The 5 top myths when it comes to nutrition and eating

27th December, 2014

1. That losing weight will make you a happier, healthier person.

In my 10 years as a dietitian, I have seen thousands of people who despite losing weight, are still desperately unhappy with themselves and their bodies. Often, it is only when people let go of their desire to lose weight and instead focus on improving their relationship with food and their bodies, that their health improves and they start to feel happy within themselves.

You can improve your relationship with food by learning how to eat intuitively again. Click here to learn more. As you start feeling better about your eating, you’ll start feeling better about your body.

2. Diet or low calorie foods are a healthier choice.

Extra virgin olive oil is high calorie and VERY healthy. Diet soft drinks are no calorie and I would not call them healthy. I would also pop diet yoghurt down with diet soft-drink, although one could argue they are healthy as they provide some calcium. However, diet yoghurts lack taste and perpetuate “dieting” which is NOT healthy.

3. The ability to say “no” to food you love means you’re being good.

Of course it’s sensible to say “no” to dessert or your favourite snack if you’re not hungry or already full. Saying no to a food because you are working on improving your health is also fine provided it’s what you really want to do. Saying no just because you’re following a diet plan or because someone else has told you to, usually leads to you wanting that food more and over-eating it at some point. In the long run, saying no can do more damage than good, unless you’re doing it for the right reasons.

4. There are “good” and “bad” foods.

Food does not have a moral value. Just as a chair is neither good nor bad, chocolate is neither good or bad, it’s just chocolate. Eating 50g of chocolate in one hit is not going to harm your health, eating 50kg of chocolate most likely will. The same can be said for eating broccoli or drinking water.

Eating a food you label as bad, tends to make you feel bad or guilty on eating it. Such thinking is nonsense; just as wearing jeans doesn’t make you a bad person, eating a certain food does not make you a bad person. The food is not the problem, it’s the “thinking” that needs to change. Again, learning how to eat intuitively (or mindfully) will help change your thinking.

5. Dietitians are the food police.

Some of us are foodies, some of us just like plain simple food, very few of us, if any, live on carrot sticks and lettuce. Most dietitians eat and enjoy all the same basic foods that most people do. For me it’s bread (with olive oil), hot chips (with beer), cheese (with wine) and tasty dressing on my salads. Most dietitians advocate enjoyment of all foods and we love helping you see that you can enjoy the food you love and still be fabulously fit and healthy.

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