We’re on to Week #5 in Let’s Move Quad Cities’ “Eight Weeks with Jeni and Chelsey.” Our nutrition and fitness experts are providing tips for a better you in 2016. This week, we bust some myths that can affect your fitness and diet goals.
Diet Myth #1: “You cannot eat late at night and lose weight”
Jeni: Weight loss occurs when you are in a calorie deficit. You have to consume fewer calories than you need to maintain your current weight or burn more calories off through exercise.
Eating food later at night does not mean that you will fail at weight loss. However, if you find that you are very hungry in the late hours then you need to look at how much you are eating during the day to fuel your activities.
Diet Myth #2: “Grain products such as pasta, rice, and bread make you gain weight”
Jeni: There are many benefits from including whole grains in your diet. Whole grains such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta are high in fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.
Including whole grains in your diet decreases your risk of chronic diseases such as colon cancer and helps keep you regular.
Grains have calories just like meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
For weight loss, a calorie deficit must occur and the portions of grains may need to be reduced (a bagel thin instead of a large bagel from a restaurant or 1 cup of brown rice instead of 3 cups of white rice).
Diet Myth #3: “Skipping meals will help me lose weight”
Jeni: Going too long without eating can lead to overeating. A key to successful weight loss is fueling yourself throughout the day so that you do not feel too hungry or deprived.
Look at your schedule and plan a meal or snack every 4-5 hours. If you eat lunch at 11 am and dinner is not until 7 pm, then you need a 3 pm snack to keep you fueled during the afternoon.
Have you ever come home from work and felt so famished that you couldn’t stop yourself from snacking until dinner? Prevent those moments by planning a head and eating consistently throughout the day.
Fit Myth #1 “Muscle weighs more than fat.”
Chelsey: A pound is a pound. One pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat; however, muscle is DENSER, taking up “less room” in the body than a pound of fat.
Fit Myth #2 “Crunches and sit ups will give me defined abs.”
Chelsey: Though abdominal exercises help strengthen the trunk, definition in the stomach area is through a balanced diet (ask Jeni), cardiovascular exercise and yes, sometimes DNA plays a role in “6-pack” abs.
Fit Myth # 3 “Longer periods of cardio exercise will make me thinner.”
Chelsey: Lean muscle comes from, again, a healthy, balanced diet and consistent weight training, cardiovascular exercise, healthy sleep balance, and living (fairly) stress-free.
Fit Myth # 4: “BMI is the primary indicator of my health.”
Chelsey: BMI is simply your height to weight ratio.
Though there is evidence of heart-health linked to your BMI number, it does not define you.
Many individuals with high muscle mass will have a high BMI, but are still heart-healthy.
Use your clothes and the way you feel as measurements of good health. If you have concerns, ask your physician.
A word about self-talk in the kitchen and in the mirror…
Jeni: Your self-talk has a big impact on your diet. If you think negatively about your eating habits and your body, then you will sabotage yourself during the day with unhealthy meals and snacks.
Make a rule that when you hear a negative thought enter your mind you replace it with the mantra, “I can eat healthy.”
Do not berate your own physique to friends and family. When you insult yourself out loud, that shows that your internal dialogue is negative. People who think positively about healthy eating and their body can make peace with food and truly change their lifestyles.
Chelsey: Positive self-talk from when you wake up in the morning until you go to sleep at night is CRUCIAL for your body to respond to any physical activity or lifestyle change.
A healthy body image in today’s world can be difficult with media and constant reminders of the challenge to lose weight and keep it off; however, gain empowerment by recruiting those around you and getting involved groups of people who help build you up.
Running clubs, sports teams, employer weight challenges and personal trainers are all ways to help keep your mind on track for success.
Advice on the Power of Meal Planning
Jeni: Healthy eating must be a priority in your life. Take time each week to plan a list of meals for the week.
Have healthy foods in the house for breakfast such as fresh fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat toast, smoothie ingredients, flax seed, and slivered almonds.
Purchase healthy foods for lunches for the whole family: whole wheat sandwich thin, hummus, fresh vegetables, steam-fresh veggies, lean meats, and low fat yogurt.
For planning dinners, look at your weekly schedule. If you have meetings, sporting events, and other engagements on certain nights of the week, plan healthy crockpot meals or make soup or stew in the crockpot in the morning.
Write your menu for meals for the week and post it as a reminder on your refrigerator. Include fruits and vegetables as sides. Write “salad, steamed vegetables, or sliced pineapple” so that you will prepare the produce you purchased for the week.
If your week seems overwhelming, you can cook meals on the weekend and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer to eat during the week. If you wait and see then you may end up ordering pizza or in the drive thru.
Planning is a key to healthy eating!
Plan and Schedule Your Fitness Activities
Chelsey: Physical activity needs to be as important in your daily life as all of your other requirements.
You wouldn’t drive to work without putting gas in your car, don’t forget to feed your body and mind with activity to keep energized and a clear focus.
Schedule in periods of 15 minutes for activity, sign up for ball room dancing or a yoga class, and ask for help to remain accountable.
Sometimes a simple text or ping from a friend or trainer can help get your shoes on and get out the door for some movement.
Surround yourself with healthy reminders to stay active and enjoy the journey! You are adding years to your life by remaining steadfast and taking time to MOVE.