When it comes to dieting, I’ve done it all. I have lost and gained weight more times than Lady Gaga changed her outfit. I scored points, ate like a cavewoman, dined in South Beach, made a living on cabbage soup, been in the Zone, and ate for ketosis.
Well-meaning dieters can fall victim to false weight loss facts that ruin their entire diet. Are you going to be one of them? It’s easy to believe some diet “facts” because they’re repeated at the book club, LIVE on Facebook, and seen on YouTube.
But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that many of these weight loss facts and truisms are misunderstood. Go through this list of diet myths to make sure you have your facts so you can fit into your pants and live lean. You have to be smart to get skinny!
- Diets don’t work: People who want to lose weight may avoid traditional diets (like calorie counting) because they believe diets don’t work. In fact, the diet works. Restrictive diets don’t work. The truth is, if you want to lose weight, you mustchange what you eat. And that’s a diet. If a weight loss program advertises that you can eat whatever you want (even healthy foods) and still lose weight, it is unlikely to work.
- Starchy foods cause weight gain: Do you like potatoes and bread? If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to avoid these foods because you have read that they make you gain weight. Not true. Starchy foods do not causeyou gain weight unless you eat too much of it. And some foods high in starchy carbohydrates, like potatoes, provide nutrients. So you can include them in a calorie controlled diet for healthy weight loss.
- Eating Small, Frequent Meals Promotes Weight Loss: Eating small meals and snacks every few hours can help you lose weight. But some studies have shown that when we increase the number of occasions to eat throughout the day, we can open the floodgates of hunger, desire to eat, and calorie intake. There is no right way to structure your meal times throughout the day. Some dieters find that they keep hunger at bay if they eat small, frequent meals. But other dieters find that they prefer 2-3 larger meals. One method is not necessarily better than the other.
- Starvation mode causes weight gain: Are you eating 1200-1500 calories to avoid “starvation mode?” There is a common belief among some dieters that if you don’t eat enough your body’s metabolism stops and you start to gain weight. It is true that your body will adapt to changing eating habits such as a lower calorie level, and your metabolism may slow down slightly to conserve calories, but not to the point of gaining weight. As you eat less and lose weight, it is normal for your metabolism to change. And remember, the thinner you are, the less calories you get for weight loss! No weight loss professional would recommend starving yourself for weight loss, but very few people need to worry about starvation mode.
- Foods with a low glycemic index are better for your diet: The glycemic index is used as the basis for a number of popular low-carb diets, including Whole 30 and South Beach. So you might be tempted to eat foods with a low glycemic index to lose weight. But not all low glycemic foods are low in calories and not all are a smart part of a weight loss program. Ice cream, for example, is a low glycemic index food. But very few successful dieters eat ice cream on a regular basis. Some low glycemic index foods are also low in calories and good for a weight loss program. But not all. Make sure you know the difference before using the Popular Food Index for weight loss.
- Eating breakfast stimulates the metabolism: Many dieters lose weight and avoid weight gain by eating a good, healthy breakfast each morning. A smart morning meal can help curb late-morning cravings and help you avoid vending machine snacks and trips to your local cafe that can send your daily calorie count through the roof. But eating breakfast doesn’t boost your metabolism. Many dieters successfully skip breakfast or eat a tiny breakfast. Other dieters find breakfast an essential part of their overall weight loss program. Your total calorie intake throughout the day will determine your weight loss success, not meal times.
- You should always eat more protein: Protein foods help you feel fuller for longer and maintain muscle mass. If your goal is a strength training program, protein also helps you build muscle. But to lose weight, more protein isn’t always better. The most important thing for WEIGHT LOSS is controlling your overall calorie intake, regardless of whether the macronutrients are from protein, carbohydrate, or fat.
- Natural foods are better for your diet: Savvy shoppers usually buy natural groceries for better health. After all, natural foods are better for your weight loss diet, aren’t they? Wrong! There is no regulated definition of the word “natural”. So, food manufacturers can use the word on food packaging even if the food is not really natural in the way you might expect it to be. Plus, if losing weight is your goal, you need to be extra careful. Some natural and healthy foods are also very high in calories. Avocados and walnuts are a perfect example. Before you jump into the “natural” health craze, make sure these all-natural foods are portion-controlled and don’t compromise your pant size.
- Dieting and healthy eating is EASY; It can be difficult for new dieters to cope with the fact that losing weight is really difficult. So, most of us are tempted to believe the advertisements, books, and programs that tell us that losing weight is easy. But the truth is, changing any habit is DIFFICULT. Changing the way we think about food, overeating, and dieting is DIFFICULT. Changing our eating habits is DIFFICULT. But learning in a new way is possible. It will take time and practice.
Is it worth it? Absolutely yes.
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