I believe many of them are myths. I've made a list like this in other blog postings, but I'll make a new one. So here we go.
1.) Eating in the car, eating in front of the television, or eating in front of the computer is wrong and you're a bad person for doing it.
I always enjoy reading this one. I am pleased to report it is complete nonsense. In the last 18 months, I have lost 262 pounds committing the following sins according to the "experts:" I eat breakfast every day in front of the computer. I snack all day at work in front of a computer. I eat dinner and watch TV at the same time, Sometimes I eat dinner, watch TV and surf the internet all the time. That's talent, right?
I eat in the car. I eat and drive at the same time. Sometimes I eat in the grocery store parking lot, right from the package. This whole idea that we should only eat at the dining room table is a complete fantasy in 2011. I don't even have a dining room table (that I know of.)
It's not where you're eating your food, it's what you're eating and how many calories you're consuming. Trying to follow unrealistic rules about where you should eat takes your eye off the ball. It's a popular rule, however, because humans are addicted to making things more complicated than they need to be.
The bottom line: Mindless eating can occur anywhere. As long as you know how much you're eating and you keep track of it, you can lay in bed and have dinner if you want.
2.) Eating at night is bad and will make you fat.
If eating at night made you fat, I would still weigh 577 pounds. The truth is, I eat around the clock. As long as the total amount I am consuming is right for me, it doesn't matter when I eat it.
Some days I have 3 meals a day. Sometimes I eat 6 meals a day. Sometimes I eat dinner at 5pm. Sometimes I eat it at 9pm. I've had dinner at 11pm.
Once, I woke up at 2 in the morning once so ravenously hungry, I could've eaten the wallpaper off the walls. I made myself a bowl of oatmeal with a piece of fruit and ate it. And you know what? I still lost weight that week. I just added it to my food diary for that day, ate the food and went back to bed. And lived to tell about it. Imagine that!
But...doesn't everything you eat turn to fat if you go right to bed after you eat it? No, it doesn't. Think about the nonsense of this oft-repeated statement. If I eat an apple, which has practically zero fat, how is that going to turn to fat in my stomach just because I am asleep? Please.
The bottom line: As long as the total calories of what you're eating doesn't exceed your requirements for that day, eating at night will not make you fat.
3.) To lose weight, I have to starve myself. I can eat no more than 1,500 calories.
I don't know about you, but I could never get by on 1,500 calories. The truth is, everybody's calorie requirements are different. It all depends on how much physical activity you engage in during the day. Somebody that sits at a desk all day won't be able to eat as much as say, a delivery driver who runs up and down stairs all day.
Starvation is one of the biggest reasons I believe people fail at weight loss. They completely overdo it trying to pursue a quick fix, get discouraged and quit. This is very sad. Only eating 1,500 calories a day is as extreme as trying to work out in the gym 20 times a week is. It's not sustainable.
There are different calorie calculators available online and there are differing methods for determining the appropriate number of calories you should consume. Factors such as your desired goal weight, age, height, activity level, etc. all play a part.
For myself, in the beginning, I was eating 1,500-1,600 calories a day. When I boosted that to 2,400 calories, I started losing weight faster. I believe it was because my body was in starvation mode, conserving resources instead of using them. It worked for me. Everybody is different.
The bottom line: you need food to live. You can starve yourself or stop eating to lose weight temporarily, but only for so long.
Tell me what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll respond in a future blog posting.