Quick fixes and fad diets often start out sounding like the perfect solution to all your weight loss dilemmas, and while some of them may be fine in the short term, over the long haul a lot of these so-called truths are actually myths that are doing your body more harm than good. So what exactly is diet fact and what is diet fiction? We look at the four most common and tell you why you should never believe them.
Myth: Cutting carbs will help you lose weight.
Truth: Carbohydrates are not exactly the greatest benefit to your waistline, but there is a right and a wrong way to cut them from your life. Your body requires at least some carbs to properly function, without them your energy levels will plummet and your metabolism will slow right down, actually causing you to gain weight. For those who cringe in fear at the first sign of a loaf of bread, remember, there are carbs that are healthier than others. So lay off anything “white” (breads, pastas, rice) and stick to items like whole grains breads and pasta, brown rice, and fruit. And remember, moderation is key.
Myth: Dairy foods will make you fat.
Truth: When paired with proper calorie-control, a dairy-rich diet can actually be the best thing for body-fat reduction and weight loss. This is thanks in part to the hormone calcitriol, which helps conserve calcium for stronger bones while telling those pesky fat cells to convert less sugar to fat and burn more body fat. The result is leaner fat cells and thus a leaner you.
Myth: The more you cut calories, the more weight you will lose.
Truth: There is a recommended daily intake of calories for a reason and cutting them too far – below 1,200 a day, is asking for trouble. Besides decreasing your metabolism, which will lead to weight gain, you will ultimately lose muscle mass, which will result in making weight loss more difficult. To get the most out of the calories you do eat, choose whole foods such as fresh meat and fish, and whole grains that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Myth: Brown or “whole wheat” equals whole grain.
Truth: Be wary, very wary. There is a multitude of fakers out there, which are just waiting to trick you into carbohydrate overload. To make sure you are getting your healthy carbs, always check the ingredient list and look for the words 100% whole wheat or whole grain before the name of the grain.