Paleo, 5:2 diet, weight loss shakes, clean eating – seriously, every day you read a newspaper and there is some new revolutionary way to eat that will help you lose weight and live forever. No wonder there is a lot of confusion about what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. This week, I am going to launch a blog series that is focused on sorting out the facts from the fairy tales when it comes to healthy eating. Make sure you read each week so you can be confident that the future food choices you make are the best for your health and weight.
Myth #1 – Follow the Healthy Food Pyramid
Do you remember learning about the Healthy Food Pyramid when you were at school (see diagram at end of blog)? Unfortunately, this is still being taught and I believe that it’s a contributing factor to Australia’s obesity problem. When you look at the foods you are supposed to make up the ‘bulk’ of your diet, you will see that it includes fruit, vegetables (which are fine if vegetables are not primarily ‘starchy’), legumes (which are also ok in limited amounts) and then carbohydrate-dense breads and cereals – EEK! This is the big problem!
When you check the Australian nutritional guidelines, it recommends that women aged between 19-50 should have 6 serves of wholegrains a day i.e. a bowl of cereal would be 1 serve and then 5 slices of bread. Seriously, if any of my clients ate that much bread in a day, none of them would be losing weight.
Breads and cereals are carbohydrate dense foods (no matter if they are wholegrain or not). Carbohydrates break down into glucose which is what you need for energy. However, a diet high in carbohydrates has a massive effect on insulin production. Insulin is the hormone your pancreas produces to help regulate blood sugar levels – hence its abnormal production leads to the development of diabetes. If you eat too much carbohydrate, your insulin levels would be fluctuating all day as it works to try and stabilize your blood sugar levels. If your body cannot ‘burn up’ all the glucose produced by the carbohydrates, the insulin will just turn the excess into fat stores, hence weight gain.
It’s ok for marathon runners or elite athletes to have a diet high in good carbohydrates – they need the energy. However, if you do little exercise and have a sedentary job, then all these carbohydrates in your diet will just make you bigger. So limit the carbohydrates in your diet and switch to eating more protein. Cutting excessive carbohydrates out of your diet does not mean you will not have any energy – rather, your body will be forced to find a new source of fuel….and this will be from your fat stores.
The Natural Way is not just a weight loss program – we educate our clients, while they lose weight, on healthy eating and lifestyles via our Healthy Living Maintenance program. So when our clients get to goal, not only have they achieved their weight loss ‘dream’, they know how to keep their weight off – FOR LIFE! So if you are sick of yo-yo dieting, you need to see us so you can cut the fat once and for all. Call your nearest clinic on 1300 SLIMMER (1300 754663) and book your FREE appointment to find out more about how our fabulous program can work for you.
Visit our website: www.thenaturalway.com.au
UPDATE: Just when I publish this blog, today brings the news that there is a BRAND NEW food pyramid (see link: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/sugar-and-junk-food-all-but-disappear-from-the-iconic-food-pyramid-as-soba-noodles-tofu-and-quinoa-make-their-debut/story-fneuz8wn-1227359804429 ). To be honest, it’s an improvement, but I think still too much emphasis on grains.