I’ve done it. I’ve officially discovered a quick and easy way to lose weight and get healthy. All you have to do is stop eating sugar! No wait…stop eating fats! Inject pregnancy hormones into your body! Take in ridiculous amounts of protein! Do a 5-day juice cleanse! Eat only raw foods! Cut out carbs! Stand on your head, suck in your stomach, and only ingest food that can be sucked through a straw…!
Sounds ridiculous, right? That’s because it is. But all of the things I listed above are actual diet misconceptions that society has fallen for at some point (okay, maybe not the last one…) We constantly have diet fads forced down our throat and it’s hard not to fall victim to their lofty promises.
In the 90’s “low-fat” and “fat-free” were all the rage. Thankfully, more and more people are realizing that not all fats are bad, In fact, they can be good! Remember when Claire mentioned that we need Omega 3’s for healthy hair? It’s true! And our bodies need fats for a variety of other reasons as well.
Nowadays there seems to be an uprising of the low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. It promises weight-loss (at a fairly rapid pace) and an increase in lean muscle mass. Plus, you don’t have to avoid fats or protein! Sounds fabulous, right? But we all seem to be forgetting one major thing…
Our bodies need carbohydrates!
Carbs come in two forms- Simple and Complex. Simple Carbohydrates are refined and processed foods like white bread, white sugar, etc. Complex Carbohydrates are generally higher in fiber and are things like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Knowing the difference between these two is crucial because, while simple carbohydrates aren’t very beneficial, complex carbohydrates are! They provide our bodies with energy, aid in satiety (feeling and staying full), and fill in nutritional gaps.
Recently society started blaming our obesity epidemic on carbohydrates alone (which is ironically what happened with fats in the 90’s) but no one macronutrient is to blame for our countries weight problem. Weight gain and obesity occur when the number of calories a person consumes exceeds the number of calories they expend. So, all of the fad diets are useless. Cutting out an entire food group may lead to weight loss initially solely because you’re consuming less calories overall but the results are typically temporary. Not to mention, who wants to label anything “off-limits”?! That’s no fun.
Being healthy is about finding a balance that works for you. Focus on nourishing your body with healthy foods that you enjoy and stop trying to find a quick weight-loss solution. There isn’t one. There’s no magic pill or diet regimen and your body needs nutrients from every food group to function properly. Too much or too little of anything can have negative results. So, take a deep breath and relax. In my opinion, the more we worry and obsess over food, the more of a problem it becomes.
Eat to live. Don’t live to eat.
And, for heaven’s sake, EAT SOME CARBS. They’re delicious.
Here’s to being healthy and happy…