So-Called Facts That Can Derail Your Diet

Right now, we’re going to talk about some of the diet “facts” that circulate in gyms and exercise classes. These sound good - but they don’t work.  This comes from one of our best sources for nutrition news, Self magazine:

  • You can eat all the fruit and veggies you want. Nope! Keri Gans, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says that you need to be careful about high-sugar, high starch fruits and veggies like bananas, potatoes, and dried fruit. Her advice? Limit yourself to two servings of those foods a day and take in another four servings of things like cucumbers, broccoli, and green beans.
  • Next so-called fact: Never go back for seconds. The truth is, many people actually eat more when they say “No” to a second helping. Why? Because they load up their plates so much on the first go around - and then eat it all before their stomach has a chance to tell the brain it’s full. The guideline is to leave about a quarter of your plate empty and eat slowly. If you’re still hungry after 20 minutes, go back for a reasonable second helping.
  • The 3rd false belief that can derail your diet: If you exercise, you can eat more. Unfortunately, hitting the gym doesn’t burn as many calories as we think. Research from the Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at California Polytechnic State University finds that 30 minutes on the elliptical machine burns off just half a candy bar. So, instead of thinking of your time at the gym as a free pass to the fridge, focus on how working out and eating better will help you look and feel your best.  
  • You may have heard that putting a picture of someone skinny on your fridge will inspire you to lose weight, but that’s way off base! Kathleen Martin Ginis, a professor of health and exercise psychology at McMaster University, says that comparing yourself to others hurts your self-image. That means you’re less likely to stick to your eating and exercise plan. So ditch the skinny pics!

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