Don Mauer, food columnist from the Daily Herald, discusses his Lean and Lovin It food column, making healthier, yet delicious meals. He gives tips for exercising, and urges people to begin to look beyond the numbers of calories and weight loss to truly understand the best methods to stay healthy.
Here are Don’s Top Ten Getting and Staying Slim Myths and Truths:
Over the last nearly 25 years I’ve learned a lot about exercise, and losing and maintaining weight. The speed with which we learn about those things has increased and in the last two years paradigm’s have blown-up and been replaced with new, fact-based concepts.
Myth 1: If you exercise you lose weight.
Truth # 1: Exercise makes you hungry.
My personal trainer told me when we first got together: replacing fat with muscle makes you gain weight. If you’re looking to lose weight by exercising; look elsewhere.
Exercise changes your body shape for the better: slimmer, firmer thighs and trimmer waists. See improvement in your mirror, not on the scale on your floor.
Myth # 2: Dietary fat makes me fat.
Truth # 2: Over the past two years several science authors and writers have dug deep into numerous studies and shown me that dietary fat satiates hunger, and doesn’t trigger insulin.
Instead of seeing the 9 calories per gram that fats deliver, I see calories that come from fat as more filling than carbohydrates or proteins so I eat less.
Myth # 3: All calories are the same; a calorie is a calorie.
Truth # 3: Meals are not just about calorie counting. For years I believed that it was a calories in/calories out world and dutifully counted every single one. I now know that from where a calorie comes is more important than the calorie itself.
Myth # 4: All it takes to lose weight is strong will power.
Truth # 4: When I know where I want to go, I can get there far more easily if I make it easy for my body.
I learned over several months that if I have a higher fat, high protein breakfast I won’t feel hungry until Noon.
Myth # 5: Fat is fat, there’s no difference, they all deliver 9 calories per gram. Period.
Truth # 5: The only truth in that myth is the 9 calories per gram.
Over the years I’ve learned that there are four main fats: trans fats, saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.
One of those fats is truly unhealthy: trans fats or what are also called partially hydrogenated fats. The remaining three can have healthy properties, depending on their source.
Myth # 5: If you’re on a weight loss diet, stay far away from avocados.
Truth # 5: I learned that avocados are really healthy, that the fat they contain (monounsaturated) is a healthy fat and that having a half an avocado per day can be part of a healthy food plan.
Myth # 6: Nuts are not your friend.
Truth # 6: Nuts can be your BFF. Studies showed me that an ounce of almonds every day have been shown to help lose weight. When it comes to Vitamin E almonds are one the brightest stars in the nutritional universe.
Myth # 7: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Truth # 7: All meals are important. It’s each meal’s components that make the difference.
A sugary, highly refined carbohydrate breakfast leads my body down the wrong path for the rest of the day.
Myth # 8: Vitamins and supplements help me lose weight.
Truth # 8: I’ve found that there are few studies to back up that vitamins or supplements can help me lose weight. In fact, some sources, like the Food and Drug Administration MedWatch have shown that some weight lose supplements contain prescription or banned drugs.
Myth # 9: If a soft drink has zero calories it won’t make me fat.
Truth # 9: studies now show that an artificially sweetened soft drink may not have any sugars or calories, but seem to cause weight gain.
I stay away from all artificially sweetened soft drinks and drink only black coffee, tea, filtered water and sparkling water.
Yes, it took a while to wean myself off of sweet tasting drinks, but once I did I’ve never gone back.
Myth # 10: Weight loss programs like Weight Watchers are a waste of time and money.
Truth # 10: In 2005 I had 150 pounds to lose sine I weighed-in at 325. I signed-up with Weight Watchers and in less than two years I lost 150 pounds. Weight Watchers helped me maintain my weight loss by allowing me to attend free meetings every month if I kept my weight within certain limits. And I did.
Weight Watchers is one of the best programs, but there are other good programs available.
Great Recipes Tips From Don:
Zero-Added-Fat, Half-the-Sugar, Twice-the-Chocolate Brownies
Easy Oven-Roasted Vegetables
Pickle Juice Cabbage Slaw