Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No fooling

I figured since today is April 1, instead of turning my blog into a joke blog (which I'd thought about, you know, running phony items to get a laugh) I figured I'd throw some common dieting myths and debunk them, tear them apart and blow them up so you don't go on believing such lunacy, if indeed you haven't debunked them yourself.

These are two of the most common beliefs held by people and logic might seem to follow these beliefs. In fact, I still held on to these thoughts up until I got with my trainer and he educated me.

* Eating before bedtime will cause my to gain weight since all the food will sit in my stomach and turn into fat.

Uh, no. Actually, as my trainer told me, the body works on a 24-hour clock. Just because you lie down for 6-8 hours... or in my case 5-7... doesn't mean that the food sits in your stomach. There is no evidence to suggest that the body digests food differently when it is immobile.

But don't just take my word for it. Here's a story about the myth which throws in some good statistics. For instance, the author points to a study done on 2,000 middle-aged men and women, of which nine percent of the women and 7.4 percent of the men got up for middle-of-the-night snacks, and there was no difference in weight gain in those who did and those who did not get up to indulge. No difference.

(Incidentally, I've never once in my life gotten up in the middle of the night to snack. Not that I'm saying it's a bad thing or anything, come on now, when I was 300-plus pounds I had plenty of unhealthy habits; I'm just saying that midnight snacks have never appealed to me.)

* If I skip meals or eat just twice a day, I'll lose weight.

Actually, no, you won't. This is pretty common. Don't eat and you won't gain weight, right? Well, no, the body doesn't quite work like that. If you don't eat regularly, then you don't give your body the chance to build up its metabolism and it won't be efficient in getting the food in and out of your system.

Here's a story on the bad effects of skipping meals. One fun fact: In a study, men and women ate three times a day for several months, then skipped two meals but ate the same number of calories in one evening meal. The result - test subjects showed elevated fasting glucose levels and a delayed insulin response. Those are precursors to diabetes. Yikes!

Forget it. The best way to avoid weight gain is to eat small meals throughout the day. Stick to a calorie limit and break the calories down by meal. Eat 300 at breakfast, 100 at AM snack, 500 at lunch, 100 at PM snack and 600 for dinner, and you'll still have 100 or so to play with, if you stick to around 1700-1800 calorie limit per day.

And you can even eat that last 100 calories right before bed. Go ahead. Indulge.

1 comment:

Willoughby said...

Great info. I have to admit, I often skip breakfast. I'm not usually hungry first thing in the morning.