In my life I have probably tried just about every diet and perpetuated most of the below myths. It seems like we are forever hearing about the latest and greatest diet, foods to eat or not to eat to lose weight, and waiting for the next diet pill that will instantly dissolve all our fat (I am personally waiting for the get bigger breasts, see ya later cellulite, and the instant tone and give me muscle pills). It can all get quite confusing so I decided to try and clear up some of these diet myths so that if you are trying to lose weight you can avoid these pitfalls.
Top Diet Myths To Ditch
**Eating mostly low-fat or no fat foods will make you lose weight-Before you run to the store and stock up on fat free and low-fat foods, keep in mind that it is all about portion control. Even though light versions have less fat than their regular counterparts, they often have as many or more calories (some diet foods contain more sugar than the regular versions).
***Food eaten late at night is more fattening-Many diets tell you not to eat after a certain time in the evening. They say the body will store more fat because it is not burned off with any activity. A study at the Dunn Nutrition Centre in Cambridge suggests otherwise. Volunteers were placed in a whole body calorimeter, which measures calories burned and stored. They were fed with a large lunch and small evening meal for one test period, then a small lunch and large evening meal during a second test period. The results revealed the large meal eaten late at night did not make the body store more fat.It's not when you eat that's important, but the total amount you consume in a 24-hour period. Lyndel Costain adds: 'It is true that people who skip meals during the day, then eat loads in the evening are more likely to be overweight than those who eat regularly throughout the day.'This may be because eating regular meals helps people regulate their appetite and overall food intake.' More here.
**Fad diets work for permanent weight loss-I can attest to this one. In my life for every fad diet that I lost weight with I gained it right back. Think of the Cabbage Soup Diet, or similar when you would eat only a few bizarre things and then of course when you went back to eating normal the weight came back too. Fad diets may be unhealthy because they may not provide all of the nutrients your body needs. Diets that provide less than 800 calories per day also could result in heart rhythm abnormalities, which can be fatal.
** Certain foods, like grapefruit, celery, or cabbage soup, can burn fat and make you lose weight-MMhmmm, I have tried those too and I am sorry to say that anyone who joined me in eating grapefruit like it was the last food on earth will be sad to know that no foods can burn fat. Some foods with caffeine may speed up your metabolism (the way your body uses energy, or calories) for a short time, but they do not cause weight loss.
** Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight-Another painful method I tried that never yielded results. Studies show that people who skip breakfast and eat fewer times during the day tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast and eat four or five times a day. I eat all day now in little meals. I much prefer eating little meals to big ones and I am thinner and almost never hungry.
**Lifting weights and strength training will make you bulk up and not lose weight-Lifting weights or doing strengthening activities like push-ups and crunches on a regular basis can actually help you maintain or lose weight. These activities can help you build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than body fat. So if you have more muscle, you burn more calories—even sitting still. This is what my online personal trainer Christopher (see widget on right to check out his site) has me doing and in just 2 weeks I lost 3 lbs and I was not trying. More here.
**Nuts are fattening and you shouldn't eat them if you want to lose weight-I thought this for years and never ate nuts (I was missing out). I now realize that nuts actually help me lose weight and I call nuts my no. 1 diet secret. Although high in calories and fat, most (but not all) types of nuts have low amounts of saturated fat (the bad fat). Nuts are a staple of my diet and I love how they fill me up and help my chocolate cravings (really).
On that note, even though it is almost midnight I am going to go have some cashews . Years ago I would have been horrified at the thought but now that I know better I can enjoy.
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