Thinking through my fingers

Truths Behind Eating Right And Being Fit

By Chioma Anigbogu


We all hear a lot of stuff about eating healthy and I decided to research and debunk those that are myths and stress those that are true. These are what I found:


  • Skipping meals will help me lose weight faster.


Myth: While skipping meals may temporarily help you lose weight, a few days later your body picks up on the fact that you have not been giving it food and starts to store food away under your skin as fats fast like how ants store food up for the winter. The trick is to eat up to five times a day. Don’t start rejoicing yet. You should eat 3 well balanced small-portioned high-fiber meals a day with a healthy mid afternoon and evening snack. Now, note that I said small portions. You can cut your normal portion into two but if you usually over over eat, then cut it in three. Note that the snacks are to be ONLY fruits, unsalted nuts or yoghurt. No ice cream, no doughnuts, no burgers, no soft drinks, no fries, no chocolate and so on. You get the point. When your body has food regularly to digest and work on, it buckles up and your metabolic rate increases. And a fast metabolic rate almost always means insignificant or no added weight.


  • Slim people don’t need to watch what they eat or exercise.


Myth: Slimness doesn’t connote fitness. Thin people can have high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. Nobody can eat anything they want. Every one of very age and every body size have to be careful with what they ingest and how they exercise. My grandpa is 92 and slim yet he’s very selective when it comes to food, he makes sure that he eats fruits everyday and he exercises by walking round his big compound several times everyday. Don’t deceive yourself by telling yourself that since you’re slim and there’s no history of obesity or diabetes in your family, that you can eat anything at any time and there won’t be any consequences. Regular physical activity is a must for everyone no matter how much you weigh (or how old you are). Regular exercise means exercising aerobically for up to 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. Join a gym. Walk briskly. Ditch elevators. Go jogging whenever you can. Do sit-ups. Dancing is a wonderful (and fun) workout. Shouting at the top of your lungs and dancing to your favorite songs playlist whether you are good at dancing or not in the comfort of your bedroom works too. We aren’t gonna judge.


  • Soft drinks are unhealthy.


Truth: All soft drinks contain are sweetener(usually sugar), carbonated water and flavoring. Some also contain caffeine like coke. Soft drinks are just sources of empty calories with no nutritive value. One 35cl can of Coke or soda contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar. This exceeds the daily recommended amount of sugar intake and this is without counting the amount of sugar gotten from consumed carbohydrates. Excessive sugar increases the risks of diabetes, tooth decay, cholesterol increase, obesity, high blood pressure, liver failure, cancer, blindness, osteoporosis, kidney disease, heart disease, insomnia and many more. Sugars, not fat actually has been found to be the leading cause of obesity. You mustn’t take my word for it, you can google negative effects of sugar consumption. Eating 100grams of simple carbohydrates can reduce the ability of your white blood cells to function by 50% for a few hours thereby reducing your immunity. Diet drinks are not much better. They’ve been found to increase the risk of stroke and osteoporosis. Though they don’t contain those calories you’re avoiding, they contain sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin and sucralose. Brooke Alpert, RD, author of The Sugar Detox saysArtificial sweeteners trigger insulin which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain”. Aspartame contained in diet drinks are high in phosphates and this leads to calcium loss as your body tries to correct the imbalance by taking calcium from your teeth and bones leading to osteoporosis.

When you get thirsty, drink water. Lots and lots of water. Fruit juices are better than carbonated drinks but still they shouldn’t be consumed in high quantity. Stay clear of soft drinks. There are enough amounts of natural sugars in fruits and vegetables and other carbohydrates like rice, bread and pasta.


  • Healthy eating and fitness is expensive

Myth: Fruits and vegetables are relatively cheaper than other food items especially processed and fast foods. We’ve been blessed with varieties of fruits. It is recommended that you eat rainbow colors of fruits. I mean that you shouldn’t stick to just one type of fruits. Experiment. As for keeping fit, you can park away from entrances of buildings, walk on escalators, walk to nearby shops, churches or houses. Give your car a break. You can do the dishes or laundry with your hands. Even washing the car counts.


  • Whole grain foods are essential.

Truth: Whole grain foods include brown rice, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread (not all brown breads are whole-grain, look carefully at the label for the words “whole wheats”, “oats” or “rye”), potatoes and whole-grain cereal. Whole-grain foods are high in fibre and nutrients. Fiber helps in the removal of toxins, reduction of cholesterol and proper digestion. These white grain products we consume like bread made from white flour have been bleached and refined such that the nutritive parts of the grain like the bran and germ that contain 80% of the vitamins and fiber are removed. Try to incorporate more fiber into your diet. Eat nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits like apples, oranges, green peas or grapefruits. Switch to whole-grain bread and pasta.


  • I can’t lose weight without drinking weight-loss slimming teas.

Myth: The above statement is totally false. Weight lost through pills or potions tend to come back quickly because there wasn’t any change in lifestyle or diet and the person didn’t suffer to lose that weight. We all know that we tend to cherish what we fought to obtain more. What’s more these “potions” tend to have lots of side effects that manufacturers tend not to tell you about in their ads. You can lose weight by just switching up your diet by cutting out processed foods and consuming more living foods and regular exercising.


  • Water is crucial for health.

Truth: The health benefits of water are countless. It flushes out toxins, cushions joints, transports nutrients and oxygen, regulates body temperature and so much more. Dehydration causes headaches, joint pain, heartburn and depression. Put down the pills and drink water. If they persist, consult your physician. You should consume more than 11 ounces or 3 liters of water unless you have kidney or heart disease.


Quick tips

  • Eat more fruits. They’re not gonna kill you. Eat different colors of fruits.
  • Do not eat more than the size of tennis ball of rice. It’s not hard as you think. If half of your plate is full of vegetables, you won’t notice. If you feel like having more food afterwards, eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Be more physically active. Walk more.
  • Be consistent in working out even if you aren’t seeing results. Be patient.
  • Avoid deep fried and fast food.
  • Eat more fish than meat. Fish is healthier.
  • Buy cholesterol-free oil. Extra-virgin olive or coconut oil is the best.
  • Don’t drink cold drinks or water with food. It disturbs digestion. Go for hot or room temperature drinks.
  • Lightly steam vegetables. Don’t boil.
  • Consume meat and dairy products with caution. Choose lean cuts of meat.
  • Drink water. Drink water. Drink water.
  • Substitute yoghurt for ice cream. Yoghurt is healthier.
  • Boil your egg instead of frying.
  • Cut down your salt intake.
  • If you are a man, consume about 2500 calories a day. If you are a woman, consume about 2000 calories a day.
  • Don’t reward yourself with treats. Stick to a healthy diet.

 Credits: Don Colbert, MD. (‘Eat this and live’)



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