You’ve heard all of these before “ dairy products make you fat, carbohydrates cause weight gain, fat free foods are the best choice for weight loss. And while some part of you knows that these are all dieting myths, there is always that one friend, co-worker or sister-in-law who swears that is how she lost 35 pounds! So what’s a weight conscious girl to do? See below to get to the bottom of some common dieting myths.
Diet Myth #1
Fat makes you fat. Overindulging in foods that have a lot of fat can lead to weight gain, but in order to be healthy a diet should include some fat. Anything with trans-fats, obviously, should be avoided, but there are plenty of great, healthy fats that can and should be incorporated into your diet. Avocados, nuts (not honey roasted), and olive oil are just three great sources of fat that you can incorporate into your diet and still lose weight.
Diet Myth # 2
Cutting out (insert food group here) is the best way to lose weight. Most fad diets use this type of thinking “ just stop eating fruit, carbs, fat (see above), sugar, or some type of food or food group and you’ll be on your way to a size zero in no time. This dieting myth can lead to weight loss, but in the end your body suffers, because, guess what, it needs something from that food group. Fat, protein, minerals, fiber and other important nutrients come from a variety of food groups, so don’t eliminate one or the other just to lose weight.
Diet Myth # 3
Late night eating causes weight gain. Bust this dieting myth with a grain of salt, however. Eating late at night will not make you gain weight, but mindless snacking at night, especially on high calorie foods, will make you fat. Mindless snacking at any time of the day will lead to weight gain, so don’t make the late night part of this dieting myth into the guilty party. If you missed dinner and have a late night snack, you won’t wake up twenty pounds heavier. But if it is a habit of yours to indulge in pizza, nachos, or other snacks while watching the television or a movie at night, break the habit completely or switch to a healthier snack (light popcorn or vegetables and low fat dip, for example).
Diet Myth # 4
Salads and other healthy food help you lose weight. You should eat as healthy as you can, but be aware that healthy choices do not always equal lighter or fewer calories. A savvy woman like you is well aware that any salad loaded with blue cheese or shredded cheese or lots of olives and other extras adds on calories, but other healthy choices can be just as fattening, too. While fats like the avocados and olive oil mentioned above are necessary to your body’s health, overdoing on the guacamole may lead to weight gain. Ditto for too much olive oil on your sandwich or salad, so don’t let this dieting myth fool you. The key to weight loss is to take in fewer calories than you burn off, and too much of any food, no matter how healthy, will sabotage your diet. So count your calories, incorporate as many healthy foods into your diet as you can, get some exercise and don’t let these dieting myths get you off track!