Friday, March 18, 2011

Get It Right

"What can you do when your good isn't good enough?

When all that you touch crumbles down,

'Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things."

All I want,
is to just get it right.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dieting Myths Debunked!

Dear readers, the title says it all. Without further ado, let me present to you the few top big slimy fat lies of dieting and weight loss! Original link here.

Myth 1: Low-fat or no-fat diets are good for you.

Fact: Leading dietician Lyndel Costain says: 'People tend to think they need a low-fat diet to lose weight, but you should still have a third of your calories coming from fat.'

The body needs fat for energy, tissue repair and to transport vitamins A, D, E and K around the body.

Lyndel Costain adds: 'As a guideline, women need 70g of fat a day (95g for men) with 30g as the minimum (40g for men).

'There's no need to follow a fat-free diet. Cutting down on saturated fats and eating unsaturated fats, found in things like olive oil and avocados, will help.'

PLUS: 'Low fat' foods such as yoghurt with fruit usually contain large amounts of sugar (approx. 20-30% of your daily recommended allowance). Plain yoghurt would be a healthier option. see Myth 5

Myth 2: Crash dieting or fasting makes you lose weight.

Fact: This may be true in the short term, but ultimately it can hinder weight loss. Claire MacEvilly, a nutritionist at the MRC Human Nutrition Research Centre in Cambridge, explains: 'Losing weight over the long term burns off fat. Crash dieting or fasting not only removes fat but also lean muscle and tissue.'

The loss of lean muscle causes a fall in your basal metabolic rate - the amount of calories your body needs on a daily basis.

This means your body will need fewer calories than it did previously, making weight gain more likely once you stop dieting.

It's also why exercise is recommended in any weight-loss plan to build muscle and maintain your metabolic rate.

Claire MacEvilly adds: 'Fasting can also make you feel dizzy or weak so it's much better to try long-term weight loss.'

PLUS: Crash dieting causes you to starve and can lead to full blown binges when your resolve weakens, which will then rack you with guilt, thus repeating the whole cycle.

Myth 3: Food eaten late at night is more fattening.

Fact: Many diets tell you not to eat after a certain time in the evening. They say the body will store more fat because it is not burned off with any activity.

A study at the Dunn Nutrition Centre in Cambridge suggests otherwise. Volunteers were placed in a whole body calorimeter, which measures calories burned and stored.

They were fed with a large lunch and small evening meal for one test period, then a small lunch and large evening meal during a second test period.

The results revealed the large meal eaten late at night did not make the body store more fat.

It's not when you eat that's important, but the total amount you consume in a 24-hour period.

Lyndel Costain adds: 'It is true that people who skip meals during the day, then eat loads in the evening are more likely to be overweight than those who eat regularly throughout the day.

'This may be because eating regular meals helps people regulate their appetite and overall food intake.'

PLUS: A regulated appetite helps your body burn more calories compared to a starved or a state of irregularity, since your body will be poised to ready itself for starvation by generating more fats as a food store.

Myth 4: Fattening foods equal rapid weight gain.

Fact: Believe it or not, true weight gain is a slow process. You need to eat an extra 3500 calories to gain one pound of body fat (and vice versa for losing it).

Lyndel Costain explains: 'If the scales say you've gained a few pounds after a meal out, it's largely due to fluid, which will resolve itself - as long as you don't get fed up, and keep overeating!

'A lot of people feel guilty and think they've blown their diet if they eat rich foods. But, how can a 50g chocolate bar make you instantly put on pounds?

'For long-term weight control, balance high-fat foods with healthy food and activity.'

Myth 5: Low-fat foods help you lose weight.

'Low-fat' or 'fat-free' doesn't necessarily mean low calorie or calorie-free, warns Lyndel Costain.

Check the calorie content of foods, especially cakes, biscuits, crisps, ice creams and ready meals.

Extra sugars and thickeners are often added to boost flavour and texture, so calorie content may be only a bit less, or similar to standard products.

Foods labelled low-fat should contain no more than 3g fat per 100g.

'Watching the quantity is important,' adds nutritionist Alison Sullivan. 'People tend to have half-fat spread but then use twice as much.

'And things like fruit pastilles may be low in fat, but are high in sugar which turns to fat.

'With low fat foods, look to see where else the calories might come from.'

PLUS: Simple mathematics. Binging on two bars of chocolate stating to contain 50% of sugar from the original is equivalent to one original bar. Remember: MODERATION IS KEY.