Weight Loss 101: Mythbusters

Coming back from the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference in Boulder, CO I have a lot of inspiration for posts and practices to implement! One interesting session was titled “Carbs are the Devil! And Other Nutrition Myths Demystified“, and I thought it was especially pertinent to this blog. Plus, I’ve been thinking about doing a Weight Loss 101 post on weight loss myths for a while now. Fate! Utilizing information from that session (which was created and led by RDs), as well as some of the information I’ve discovered through pure trial-and-error of my own, it’s time to bust some heads myths wiiiide open!

Mythbusters!
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Disclaimer: While some of the information provided in this post has been provided by registered dietitians, I am not a nutrition or medical professional. I encourage you to utilize your own research and experience in conjunction with my own to draw your conclusions on the validity of my statements.

Myth: Skipping meals will help you lose weight.

Duck!

BUSTED! Skipping meals and snacks will cause your metabolism to slow down and make your calorie-burning ability less effective,. In fact, eating smaller, nutritious meals every 3 – 4 hours (lean protein + high-fiber carb) will be more conducive to keeping your metabolism high and will increase your ability to lose weight while keeping you full and satisfied.

Fact: When I started eating more frequent, smaller meals I FELT like I was eating more than when I was trying to skip meals in attempts to skip calories. Feeling fuller while eating less and thus losing weight? Yes please!

Myth: Don’t eat past 8 PM.

Busted! Caloric deficit, regardless of the actual times you’re consuming those calories, will result in weight loss! So if you’ve hit 8 PM and you’ve only consumed 1200 calories that day, go ahead and have a snack if you’re hungry! The only problem occurs if you are prone to late-night snacking when you’re not hungry. Obviously anytime you are eating when you’re not hungry will probably hinder your weight loss.

Fact: Caloric deficit is as caloric deficit does. It doesn’t really matter what time of day you stop eating as long as you’re still creating a window for weight loss. However, I know that I do have to watch my late-night snacking because I am far more likely to want to down half a pint of coconut milk ice cream than some hummus and crackers. And if I do end up going a little crazy at night, I just don’t have the opportunity to balance out the calories with other meals or work them off, ‘s all.

Myth: Going gluten-free will help you lose weight.


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BUSTED! Going gluten-free is only truly necessary if you have Celiacs disease or another gluten-intolerance, and won’t help you lose weight on its own. Unless, that is, there’s a caloric deficit being created anyway. But solely by the act of cutting gluten out of your diet alone you will not lose weight, and in fact, gluten-free products tend to be higher in calories compared to their gluten-inclusive counterparts.

Fact: The sheer act of cutting a group of foods out of your diet is never a guarantee that you’ll lose weight (with a variation of the exception for carbs, but we’ll address that next.) Even going vegan is not a guarantee that you’ll drop a single pound, and I know that from first-hand experience!

Myth: Bread makes you fat.


Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: Bread makes you fat?!?

BUSTED! Carbs rock. They’re delicious. And as a former Atkins devotee, I can also tell you that while yes, you can and probably will lose weight if you cut all carbs out of your diet, it will not last. The second you start eating bread, pasta, potatoes, or sugar again, you’ll start gaining the weight back. In fact, if you’re a carboholic like me, you’ll probably end up gaining more weight than you lost, because you felt so deprived of all that glorious carb-y goodness!

Fact: Carbs are a source of energy for our bodies, and they make us feel happy and satisfied (actually increasing the levels of serotonin in our brains! Which is why you can see it’s easy to go overboard on them.) Just try to ensure that the majority of the carbs in your diet come from whole-grain, high-fiber sources.

What are some other diet myths we can bust wide open? Or maybe you’re unsure if it’s really a myth or not? Let’s find out together!

Daily Eats – 6/28/11

Breakfast

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Kiwi, grapes

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Sliced mango

Snack

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TJ’s Wasabi almonds! Soooo delicious. I ate like half the bag throughout the day. Ooooops.

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Little chocolate pastry from the free breakfast samples that a catering company brought to the office. Hey, I could’ve had the huge maple donut, haha!

Lunch

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TJ’s spicy jalapeno chicken sausage in a whole wheat bun with pesto

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Mini bell pepper dipped in white bean & basil hummus
4 dolmas

Snack

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Kale chips! I way oversalted them though, and burned a few, sad. Still ate about a quarter, haha.

Dinner

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1 Peking duck wrap (we went back to the Peking Gourmet Inn tonight!)

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Lots of chinese food. Mmmmm.

Dessert

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This apple in sugar thing that they dip into ice water so the outside is hard but the inside is still warm. Crazy but good! I chipped off most of the sugary outside though.

And even though I didn’t even have any intention to eat my fortune cookie, check out my fortune and you’ll see why I stuck to that:

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HAHAHA. That really was the fortune that I broke open!

Thank Goodness for Trader Joe’s

I think I may have found a wrench in my “dump everything and move to Boulder as quickly as humanly possible” dream.

I think I'll keep it.

Bailey informed me that there are, in fact, no Trader Joe’s in Colorado! And I’m just not sure how I would cope with that.

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Case in point: yesterday’s grocery shopping extravaganza!

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Left to right: TJ’s white bean & basil hummus, dolmas, fresh mozzerella balls (hehehe… balls.), 2 cans of light coconut milk, jar of peanut sate sauce, can o’ pineapple.

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Jalapeno chicken sausage (yum!), frozen mushroom ravioli (to add to my stash of I-don’t-wanna-cook back-ups in the freezer), bacon ends & pieces (for cooking — much cheaper than whole bacon!), ground turkey breast, chicken breast tenders.

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Kale, sliced mango, brussels sprouts, two limes ($0.39 each!), two kiwis, baby bell peppers (literally the cutest thing ever), mini heirloom tomatoes, and seedless red grapes (tucked behind the tomatoes, you can’t see ’em.)

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Misc: Garlic-infused olive oil, maple syrup, wasabi almonds (!!), whole wheat hot dog buns.

And ALL of that (which really is quite a lot!) for less than $80! I. Love. Trader. Joe’s. After doing my happy-pantry-dance, I got to enjoy this view for the next hour or so:

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BAHAHA. Love you, Reema!

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We went to Sweetwater Tavern, where I indulged just a little much. But if you saw my daily eats from last night, you can kind of tell I had adjusted my day to account for eating out. I just didn’t factor in that I would desperately be needing one of these by the end of the day:

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Hehe. I drank half of their prickly pear frozen marg (which was more than enough for me — is it possible my alcohol tolerance is still in Boulder?) before Reema graciously helped me out.

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I got crab cakes! They were about one-tenth the size of the gargantuan crab cakes I had in Baltimore, but unlike those, Sweetwater’s have like, zero breading on the inside, so you know you’re getting your money’s worth.

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I swapped out the regular fries that came with it for sweet ‘tater ones. Plus cole slaw. Ate it all. Totally delicious, totally worth it.

What’s your favorite going-out-to-eat indulgence?

Sushi’s kind of a no-brainer for me, so I don’t really count it as an answer to this question, haha. So I guess I would say that I love me some crab cakes, and seafood in general will always be my choice. That section of the menu is always the first to jump out at me, hehe. I imagine that most men would probably be a pretty easy guess: STEAK!

Daily Eats – 6/27/11

Breakfast

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Juice! 1 cucumber, 1 granny smith apple

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Mini Blueberry Muffin Larabar (100 cal)

Snack

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Attune priobiotic chocolate bar (90 cal) and unpictured Popchips (100 cal)

Lunch

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Brown rice bowl with veggies, a lone leftover shrimpie, and peanut sauce

Snack

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3 dolmas (90 cal)

Dinner

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1/2 of this prickly pear frozen margarita (it’s been one of those days, haha)

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Crabcakes, sweet potatoes fries, and coleslaw that I certainly didn’t mean to finish but of course, I did. Hehe. Good thing the rest of the day was (fairly) light! Curse you, deliciousness that is Sweetwater! Dinner deets to come tomorrow.

I’ll miss you, Boulder. (Weigh-in)

If you’re catching up from the weekend, be sure to catch up on my posts covering my experience in Boulder, CO at the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference!

1. Oh hi, Boulder. I think I love you.
2. Yoga, Mountains, Food, & Deodorant
3. LiveBlogging
4. Mountain Climber

Oh hai there, Eagle!

Waaaaaaaaaah! I want to go back already! I can definitely see how you’d get addicted to the outdoors living out there. Even for me, as a self-proclaimed couch-potato and air conditioning-enthusiast, I just didn’t get enough of the mountains!

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After the conference ended, Casey, Emily, Katie and I all headed to lunch at Zolo, a locally-sourced Mexican/Southwestern restaurant. It was delicious, and they were very accommodating to Casey & Katie’s dietary restrictions which I noticed a LOT of restaurants do in Boulder. It’s definitely the place to go if you have dietary sensitivities or food allergies!

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We shared chips & guac, and I got the tilapia tacos. Delicious!

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I also snagged a bite of Emily‘s goat cheese and poblana breakfast enchilada. Delicious!

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Hi Katie! My apologies for not posting Emily & Casey’s pretty faces up too, but I think they’ll thank me for it later. I got pics of both of them mid-chew, haha!

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After lunch my friend Matt (who moved to Colorado from DC a couple of years ago with his fiancee Jess) picked me up from the hotel and drove me up the side of a mountain so I could take in the sights. He felt bad that I had to miss out on hiking while I was there but I assured him that I would be back and we could climb the mountain the proper way next time. Prepare for photo overload:

Downtown Boulder

I mean, seriously?

University of Colorado - Boulder

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I die.

IMG_9381.jpgIMG_9376.jpgWindy!

It was just a smiiiiidge windy on top of that mountain, haha.

Grizzly Gretchen.

But don’t worry. Grizzly Gretchen conquers all.

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Matty was an excellent tour guide.

Mountain Man

But we missed you, Jess!

Flatirons

After driving up (and consequently, down) the mountain, we also ambled over to Chautauqua, where the Flatirons are (and where the conference hike that I had to miss had ventured.)

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More photo ops!

IMG_9439.jpgI think I'll keep it.
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Boulder

And look who I ran into coming down the mountain!

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It seems that Anne and I just can’t escape each other, because we also ran into each other AGAIN in the security line at the airport. Love it.

The last thing that Matt and I did before he generously drove me to the airport (curse you, Super Shuttle!) was to check out this little art fair that happened to be going on at the 29th Street Mall.

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Sunshine
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Sundial?IMG_9469.jpg

And of course when I did actually get back to DC (at midnight EST, of course), it was raining. And still humid. Le sigh.

Don’t worry, Boulder. I’ll be back someday!

Annnnnd just for posterity’s sake:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 192.5 lbs
This Weigh-in: 192.0 lbs!!
This Week’s Loss: -0.5 lbs
Total Loss-to-Date: 54 lbs.

Holler! Thanks Boulder, for not only being an amazing place but also helping me lose half a pound! Except I’m pretty sure that the reason I “lost” that half-pound is because my dinner consisted of a mini-Larabar, an Attune probiotic chocolate bar, and a packet of airplane peanuts. Stupid 6:30 PM flight time.

Sidenote: I flew Southwest for the first time, and it was awesome! I kinda dug the whole pick-your-own-seat-thing. And for like, the second time ever I actually sat with really cool people and had real conversations on the plane. If you’re reading this, Hi Kate & Jon!

My final thoughts on the first-ever Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference are this: it was very informative, they selected very good speakers, and they couldn’t have picked a more perfect location to host it, but in comparison to Fitbloggin’ I felt it was less social and targeted to a bit of a different attendee audience. I was admittedly a little intimidated by all of the personal trainers and fitness and nutrition professional in attendance (as opposed to health/wellness bloggers with other full-time professions) and definitely felt self-conscious about my fitness level in comparison to the majority of the attendees. All in all though, it was obviously a great conference, and I learned a ton. Look forward to many more inspired posts to come!