If you or someone you care about feels there’s a slim chance of keeping fit, it may be because of certain common but false ideas. Here’s a look at a few, as well as some facts about weight loss and nutrition.
1. Myth: Healthy eating costs too much.
Fact: Eating better doesn’t have to cost a lot. Try these ideas for healthful eating on a budget:
• Use canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, which may provide as many nutrients as fresh ones at lower cost. Rinse canned veggies before you cook them to remove extra salt. Choose fruit canned in its own juice or packed in water.
• Canned, dried or frozen beans, lentils and peas are healthful sources of protein that last a long time and may not cost much.
2. Myth: If I skip meals, I can lose weight.
Fact: Skipping meals may make you feel hungrier and lead you to eat more than you normally would at your next meal. Consider these ideas:
• For a quick breakfast, make oatmeal with low-fat milk, topped with your favorite fruit.
• For healthful snacks on the go, pack a small low-fat yogurt, whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter, or veggies with hummus.
3. Myth: Physical activity only counts if I can do it for a long time.
Fact: The U.S. government recommends 150 to 300 minutes of activity each week, but you don’t need to do it all at once. To benefit, you can exercise for as few as 10 minutes at a time. Here are some ways to fit activity in:
• If you’re in a safe, well-lit area, get off the bus or train one stop early and walk the rest of the way to where you’re going.
• Plan a game of basketball or soccer or go dancing with friends.
You can get more information from the “Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths” fact sheet created by the Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The fact sheet covers more myths, presents facts and offers ways to make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily life. It also explains the Nutrition Facts label, suggests ways to “eat the rainbow” of healthful fruits and veggies, and lists smart choices for vegetarians and people with lactose intolerance.
For a free copy or more information, call (877) 946-4627 or visit Weight Control Information Network.