More Weight Loss Tips!
We know that carrying excess weight increases risk of type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, certain cancers, back and joint pain, and more. Anyone who has tried knows that reaching or maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult. In today’s instant-access media culture, information, advice, and products promising to melt away unwanted fat abound. Sifting through all the misinformation and trying to separate fact from fiction can be frustrating. Here is the truth about some common weight loss myths and misconceptions:
𝗠𝗬𝗧𝗛 #𝟭: 𝗧𝗼 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁, 𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗯𝘀 (𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗳𝗮𝘁).
I’ve talked about this before but let’s reiterate the point— Cutting out an entire category of nutrients is never a good idea from a health standpoint. Our bodies require a diversity of nutrients to function. But—call it Atkins, Paleo, or keto—low-carb eating is the current rage. “Most modern carb-rich foods are ultraprocessed and high in refined starches or sugars: white bread, white rice, breakfast cereals, refined crackers, potato and corn chips, fries, bakery desserts, sweets, soda, and so on,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of the Friedman School and editor-in-chief of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter. “A ‘low-carb’ focus can help people avoid such products.”
But many other carbohydrate-containing foods—like fruits, vegetables, minimally processed whole grains, beans, and legumes—are important for health. They provide dietary fiber and phytochemicals, which have many positive metabolic effects and also are crucial to maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
Avoiding fats may seem like a good option for weight loss because fats have more than twice the calories per gram compared with carbs and protein, but research shows this is not a good strategy. “Many trials have shown that higher fat diets, including Mediterranean-style diets and low-carb diets, are better than low-fat diets for weight loss,” says Mozaffarian. “And avoiding fat cuts out healthy unsaturated fats, like those found in nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and plant oils.”
𝗠𝘆𝘁𝗵-𝗯𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲: Focus on eating a Mediterranean-style diet that includes minimally processed fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, legumes, and plant oils rich in phytochemicals; moderate fish and dairy; occasional unprocessed meat; and low intakes of highly processed foods including refined starches, sugars, and salt.
𝗠𝗬𝗧𝗛 #𝟮: 𝗪𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝗜’𝗺 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁, 𝗜 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗿𝘆.
Some of the best weight-loss foods are actually the most filling! Research suggests that minimally processed foods that are also high in dietary fiber (such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains) are the most satisfying. This is possibly because they are digested more slowly and the slower release of starch and sugars into the bloodstream helps us to feel satisfied longer. “Randomized trials by Susan Roberts, PhD, from Tufts show that low-glycemic, high-fiber diets both help people lose weight and reduce hunger,” says Mozaffarian. “And, a recent trial by Kevin Hall at the National Institutes of Health found that people are hungrier, eat more, and gain weight when eating ultraprocessed foods; and they feel more full, eat less, and lose weight when eating minimally processed foods.” Higher-fat, low starch, low-sugar diets also seem to help with satiety.
Knowing the facts can help take off pounds and inches.
𝗠𝘆𝘁𝗵-𝗯𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲: Fill your plate with minimally processed fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains, which are high in dietary fiber, and foods rich in healthy fats to help with both weight control and hunger.
𝗠𝗬𝗧𝗛 #𝟯: 𝗪𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗳𝗮𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀.
Losing weight without staying active can lead to loss of muscle along with fat. Preserving (and even increasing) muscle mass is important for long-term health and for maintaining weight loss. Muscle has a positive impact on metabolism, the rate at which the body burns calories. Less muscle means fewer calories burned in a day.
Being active is important, but nearly all studies show that physical activity alone does not result in long-term weight loss. According to a 2018 review of studies published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, activity alone—resistance training, aerobic exercise, or a combination of both—resulted in zero to three percent weight loss, while weight-loss diets in combination with aerobic activity (like brisk walking, swimming, or bicycling) resulted in five to fifteen percent weight loss. While activity burns calories, it may increase hunger. Changing your diet is the most powerful way to lose weight, and adding exercise is even better.
𝗠𝘆𝘁𝗵-𝗯𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲: To avoid losing muscle, eat a healthy diet (like a Mediterranean-style pattern) while increasing your activity. If possible, include modest strength training exercises. Choose activities you enjoy and that fit with your schedule, making physical activity a welcome part of your lifestyle.
𝗠𝗬𝗧𝗛 #𝟰: 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗶𝘅 𝘀𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗮 𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗼𝗿 𝗳𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘀.
The concept that eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day will help people eat less is not proven. For some people, eating every two to three hours may prevent blood sugar drops and the overeating that can result from increased hunger between meals. But other people may end up eating more if they eat multiple small meals. Similarly, while intermittent fasting may work well for some people, it may not help others. While more research is needed, studies to-date suggest that all these choices are reasonable and safe. Until more evidence arrives, the effect of meal frequency appears highly individual—see what works best for you.
NOTE: Personally, I think there’s a benefit in eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day but the key is SMALLER & MORE FREQUENT.
𝗠𝘆𝘁𝗵-𝗯𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲: The best meal frequency plan is the one that suits your lifestyle, makes you feel satisfied and energized, and helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
𝗧𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗽𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝗺𝘆𝘁𝗵𝘀:
-𝗔𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝘂𝗴𝗮𝗿, 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗯𝘀.
Cut back on or eliminate white bread, white rice, refined breakfast cereals and crackers, potato and corn chips, fries, bakery desserts, sweets, and soda.
-𝗙𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘂𝗽 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱, 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵 𝗳𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿, 𝗽𝗵𝘆𝘁𝗼𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹-𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗳𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀.
Seek out fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and less processed whole grains (steel-cut oats, cracked wheat, barley, millet). These healthy choices help stave off hunger.
-𝗘𝗻𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗳𝗮𝘁𝘀.
Nuts, seeds, avocados, and plant oils (olive, avocado, soybean, canola, etc.), as well as fish and unsweetened yogurt, are all great choices for weight and your overall health. Moderate consumption of cheese, eggs, and poultry is also better than choosing starchy and sugary foods.
-𝗠𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝗿 𝗯𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗰𝗹𝗲.
Keep active and eat adequate protein to preserve or even increase muscle mass. This will help to achieve healthy, long-term weight loss and maintenance.
-𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝘅𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗲.
Physical activity is important for weight maintenance, but on its own isn’t likely to have as much impact as when you also change your diet.
-𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗠𝗘𝗔𝗟𝗦 𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁.
The ideal meal frequency is the one that fits your lifestyle and makes you feel and perform your best.
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