We've all had people quote us these "diet rules" like they are written in stone. For example, I've always have people tell me "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Never skip breakfast."
Where did they get their information from? Sure, I know breakfast is important, but why can't I have a small breakfast? Why do I have to load up on eggs, bacon, and oatmeal just because someone told me so?
Thankfully, not all of these rules are written in stone! Here are a few of the most popular diet "rules" that are really more opinions than anything else!
1. Breakfast is the Most Important Meal
I like a small breakfast when I get up at 6 A.M., and I have a small midday meal/snack around noon. Am I making a diet no-no?
NO! Here's why:
- Eating too early leaves way too large an eating window until you eat lunch around 1 or 2 pm. This could lead to more fat storage, more hunger, and a greater chance that you'll snack.
- You don't have to eat the minute you wake up - that's just crock! You can eat hours later, especially if you don't feel immediately hungry.
- No meal is "THE MOST IMPORTANT". What matters is the total number of calories you eat, plus the balance of nutrients.
2. Big Dinners are Bad for You
If you eat late at night, you are:
- Going to sleep with food undigested - meaning your body absorbs more fat from the food.
- Increasing your risk of acid reflux.
It has nothing to do with weight loss...
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It doesn't matter WHEN you eat the calories, but HOW MANY really does matter. A study conducted in Italy actually found that those that ate their big meal at 6 P.M. lost more fat than those eating their big meal at 10 A.M - proof that dinners can be big and still healthy. Just don't eat too close to bedtime, but give your body at least 4 hours to digest.
3. Snacking Will Help You Lose Weight
WRONG! Eating more often throughout the day doesn't speed up your metabolism - it just eliminates the highs and lows in your blood sugar that is the result of 3 meals a day.
However, what it WILL do is help you to feel less hungry throughout the day. Eat 2 meals, 3 meals, 5 meals, or 6 meals - just keep those calories limited!
4. Low Carb Diets Lead to Weight Loss
Carbs have a bad reputation, but that's just because a lot of the carbs we eat are empty, white, or refined. If you look at potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat, and whole grains, you're actually looking at powerhouses in terms of nutrients and energy.
Low-carb diets are often seen as excellent for weight loss, but the truth is that a low refined-carb diet is the key to weight loss. Look at the Japanese - they eat a lot of rice, noodles, and carb-rich foods, and yet they're slim.
Your body demands carbs - just make sure it's the complex carbs that are healthy and whole.
5. Weight Loss Pills are Dangerous
There has yet to be a healthy pill or supplement that can actually speed up weight loss. Many of these pills HELP, or they simply cause the placebo effect. The sad truth, though, is that not even vitamins and minerals can speed up your weight loss.
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Vitamin D is the closest it gets to a "weight loss pill". It helps you to feel full, releases the hormone leptin that is needed for weight loss, increases calcium absorption, and causes you to store less fat. It also kicks cortisol's a**, reducing the amount of fat you store thanks to stress.
Adding 2,000 to 3,000 IU of Vitamin D to your life can fill nutritional gaps in your diet and help you to reach those weight loss goals just a bit more easily!
The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to follow a "diet" that you can actually stick to. That's why we promote fitness & nutrition as a LIFESTYLE; not a journey. For many, this change in nutrition can be difficult. But you can bring your training and results to the next level by enjoying the right foods with us and see what a difference eating to support your fitness goals can achieve. Click here to check out our nutrition guide and get the results you WANT and DESERVE.