One of the most common myths is that eating late at night means automatic weight gain. Many people think that anything they eat after 9 o’clock will turn straight into fat. The truth according to research is that it is the collective calories you consume throughout the day that cause you to gain weight. For example, if the amount of calories that you need each day is 1700, then if you have only had 1500 calories that day, a late night snack of 200 calories won’t hurt you.
The best way to go about calories throughout the day is to spread it throughout the day. It is recommended to eat something small every four to five hours to fuel your body and brain. This also helps to regulate your appetite.
Concerning late night dinners, it is important to watch portions and adjust what you eat to what you have eaten the rest of the day.
Late night munchies should include controlled snacks. Keeping those snacks under 250 calories such as some light popcorn, a handful of almonds or a frozen banana for a great snack.
If you happen to find that you are abstaining from food all day and bingeing at night, you may want to consider talking to your doctor. A certain type of binge eating, called night eating disorder is becoming more common.
This is a disorder that is becoming increasinly understood among the medical community.
Another myth is that fruits and vegetables are more nutritious in their fresh form than if they are frozen.
The truth is that freezing often does not cause fruit to lose any of its nutrients. This myth is rooted in the fact that fruits and vegetables do tend to lose their nutrients when they are boiled. Suprisingly, frozen fruit may actually contain more nutrients than the fresh produce. This is because the fresh produce bought around the corner may actually be older than you expect. Grocers typically stock produce which is at least a week old. The products have been sorted, packaged and shipped across the country.
Also, the variations in light and temperature may take away some of the important nutrients such as Vitamin C and folate that fruit naturally provides. It is also important to consider how long produce sits in you’re fridge.
Canned and frozen produce can retain more nutrients because they are processed more quickly so there is not as great of a window for the produce to lose its natural nutrients.
Tomatoes also contain a greater level of antioxidants when they are canned than when they are fresh. The downside involves food processing companies who add unnecessary and unhealthy elements such as salt, sugar and fat.
It is recommended therefore to purchase a variety of canned and fresh produce. This way, you will be sure to get the nutrients you need.
It is also important to eat fresh fruit and vegetables as quickly as possible to obtain the maximum nutritional content.
Another common myth is that cravings are your bodies way of telling you that you need something to eat. Scientists have never been able to link cravings to nutrient deficiencies.
A study was done on people with constant chocolate cravings. The group was given food that mimicked the chemcals in chocolate, while the other group was given a fake chocolate bar that looked, smelled and tasted like chocolate. The bar contained absolutely no chocolate. The group that was most satisfied was the group with the fake chocolate. It was then shown that it was not the chemicals in the chocolate itself that people were craving. It was more likely that the smell, look, taste and even emotional connection to chocolate is what really causes the addictive quality.
The cravings of food are said to be more closely tied to our emotions and are psychologically driven. People crave foods they enjoy and that are associated with events that they enjoy. People typically crave food that they may have enjoyed with family and friends. Cravings are also caused by changes in hormones.
Another myth dieters often succumb to is that a juice diet is a quick and healthy way to flush out unnecessary toxins from your body and and slim down quickly.
The truth is that your body is fully capable of cleaning out itself. The kidneys, liver and bladder happen to be experts on that subject and that is their primary purpose. Juice may actually cause you to overeat. Most juice is high in sugar and creates highs and lows in your blood sugar levels which can cause greater hunger. Juice also has zero protein which is critical for weight loss. Protein is what helps maintain lean muscle mass and stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
A more realistic way of trimming the fat is to focus on lean protein such as chicken, fish or tofu, plenty of vegetables and moderate amounts of fresh fruit and whole grains. It is also a better idea to flush any unneeded calories out with water and exercise.
Another myth that we all wish were true is that celery or cabbage soup and grapefruit can make you lose weight as you eat it. There is not really any scientific evidence that backs that myth up. These foods are low in calories and high in nutrientns, but they are not capable of burning fat on their own. Most people who have lost weight from eating grapefruit or celery are substituting the fruit and/or vegetable for other foods which are higher in calories.
An additional myth is that you should only weigh yourself one time each week. According to two recent studies weighing yourself daily allows people to be more successful. Perhaps knowing that they are being held accountable daily boosts self control and determination to continue on the diet process.
It is recommended by psychologists however, that if you have an obsessive personality to limit yourself to viewing the scale once a week. It is better to track process in other ways such as assessing the fit of your clothing and taking body measurements.