When it comes to nutrition there are tons of myths and misconceptions about which foods are “good”, “bad”, “healthy” or “unhealthy”, leading many people in the wrong direction and preventing them from achieving their goals.
One of the popular myths is that the so-called “healthy” foods are low in calories and safe to eat in unlimited amounts, even when your goal is to lose weight.
This assumption is all kinds of wrong and but let’s clear one thing first:
It is altogether misleading to put such labels on foods – what is appropriate and recommended for you, your needs and your goals might be the absolut opposite for someone else.
It is a fact that certain types of food are more nutrient-dense and have a positive impact on our health, as much as it is a fact that the consumption of refined sugars and processed foods needs to be minimized.
But this doesn’t mean that we can go overboard with the “healthy” ones, nor does it mean that if a “bad” food slips in our menu now and then, it will be the end of the world.
Healthy foods have calories too
Yes, it is very important where your calories come from – you want them from nutrient-dense foods, which are going to give your body the necessary micronutrients for all the physiological processes in your body.
But, no matter the food, and even if you don’t believe in counting calories, calorie balance is still a real thing.
Generally, for a healthy person:
– If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.
– If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.
– If you consume as many calories as you burn, you will maintain the same weight.
This means that if you are putting in the effort to eat only healthy food, but you are still gaining weight, you are simply eating too much of them.
This doesn’t mean you should either starve yourself or be super restrictive – it means you need to find the balance for yourself.
It truly is a learning process, in which you learn to listen to your body, what it needs and when it needs it.
You will notice that on days where you work out, you will crave more food than on days when you don’t.
Fuel your body, instead of punishing it with restrictions.
Some helpful hints:
– Eat when you are hungry, never starve yourself.
– Eat slowly and chew your food carefully.
– If you are filling full already, stop eating.
– Don’t use high-calorie snacks between your meals, if you don’t need the extra energy.
Healthy food isn’t less filling than other food
Another widespread misconception about healthy food is that it is less filling than other food and thus, you need to eat more of it.
There was even an interesting experiment done by researchers, in which people were given a certain amount of cookies and were asked to describe how full or hungry they feel after consuming the cookies.
There were two types of cookies given to them – healthy ones – “rich in fibers, vitamins and proteins”, and unhealthy ones – “rich in sugars, fats, and carbs”.
Not surprisingly, the participants who had the “healthy” cookies reported feeling much less full in comparison to those who had the “unhealthy” cookies.
What they didn’t know is that all cookies were the same.
You get my point here – just because you are having a healthy meal, doesn’t mean your portion needs to be extra big.
I hope you found these tips helpful! If you have more – share them in the comment section!