When we decide to lose weight, we want to do it as quickly as possible -- even if it means deprivation and eating foods we don't like. That number on the scale is our only focus. But somehow as an intelligent society we just seem to never learn how to make this a lifestyle change. We lose the pounds quickly through deprivation and starvation, feel great for a short time, but always seem to gain it all back and often more. Then a few months later we do it all over again! Here are some of what I think are the worst tips you may have followed over the years. Let's change them and this time make the weight loss permanent.
- Eat five meals a day. This means on a 1,500 calorie diet, each meal is about 300 calories. This might work for breakfast or a snack, but when dinner comes around, you'll wonder where the rest of your meal is. You'll feel hungry throughout the day, ultimately eat more in the evening and eventually you'll find you can't maintain this. Go back to eating three complete meals and two snacks combining the four food groups. You should never feel hungry when trying to lose weight. The right combination of foods will satisfy your hunger.
- Don't eat carbs. This myth keeps rearing its ugly head! Complex carbohydrates are necessary for us to maintain our health. It supplies our body with energy and brain power. Complex carbs include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils. Watch your quantity when it comes to breads and grains. A half-cup of any grain is one serving.
- Don't eat fat. The right fats are essential for red blood cell and optimal hormone formation, joint lubrication and proper insulin function. The key here is to consume healthy fats and limiting saturated fats that come from animal sources. Healthy fats include fish, nuts and oils which won't clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol. You still have to watch the amounts realizing that 1 tbsp of oil, margarine or butter still contains 120 calories and 14g of fat.
- Trust food labels. Not all the time! Manufacturers want to sell their products, and labels are often misleading. Low fat can mean more sugar has been added. "No sugar added" often means artificial sweeteners are being used. "Light" can refer to colour, texture and flavour, not calories. The truth lies in reading the ingredients and their order. Avoid those with any form of sugar listed in the first few ingredients, hydrogenated fats, artificial colours and flavours and those that aren't 100% whole grains.
- Don't eat after 7 p.m. Oprah was one of the first to declare this weight loss rule. Let's be honest, it didn't work for her! Evening snacks under 200 calories are fine, but keep the snack healthy and make sure it includes two food groups. Fruit and a small piece of cheese, yogurt or a handful of nuts is perfect.
Doing away with these myths and following the right advice can help you maintain permanent weight loss and a healthy body weight.