Smart Diet Strategies. Part 1

Monday, October 10, 2011 9:55
Posted in category Diet

Set your eating straight by debunking old “truths”"

Think you’ve got the lowdown on losing weight? You’re probably not alone. From cutting out carbs to gulping down water, more than a few of us have diet “truths” we swear by. Unfortunately, a lot of these rules are no longer considered effective, and this outdated thinking may be the very thing that holds many people back from weight loss success, according to recent studies.

Check the list below. If any of these mantras sound familiar, you may need to reboot your diet brain. Click on your favorite myth and let our researchers and nutrition experts set you straight.

The denial school of nutrition makes for some pretty miserable eating. But there is something even more important you should know about it: As a food philosophy, it’s out of date. Once I decided to just say no to saying no, I discovered a fast-growing alternative universe that is, amazingly, about pleasure and health at the same time. I’m here with news from the land beyond denial: It’s okay to eat again. In fact, it turns out that it may be far more important to eat a peach or a bowl of strawberries or a piece of fish than to deny yourself the occasional steak.

Cutting Carbs

Old Diet-Think: “Everyone knows that carbs go straight to your hips.”

New Wisdom: Bread lovers, rejoice! Eating carbs won’t make you fat. In a new study, researchers at Georgetown and Michigan State universities found no link between body mass index and intake of added sugars (which are carbohydrates). Overeating — with any food — is what puts on the extra pounds. And it can be easier to overdo it on carbs than on other foods: That deli muffin you start your day with probably contains half the carbs you should get in a day (about eight or nine servings). Your best bet? Satisfy a carb craving with the complex kind, such as whole-wheat bread, sweet potatoes or oatmeal; these are rich in fiber, which creates bulk in the stomach and stifles hunger.

Willpower

Old Diet-Think: “I could lose more weight if I had more willpower.”

New Wisdom: Most people think willpower is something you’re either born with or you’re not, but in fact, willpower doesn’t even exist, says James Rosen, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Resisting temptation isn’t a matter of inner strength; it’s a matter of learning new behaviors. When you’re at a friend’s birthday party and want to be able to say no to a second slice of your favorite chocolate cake, you don’t need to “summon your willpower”—you need to take practical steps (filling up on healthier food at the start of the party, for instance). The more you practice these diet-defending behaviors, the more likely they’ll become lifelong habits.

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