It seems like every magazine, news piece, newspaper, or guru is touting the best thing to watch your weight. Some of the stuff they say is true, but other things may be misleading. Not everything is always so cut and dry when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Take this quiz and see how much you know. Some things may be surprising!
TRUE OR FALSE:
1. If you want to stay slim you should eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones.
- FALSE It’s been the popular belief lately that 6 small meals are better than 3 larger meals, but this is actually not the case. Your body doesn’t know if you’re feeding it 3 times a day or 6, but what it does know is how many calories it’s getting and whether those calories are the good kind or the bad. If you prefer bigger meals, as opposed to snack-like meals it’s ok to have a larger breakfast, lunch, and dinner as long as it’s going to hold you over until the next meal. A good way to ensure that is to make sure that your plate is balanced with lean proteins, such as fish, tofu, chicken, or turkey, as well as a complex starch, such as brown rice or quinoa, and lots of veggies.
2. You shouldn’t eat anything past 8pm.
- FALSE Now that’s just plain silly. When you feel hungry that’s your body signaling to you that it needs to be fed. Our bodies need at the very least 1200 calories if you’re a girl and 1500 calories if you’re a guy per day in order to function properly. So, if you didn’t eat enough for some reason during the day your body will try to make up for it. And just as I said above, your body doesn’t know what time of day it is either. It just knows that it’s lacking in calories and needs it. Now, that’s not to say that you can give yourself permission to have an entire meal, but use common sense and think whether you’re really physically hungry or if it’s just your brain wandering to the thought of food. And just to note, sometimes you have eaten enough during the day, but for whatever reason you might just simply want something, so in that case have a snack, but just make sure that it’s under 100 calories.
3. In order to see any benefits from a workout you have to work out for at least 30-40 consecutive minutes.
- FALSE Weight loss is all about calories in vs. calories out, so it really doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it all at once or at separate times throughout the day. The best thing is to do what works for you. For so many people the idea of going to a gym for 40 minutes is like a death sentence, so I hereby give you permission to not go. The idea of “traditional exercise” is mind-boggling to me, because we’ve come to understand “traditional” as weight lifting and running on a treadmill at the gym, but in reality traditional exercise is plowing the field and walking 3 miles to your neighbor’s house. We have to change our mind sets and just become more active. Take a walk during your lunch break, take the subway stairs instead of the escalator, carry a basket in the supermarket instead of using a shopping cart, squeeze in some squats while you’re brushing your teeth, take your dog for a long walk instead of the usual around the block routine (he’ll thank you for it!), etc.
4. Red meat is bad for you because it’s high in fat.
- FALSE High fat meats are what’s bad for you, but you can get lean, even extra lean cuts of meat or ground beef with as little as 5% fat. What’s even better is that it contains important vitamins or minerals, including iron, which is especially important for women. Just make sure it’s lean or extra lean. Filet Mignon is a good example of a lean steak.
5. Low fat or fat-free foods will help you lose weight.
- FALSE In actuality, many of these foods are higher in calories due to added sugars and thickeners that are used to boost flavor. Plus, some people mistakenly think that these foods are better for you and end up eating too much. Always compare the calorie content to regular foods when thinking about buying a low-fat or fat free food. You might see that you’re not really saving that much. The real deal will probably be way more satisfying too. Just make sure to stick to the serving size.
6. Resistance training will boost your metabolism.
- TRUE Muscle burns more calories per minute than fat, which means that you’ll burn more calories while at rest. Plus, it will strengthen your bones preventing you from getting osteoporosis later in life. If you want to see the pay off though, you’re going to have to combine it with cardio exercise as well in order to burn the fat covering the muscles.
7. Salad is the best option when dining out.
- FALSE Choosing salad seems like the obvious choice, but many times it’s higher in calories due to all the add-ons, such as fried noodles, nuts, cheese, dressing, croutons, etc. While cheese and nuts contain a lot of nutrients, they can easily pack on the calories. Make sure to browse the menu carefully, there may be a better option. If you do choose the salad though, make sure to add lean meats or fish, limit the amount of nuts, and use either a low-fat dressing or put the full fat dressing on the side.