Confused about how to lose weight? Not sure where to get started? Laura Stokoe, Healthy Living Advisor leader and CNP, shares with us some common weight loss truths and myths. This will get you on the right track! And to stay on track sign up for our email list here to get health advice to your inbox!
First of all, realize that losing weight properly takes time. You didn’t gain it overnight, so you won’t lose it overnight.
Sugar DOES cause weight gain. It also causes a myriad of significant health problems.
Artificial sweeteners are NOT the way to go. They can lead to weight gain (plus many dangerous health issues).
Stevia (a plant) is an amazing alternative to sugar. It tastes sweet without having any effect on the blood sugar level.
Processed, refined, packaged food often contains high amounts of sugar, sodium, damaged fats, and toxic chemicals. And, they have the potential to lead to an addiction that keeps us wanting more.
Water is essential to life. If we don’t have enough, our bodies hold on to it, creating water retention and bloating (excess sodium also causes this).
Snacking is good. It helps to prevent blood sugar swings, which can lead to cravings. Good choices are vegetables, plain or with hummus; fruit, on its own or with almond butter; nuts and seeds; and a boiled egg.
A person should stop eating when he or she is 2/3 full. Aim for being satisfied rather than stuffed.
Exercise is an essential part of losing weight. Without exercise, it can be very difficult to achieve the results we want. However, it doesn’t have to be intense; walking at least 20 minutes everyday can do wonders. Gaining muscle also helps to trim fat. Lifting light weights – even soup cans – is a great way to achieve this.
“Fat free” is the way to go – WRONG! “Fat free” does not mean healthier. Our bodies NEED good fats! Plus, chemicals and artificial sweeteners are often added to compensate for the loss of taste that comes with removing the fat. Finally, it contains the important fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), without which our bodies cannot function properly.
Counting calories is a healthy way to choose the right foods – WRONG! It’s time-consuming and adds unnecessary stress to meal and snack planning. Plus, the calorie amount doesn’t show us how healthy a food is. Where are the calories coming from? A “low fat” granola bar (refined; processed; sugar-containing; chemical-filled)? Or a handful of almonds and walnuts (raw; full of good fat, protein, and fibre)? When it comes to health, the quality of the food matters; the calorie count does not.
Carbs are the enemy – WRONG! They’re our friends! Choose healthy carbs such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes. Avoid the “bad” ones, such as pastries, cookies, and cakes. Eliminate the “white” foods: white bread, pasta, rice, and sugar.
Skipping breakfast leads to weight loss – WRONG! Our metabolism is very slow from our overnight “fast”, and it needs food in order to speed up again. Breakfast = Break the Fast. If we don’t eat anything until lunch or dinnertime, the body stores those calories rather than burning them off because it feels it is in starvation mode.
Losing weight comes naturally when we adopt a healthier lifestyle. It’s not just about losing weight... it’s about GETTING HEALTHY!! Losing weight is simply a positive side effect of gaining better health.
By Laura Stokoe CNP, RNCP
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