Enterprising Women Vol 10, No 2, 2009

enterprising Women 65 B Y J UD I S HE P PARD M I S S E T T Don’t eat carbs, don’t skip breakfast, don’t ingest anything after 6 p.m. W ith all of the diet advice, tips and tricks available these days, how do you know which ones to follow? Take a look at these top ten diet myths and learn how to separate fact from fiction. MYTH #1: CUT THE CARBS The anti-carb craze has women tossing out bread and pasta from coast to coast. Some are even losing weight. But, is no- carb really the best way to go? Carbs are necessary to produce energy, not to men- tion that carbs provide fiber to aid diges- tion. And if you’re headed to the gym, you need some healthy carbs (fruit or oatmeal) to fuel your workout. MYTH #2: DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST While it is important to eat something in the morning, you don’t have to head for the kitchen as soon as you crawl out of bed. Just be sure to eat something within the first two hours of waking up and preferably before that morning meeting with those tempting pastries. Yogurt or a piece of fruit will do the trick. MYTH #3: MILK IS FOR KIDS Worries over the fat in dairy may have you running away from milk products. Unfortunately, a lack of dairy means that you’ll also miss out on cal- cium and Vitamin D, both of which are needed for strong bones and prevention of osteoarthritis. So, instead of ditching dairy altogether, trade in your high- fat milk products for their low-fat counter- parts. MYTH #4: BUY FAT-FREE Just because a food claims to be “fat free” doesn’t mean that it is low in calo- ries. Also, remember that our body needs fat. The key is eating the right kind of fat. Monounsaturated fats that are found in almonds, olive oil, and avocados can actu- ally help to reduce the levels of bad choles- terol in your blood. MYTH #5: STAY OFF THE SCALE Sorry, girls, you really do need to weigh yourself to keep tabs on your health. Check-in on a weekly basis to keep track of your progress. And keep in mind that the numbers on the scale aren’t everything. Compare those numbers with how you feel in your clothes and the muscle mass that you build from your workouts. MYTH #6: COUNTING CALORIES IS ENOUGH Sure, nutrition is important, but you’ll never achieve maximum results without adding exercise to the mix. I recommend a combination of cardiovascular exercise, which burns calories, alongside strength training, which increases your muscle mass and stokes your metabolism. MYTH #7: GO VEGETARIAN In your pursuit to drop a few pounds, ditching an entire food group may not be the wisest choice. However, if you have decided that going veggie is the right course of action for you, then be sure to keep your diet balanced. By cutting out meat, you’ll need to get iron elsewhere, such as kidney beans, black beans, and baked potatoes. MYTH #8: STOP SNACKING It is okay to snack. It’s just not okay to snack on the wrong foods! A piece of fruit or a handful of nuts may actually prevent you from getting too hungry and diving into the candy jars at the office. MYTH #9: DON’T EAT AT NIGHT A late-night snack may give you indiges- tion, but it won’t destroy your diet. What matters is the number of calories that you eat overall throughout the day. MYTH #10: NIX THE SWEETS It’s okay to have dessert. In fact, eating a small portion of dessert now may actually keep you from downing an entire bag of M & M’s if you’re feeling deprived later. JUDI SHEPPARD MISSETT is the founder and chief executive officer of Jazzercise, Inc., the world’s leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instruc- tors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzer- cise.com or call 800-FIT-IS-IT or 760-476- 1750. Judi is a member of the Enterprising Women National Advisory Board and the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame. YOU healthy 10 The Top S e p a ra t i n g F a c t F rom F i c t i o n