Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Everybody Knows Somebody

Everybody knows somebody who has struggled with food and weight issues, especially during their college years. Messages about dieting and weight loss paired with the stresses of college life can lead students to unhealthy behaviors. This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so challenge your very own diet mentality and get back to the basics of nutrition.

Thought #1
There are good and bad foods. I should never eat the bad foods.

All foods have a place in a balanced, healthy diet. There are, of course, foods that are more healthy for you and foods that are less healthy for you. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy and it will be okay to have a treat in moderation.

Thought #2
If I weigh myself today and I am heavier than the previous day, I have gained fat.

It takes a very large amount of food intake to truly gain fat from one day to the next. Over half of your body is made of water and this water is always fluctuating. Weight changes from day to day are usually due to water weight shifts. If you weigh daily, consider weighing yourself once per week so that water fluctuations do not have such a big impact on your total weight.

Thought #3
I must make myself wait to eat as long as possible so that I will eat less overall....Or...If I overeat one day, I must fast the next to make up for the extra calories.

Skipping meals causes your blood sugar to plummet which makes you starving! When you get in this situation you are much more likely to overeat at the next meal. It is important to eat consistently throughout the day to maintain energy levels and satiety.

Thought #4
Eating carbs will make me fat.

Carbohydrates do not make you fat. Whole grains naturally are very low in fat, while baked goods and desserts have added fat. Eating excess calories regardless of the source can cause weight gain. Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. Remember to choose whole grains and limit sweets and baked goods.

Thought #5
Fad diets are safe and effective.

Fad diets are just that...fads. They typically require you to make drastic changes to your diet which can be unhealthy or very unrealistic to maintain.Weight loss requires life style changes. Weight loss should be slow to ensure that you are making changes you can keep rather than making dramatic changes that will not stick. 

Thought #6
Eating at night time will cause weight gain.

People enjoy snacking through the evening hours while they study, watch TV  or hang out with friends. Many times this snacking is in excess of an individual's daily calorie needs. It is only natural that if you cut out night snacking, your calories drop, thus you lose weight. It isn't the night time that makes a difference, it is the fact that you have lowered your calories. Eating at night is okay, as long as it is within your daily calorie needs.

Take time to quiet the diet mentality and focus on the basics of nutrition. Eat whole foods, include lots of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, follow the MyPlate guidelines for building a meal and your health will fall in line. Do you hear other diet and weight comments that make you stop and think? Share them with us and we will help clear up the fog!

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