Weight Loss Myths
That May Ruin Your Diet
Most of us are obsessed with diets and dieting. Every day were
bombarded by seemingly new, and most often confusing, information
on what is the best way to shed those extra pounds. There are
fat-burning pills, exercise machines, low-fat-low-carb snacks,
and diet tips galore: Dont eat carbs, stay away from desserts,
dont skip breakfast, never nibble after 6 p.m., etc. New
diet books are always hitting the bookstore shelves with the latest
weight-loss advice, and celebrities feel compelled to share their
diet successes. With all this conflicting information, its
difficult to find a diet that is right for you and that
will work for you!
not that all this weight-loss advice is useless or even unhealthy.
Its just that one persons diet secret may not work
for you. The same doesnt work for everyone. So its
important to know the truth behind common diet tips. Here are
10 popular weight-loss myths and the facts.
#1: You dont have to count calories
Fact: Counting calories is important
You definitely need to count calories in order to lose weight.
People tend to overestimate their physical activity and underestimate
their calories. Dont rely on eyeballing your caloric intake
or trying to estimate it. Instead, every day write down what
you eat, the corresponding calories, and your physical activity.
To make it easier for you to quantify your physical activity,
wear a pedometer. Do this every day. Dont do it just once
or twice a week. Consistency is important for dieting. Sure,
this isnt easy. But if you want to lose weight, this is
important to do on a daily basis.
Use our BMR/AMR
calculator to calculate your approximate daily energy requirement.
that a calorie is a calorie whether its fat, sugar, or
protein. Still, some foods are more calorie-dense than others.
That means that they contain more calories per ounce. Carbohydrates
and protein have the same calories per ounce. Fat, on the other
hand, has twice as many, so the calories found in fat add up
twice as fast. Eat fatty foods dairy products, skin on
meat, fatty meats in moderation. You want to limit your
intake of fat, but you dont want to stop eating fat. Fat
increases your sense of fullness. Your body also needs a small
amount of fat to function. Fat is part of our cell structure.
The body cant make some essential fatty acids on its own,
so it needs to obtain them from an outside source.
#2: Always eat breakfast
Fact: Eat some time during the morning
If you wake up at 7 a.m., you dont have to immediately
eat a big breakfast. Youre probably not even hungry right
after you wake up. You dont have to jump start your metabolism.
You simply have to structure your eating throughout the day,
so youre not too hungry later on. It's best to eat within
three hours of waking. If you get up at 7 a.m., eat something
by 10 a.m. Have some yogurt or a piece of fruit. If you dont
eat in the morning, you will be too hungry when you finally
have a meal, and then youll likely overeat. Remember,
what counts is your total daily calories.
#3: Eat three times a day don't snack
Fact: Eat when you want to maintain calorie intake
Once again, its all about calories. You can eat three
times a day or six times a day, as long as you have the same
caloric intake. However, you should have at least three meals
a day. That structures your daily eating, so dont become
too hungry. And if you eat six times a day, you wont be
having six full meals.
#4: Carbohydrates make you fat
#6: Cut out desserts
Fact: Carbs are necessary for a balanced diet
Carbohydrates do not make you fat. Calories make you fat. Often
its the sugar and fat contained in carbohydrates that
make you fat. Also a lot of carbohydrates are processed, so
you dont get the advantage of feeling full from fiber
found in unprocessed carbs. For example, whole grain pasta is
more filling and makes you feel satisfied longer
than white pasta, though both have the same amount of calories.
What will change the number of calories is the amount of sauce
and butter you put on your pasta. What you want to do is eat
carbs in moderation.
Fact: Dont deprive yourself sweets
Deprivation is the downfall of all diets. You can have a small
portion of dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and still stick
to your diet. You just dont want to eat a large portion,
or more! Food is pleasurable for many people. So, treat yourself
but dont overindulge. You can create a diet that lets you
eat a sweet once a day or once a week. Dieters who deprive themselves
tend to go overboard when they have candy, cake, or cookies. So
make a good choice of what you include in your diet. Maybe you
can have a small dessert after dinner or lunch.
#7: Dont worry about dieting just exercise
Fact: Exercising alone is not enough
You probably wont be able to work out enough to make up
for eating a huge meal. Exercise just does not burn enough calories.
If you eat a slice of apple pie a la mode that is 500 calories,
youll have to walk briskly for two hours to burn those
calories. So, you wont lose weight unless you also cut
#8: Dont weigh yourself
Fact: Get on that scale!
You really need to weigh yourself to keep your weight in check.
Sure, you can notice if your belt is getting tighter
or looser but chances are you dont have an accurate
assessment of your weight. Weigh yourself at least once a week.
If you dont have a scale at home, go to your doctor or
health club and weigh yourself. Weighing yourself shouldnt
be seen as punishment. Its just a way to keep an eye on
your weight. And your scale doesnt always have to tell
you bad news. You may not have noticed that you lost two pounds
the other week.
#9 Never eat at night
Fact: Calories dont know time
Whats important is how many calories you consume; not
when you eat them. Many successful dieters save 200 to 300 calories
to eat at night. Sure, eating a big steak before you go to bed
may give you some indigestion, but it wont ruin your diet.
Eating at night may be the best time for you. Youre at
home, the kids are in bed, and you have time to enjoy your food.
#10 No snacking between meals
Fact: Calories are calories
Snacks arent the culprit; calories are. You can have a
small container of yogurt for breakfast and a piece of fruit
for a snack before lunch. Some dieters prefer to have more structure
and limit themselves to three meals a the day and no in-between-meal
snacks. Others are more comfortable having small, low-calorie
snacks between their main meals. What counts is the total number
tip: Reduce calories
The best way to think of cutting calories is to go backwards.
Add up your daily calories. If you eat 500 fewer calories a
day, you can expect to lose a pound a week, which is considered
to be fairly fast weight loss. If you cut out 250 calories a
day, you will lose two pounds a month. Of course, this depends
on your body type, age, health, gender, and level of physical
activity. Men typically need to eat from 1,600 to 1,800 calories
to lose weight; women need 1,400 to 1,600. If you want to lose
weight at a faster or slower rate, you can adjust
Reference Source 135, 151