Are you confused about all the counter-intuitive advice out there on how to live a healthy lifestyle and lose the extra pounds? Let me help you clear up some major myths of a healthy lifestyle that are misleading and may be sabotaging your efforts.
1. You must have lots of willpower in order to eat a healthy diet.
Stop blaming yourself for eating that whole bag of chips. Take the guilt out of your vocabulary and have healthy choices on stock at all times in your fridge, in your car, in your office, everywhere. Then, when a craving hits, at least you have options – and, really, quit blaming yourself – you’re NORMAL!
2. You must have motivation in order to exercise consistently.
If you’re waiting for motivation to kick your butt out the door to exercise, you’ll be waiting a looooong time! Make exercise your priority for 21 days. It’ll hurt a little, but soon it will become a habit. And guess what that means? When exercise is a habit, you’ll do it even when you don’t feel like it!
3. Carbs make you gain weight.
Your body NEEDS carbs for energy. We’re talking complex carbs here, not junky carbs. Junky carbs, or simple carbs, include candy, pastries, cakes, and processed foods. A few examples of ‘right’ carbs are legumes, vegetables, and whole grains!
4. All fat is bad.
Your brain needs fat, especially since it’s 60% fat! All of these ‘low fat’ and ‘no fat’ diets can lead to early dementia, according to Dr. David Perlmutter. Feed your body unsaturated and saturated good fats. Avoid the transfats. Choose olive or avocado oil over canola and vegetable oil. Choose ghee over margarine, and for heaven’s sake, avoid hydrogenated oils!
5. Cholesterol over 200 is unhealthy.
It’s all about the RATIO of total cholesterol over HDL. Your HDL lipid score is the GOOD cholesterol — fighting to clear out the LDL, which is your bad cholesterol. You may have cholesterol over 200, but that could be because your HDL is so high– you want the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL to be 2.5-3.0.
6. All fast food is bad for you.
Rejoice! You can eat healthy when going out to eat and EVEN when driving through for fast food. Fast food chains are joining the healthy bandwagon, and there are plenty of great choices. Decide before you roll down your window that you’re going to choose the salad, the grilled chicken, or the brown rice — and stick to your decision!
7. You must cut out certain food groups in order to lose weight.
You know what’s best for your body. Every BODY is different. Some cannot tolerate meat; some cannot tolerate gluten. Choose what gives you energy. I say variety is the way to go…eat the colors of the rainbow when choosing what to eat. Ask yourself, have I eaten only ‘beige’ things so far today? If so, throw in some green and red for supper tonight!
8. Choosing to sleep rather than getting up to work out is a mistake.
Sleep is so very important for our physical and mental health, as our brains are very active during sleep. By NOT sleeping enough, you can actually have a hard time losing weight, keep the extra weight around the middle, and have gut-related problems. Try to get 7-9 hours each night! Dr. Michael J. Breus’ website has lots of advice on how to get a good night’s sleep! Check it out!
9. There is no link between stress and weight gain.
Can’t figure out why you’re not losing weight even though you’re eating right and exercising? It’s most likely your stress level! If cortisol levels are too high for too long, it causes the accumulation of abdominal fat! Breathe, meditate, take a break, and shed the stress to shed the extra pounds!
10. A day of rest is for the weak.
My advice for exercise is at LEAST 5 days a week, but better to do 6 days a week. Your body does need to rest for at least one day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch or take the dog for a walk on that day! Doing exercises you enjoy will help you stay on a routine. And enjoy that day off, giving thanks for a healthy body that CAN move!
I hope this will encourage you to relax into a healthy lifestyle that you can enjoy!