October 27th, 2008

Nutrition is a key component to leading a healthy lifestyle but is often overlooked. Some people who love to exercise “cheat” when it comes to the food they put in their bodies. Modern American culture has placed an emphasis on eating quickly but has completely failed in promoting eating healthy. The massive obesity problem in this country is one of the huge indicators that Americans are not living healthy lifestyles.

Obesity is not the only danger of eating unhealthy though; eating disorders, diabetes, heart disease and a host of other serious ailments can result from poor eating habits. The ease of fast food lures many people astray and encourages the thought that there is simply not enough time to eat healthy. This is a dangerous misconception. It will take some more thought and effort to eat better, but the minimal extra time it takes now could save you from a lot of trouble down the road.

This week I will look at some different ways that you can eat healthy, and describe some common myths that are common in our culture. Today I will look at one huge myth: you must diet to lose weight.

This is the number one rule of weight: if you intake more calories than you burn in a day, you will gain weight, if you burn more calories than you consume in a day, and you will lose weight. Dieting is often a means for people to burn more calories than they consume. Seems simple enough right? However, this does not mean that you are going to lose a ton of weight or burn off of the fat that you have, this simply means that if you want to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in. So dieting would seem like a good solution. Wrong. Dieting most of the time robs the body of the essential nutrients needed to burn calories and function optimally; dieting almost always leads to dissatisfaction and poor health. Now this is directed at those phony, popular television or magazine diets.

A true “diet”, one that is safe and will help you lose weight, lose fat, or be healthy, I do not like to call a diet at all. The main reason for this is that it is too easy to confuse the eat-nothing-lose-weight diets with eating responsibly. A healthy diet limits the amount of unhealthy foods and fats you consume and ensures the proper amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs on a daily basis. This type of diet also does not completely get rid of fats, carbohydrates, or sugars, because your body needs all of these to maintain good health.

So remember, the next popular diet you hear about on television or from friends is probably not going to benefit you in the long run. Rather, a healthy dose of the proper nutrients while limiting the foods that your body does not respond as well to is the way to go. This week I will try to debunk some of the mysteries surrounding the healthy nutrition lifestyle.

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