Debunking diet myths

Dieting is on everyone’s mind. Sure, we might all slip a bit during the holidays, but that nagging feeling of what we ‘should’ be doing versus what we want to do can make anyone go crazy.

And with fad diets crashing the scene every minute, it can be difficult to know what diet rules to follow and which ones to throw out the window. Here are some diet rules that need a revision, according to Family Circle magazine’s February 2011 edition.

Myth: Avoid your scale. In fact, toss it out the window. It has nothing you need.

The truth is your weight is actually an important number that can determine your health. A higher weight (according to your BMI-body mass index) could have serious health affects. It is important to know your weight so you know where you are on the health scale. In fact, if you are trying to lose weight, stepping onto a scale can actually improve your results. Women who weighed themselves regularly while losing weight had a better time of keeping the weight off. Avoiding weigh ins can be a way of avoiding the truth, which can lead to weight gains. However, just know that the number is just a number. It does not define you or your confidence. But weighing yourself can tell you how successful your work out plans are and if you are staying in a healthy weight range.

Myth: Eat mindfully. Listen to your body to know how much food you should eat.

So, this rule is not really a myth, per se. However, it can be difficult, if not impossible, for busy women (and men) to keep on that diet. Eating mindfully requires a lot of discipline and time to know what makes your body happy. And if you are one of those who works or is busy wrangling kids, you don’t have a second to breathe let alone “listen” to your body. Most people inhale food instead of chewing slowly which is recommended. And our bodies are hard wired to eat as much as we can. Combat that natural instinct to stuff your face as quickly as possible by getting rid of the temptation to overeat. Family Circle Magazine recommends that you switch to a smaller plate or to put treats and other tempting food out of your line of sight. Even better, don’t buy the treats at all to avoid mindless eating.

Myth: Only shop the perimeter of the grocery store. The food in the middle is tempting and bad for you.

Yes, fruits and veggies tend to be on the outer part of the store layout, you are missing out on many other food groups like grains, fiber and protein. Don’t shop when you are hungry to avoid temptation and stick to your shopping list to avoid impulse buys.

Before you take on any diet or eating plan, consult your doctor. This is why health insurance is necessary. Big changes in diet and exercise can have adverse affects on your body. To make sure the right plan works for you, consult your doctor or dietitian.