Everywhere you turn, there’s a new thought process of eating telling you ‘this is the way,’ ‘this is good’ or ‘this is bad.’ There are three myths in the food industry that you’ve probably heard for a while. What are those three myths, and how can I readjust my eating habits accordingly?
The first myth is ‘gluten is killing everybody.’ What is gluten? Gluten is a protein, not a carbohydrate, that makes the ingredients in food have bounce and elasticity. Gluten is not killing everybody, however, some people are sensitive to gluten such as those with Celiac disease or their bodies are reactive to gluten. Being sensitive or reactive to gluten is the same principle as those who cannot have dairy. On the other hand, gluten does not affect everyone, and you may be one of those people. A great way to find out whether or not you have a gluten intolerance is ask yourself, “Are you waking up feeling sluggish even though you exercise regularly?” If that’s the case, try going on the Whole 30 diet and slowly incorporate it back into your diet. No, gluten is not killing everybody, but it is a protein you need to figure out whether or not you’re sensitive to.
Second, ‘carbs are bad.’ All too often, people think that they don’t want to consume many carbs, because they don’t burn up all the energy. Carbs are not bad. However, some carbs are worse than others. For example, avoid all processed sugar. They make you feel sluggish, and processed sugar increases your appetite instead of fulfilling your hunger. Carbs eaten in the right context and time are good for your body. Broccoli, spinach, carrots, fruit and numerous other produce all have carbs. Eating out of context such as eating an entire pizza, eating two hamburgers or drinking four beers will negatively affect your body. As stated earlier, carbs eaten in the right context actually fuel your body and mind. The principles we need to live by are we need to eat real food, and we need to move with intentionality. Get out of breath or lift something heavy. You don’t necessarily have to do both, so pick one and do it every day. Immediate small changes you can make when you grocery shop — shop around the perimeter of the store. You need to stick to an eating lifestyle that is sustainable and that you can do for the rest of your life. You can eat real food.
The third myth so many people believe is that ‘the keto diet is the next wave of nutrition.’ The keto diet is a specific diet applicable to a handful of people. The keto diet works in a way that 75% of your calories come from fat, and you will then burn fat as energy. It is a diet that is not sustainable in the long term. You need to eat in a way that is sustainable every day whether you’re at home, traveling, at work or in a social setting. The ketogenic diet has been a quick fix for people, because what happens is they get into ketosis and stay on the diet for a short period of time and lose several pounds. Once they get off the keto diet and begin introducing those carbs back into their diet such as fruits and vegetables, they immediately gain all that weight back. Don’t look for a diet and lifestyle change that will help you in the short term. Live in a way that has a long-term goal in mind as opposed to ‘I want to look good at the beach in six weeks’ or ‘I want to look good at my wedding.’ What are some actionable steps you can take to work towards a long-term goal? Instead of aiming to lose 15 pounds immediately, try and make it a goal to lose one to two pounds a week. That is wonderful progress. That will allow your body to adjust to the weight you’ve lost, and it will help you keep the weight off longer. It will also help you stay disciplined in making healthy choices, because it’s the small rewards that we see to keep us going. The difference is losing 15 pounds one week, losing seven pounds the next, and then being disappointed for not losing as much weight as you did the week before.
As human beings, we have to take care of our bodies. It’s the most important machine, and we need to fuel it properly to keep us going. Our body is thousands of times smarter than a car, a computer, etc., because it can adjust accordingly. We need to treat our body with the utmost respect. If we can eat real food, fuel our machine in a pure way, and then move and work our machine, we will live a life of longevity and happiness.