The Biggest Diet Lies

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Overeating

I am neither a medical doctor nor a nutritionist. So, please consult your doctor before adjusting your diet.

I am a former pro-athlete and currently a coach. I have tried every possible way of eating: for fuel, for weight loss, for better performance, for appearances. You name it, I have tried it. From blood-type to metabolism, everyone’s body is different. However, one mindset we should all have in common is that nourishing our body should be a good thing. I want to share some of the diet lies that have affected my mindset and kept me from enjoying food and eating intuitively.

Diet Lie #1: Skipping breakfast will make you overeat later in the day.
The real question is why are you skipping breakfast? If you are trying to save calories or rushing out the door and do not have enough time to eat breakfast then, yes you are setting yourself up to overeat at your next meal or throughout the day. However, if you are not eating because you are not hungry, then listen to your body and do not eat when you are not hungry. It is about your eating habits throughout the day, not just one meal. If you are an overall healthy eater, skipping breakfast will not do you harm. It also does not have to be a routine. If you are listening to your body, you may find yourself hungry some mornings or not at all on others. Being intuitive with your body should come before a mindless routine.

Diet Lie #2: Eating late at night will make you overweight.
It does not matter when you eat, it matters more what you eat and how much of it. Some people sleep better with a fuller tummy. Others are restless on full stomachs and need a two-to-three-hour buffer before bedtime. Start paying attention to what your body and mind are telling you. If you are not sleeping soundly and feeling fatigued when you wake up, it could be your last meal is keeping you from deep REM sleep. Our body is wise. It does not lie. You put on a warm jacket when you are cold, so feed your tummy when it is hungry.

Diet Lie #3: Eating carbs will turn you into Miss Piggy.
It is not the bread, the pasta, and the chocolate that are the issue. It is the amount that we consume that becomes the problem. Denying these pleasures and cravings only increases the desire for them even more. Again, your body is telling you it needs these things. Have the piece of bread, or two, without turning it into a full-on battle with yourself.

Diet Lie #4: Exercise will make you thinner.
If this were true, I would have been at my thinnest the years I was a professional athlete. I trained seven hours a day, and yet I was 20 pounds heavier than I am now. It was not muscle weight, believe me! I fueled my body constantly for high performance. I trained all day, but over-exercising can also make you hungrier. You tend to eat a lot more when you are more active. Moving your body should be something you enjoy, not a punishment for overeating. Find an activity you like and make it about health and happiness, not about burning food you ate.

From the time I was a little girl I heard the phrase “a moment on your lips, forever on your hips.” This and the myths above, set me up to think food could not be enjoyed. Food does not make you overweight unless you overeat day in and day out. If you really listen to your body and what it wants, you can reach and keep your ideal weight. Health comes first, both mental and physical so enjoy your cake! Yes, you can have your cake AND eat it too!

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Esteban Villanueva
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