion begins to arise. There is a lot of good information out there, however, there are also a lot of myths, misinformation and scams. The following common weight loss myths and facts will put you on a healthy path to losing and maintaining your goal weight.

Myth: Losing weight quickly encourages people to stick to the plan.

Fact: Losing weight quickly may seem like it encourages people to stay on the plan, and yet it may only be short-term. The truth is that when you starve you lose muscle and this slows down your metabolism. Thus, your body will burn fewer calories and it will be more difficult to lose and maintain weight in the long term.

Myth: Eating just three meals a day and NOT snacking is the best way to lose weight.

Fact: Eating three main meals with a healthy, low-calorie snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon is highly effective. Snacking within your calorie count prevents deprivation. Low-calorie snacks should be counted as your total daily calorie intake. For example: 1,400 calories. Breakfast: 350 calories. Mid-morning snack: 100 calories. Lunch: 400 (450) calories. Mid-afternoon snack: 100 calories. Dinner: 450 (400) calories.

Myth: Low-fat meal plans are the best for weight loss.

Reality: This myth seems to be true, however, it is false. The truth is double. #1: Your body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly. #2: Low-fat or fat-free foods are still high in calories, fillers, and sugar. Ultimately, it’s the number of calories you eat that causes weight gain, not the amount of fat. The most effective eating plan is one with monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and no saturated or trans fats. Research reveals foods rich in MUFAs; improves blood cholesterol, which reduces heart disease. Popular MUFA foods include: raw almonds, walnuts, macadamia, cashews, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, avocado, non-hydrogenated peanut butter or almond spreads, olive, safflower, and peanut oil.

Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs): Plant-based foods and oils are essential to a healthy eating plan. PUFA improves blood cholesterol and also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Omega-3s, found in fatty fish, are especially beneficial for heart health, lowering blood cholesterol and heart disease. It also protects against irregular heartbeats and lowers blood pressure.

Myth: Counting calories is only for obese people to lose weight.

Fact: Depending on your lifestyle and exercise program, your body needs a certain number of calories each day to maintain good health. Eating more calories than your body needs in a 24-hour period is the reason people gain weight over time. To effectively maintain weight, you need to eat only the number of calories needed each day to maintain your ideal weight.

Myth: Carbohydrates make you fat.

Fact: It’s not carbohydrates that cause weight gain, it’s excessive calorie consumption. The problem is that highly processed carbohydrates (wheat/whole grain bread, cakes, pasta, pastries, cookies, muffins, etc.) are high in calories. Instead, choose non-wheat carbohydrates (also known as gluten-free) and reduce portion sizes.

Myth: To lose weight, you need to deprive yourself.

Fact: Losing weight effectively means maintaining an overall healthy eating plan. Eat to maintain a healthy body weight for your height and body frame (small, medium, large). Maintaining a healthy eating plan will create the results you want. An eating plan that drastically cuts calories or deprives you of your favorite foods lowers your long-term success rate. The most successful meal plan begins with choosing the right foods for your blood type and includes your favorite ingredients with a few modifications.

Learn to create your favorite dishes using healthy ingredients – Avoid genetically modified foods and wheat. Wheat-free (gluten-free) products include: rice, tapioca, spelled, quinoa, etc.

Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in your daily meal plan and exercise regularly. Creating a healthy lifestyle is key to reducing and maintaining your ideal weight.

Keeping the weight off is pretty easy when you avoid “quick fix” programs and eat straight from your blood type.

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