When it comes to health and diet there is so much information out there; it’s easy to get confused and hard to know what to follow. So many “rules” exist, it’s hard to know what to believe. Quite honestly it can change by the day! Here are a few “rules” I’ve learned to disregard over the years.
1. Carbs are bad. Not all carbohydrates are created equal. The way your body reacts to white rice is not the same as how it will digest an apple. Same as any whole-grain carb vs. white. So, no need to give up your rice side-dish, but make it brown, or try another grain like quinoa or farro.
2. You need to spend money to get fit. You do not need to join a gym or buy a lot of expensive equipment. If you do it will help, if you will *use* them, but there is also plenty of free things you can do. YouTube has a large selection of fitness videos now. Going for a walk or a hike is free. As long as you are consistent, you will see changes, you don’t need to invest a lot of money.
3. You need to spend hours a day exercising. Untrue. It’s all about what you are doing during the time you are working out. If you’ve only got 20 minutes you obviously need something higher intensity. But that doesn’t mean you won’t burn calories and if you’re doing it 5 days a week it will make a difference. Don’t forget to get creative, if you only have 15 minutes, do 15 in the morning and 15 in the evening.
4. Eating won’t be fun. Just not true! I’ve made tremendous adjustments in my diet and I’ve managed to find substitutes I love just as much as the lesss than great choices I was eating before. Whole grain noodles, lighter salad dressings, chicken sausage, low-fat cheese etc. Of course, everything in moderation, so don’t feel bad about a day a week where you splurge on your favorite pizza or dessert. This will also ensure you don’t feel deprived.
5. All calories are created equal. Nope! You might think: “ok I get 1500 calories a day I’ll eat my full fat ice cream for lunch so I don’t have to give it up.” I would instead suggest a better use for those calories, with less fat and more protein. 300 calories worth of high protein or complex carbs is better than 300 calories of saturated fats. Not all calories are equal and how your body processes and stores them are *very* different.
6. Fat is bad. So just above I talked about fat, well, not all fat is bad for you. Poly and Mono are “good” fats, while Saturated and Trans fats are “bad”. Again, it’s mostly in how your body processes and stores each. But no need to swear off almonds, tuna or avocado- they all have good fat. They are actually very good for you! Of course as always though, everything in moderation.
7. Diet pills and supplements work. I had to include this because sadly so many people fall prey and rely on these to “lose weight fast” and they expect it to work. Usually, it may, for the short term. However, I promise you I have yet to *ever* meet anyone they have worked for *long term*.
8. What works for me, will work for you. Everybody is different. To put it simply, for many various reasons we all need to find what works for us!
9. You will need to eat “diet foods”. Actually many things that are labeled and sold as “diet”, “healthy” “all natural” etc. etc. are not as good for you as you think. Nearly anything can be labeled, “natural”. But there is no reason to feel completely restricted, there are a lot of great healthier options that taste great and with Pinterest you can find unlimited healthy recipes! Switch things up and have fun, you don’t need to eat boring, plain, bland food for it to be healthy.
10. If you mess up, you should give up. That would be the worst mistake you can make! Never give up trying to improve and get healthier or fitter. Whatever it is that you feel you have “messed up”, stop, collect yourself and start new the next day!
Theresa is a wife and stay at home mother of 2 boys, David (13) and Aiden (10). Her hobbies include traveling, reading, running, cooking and volunteering at MI Humane Society with the adoptable cats. She also spends her free time serving as PTO President at her son’s elementary school. She enjoys being active and is proud to have completed 4 marathons. She loves to share her passion for health and fitness with others.