Don’t Fall for These Common Diet Myths

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Don’t Fall for These Common Diet Myths

iStock_000027499987_SmallLosing weight is difficult for most people, so it’s no wonder we all hope for a simple and easy solution. Unfortunately, a lot of the beliefs you might hold about weight loss are actually just myths. As you put together your own weight loss plan, don’t fall for these common misconceptions.

Starvation diets are a great way to lose weight. When you skip meals or fast for extended periods of time, two things happen. First, your metabolism slows down because your body thinks you’re enduring a famine. This is an adaptive mechanism that helps us to stay alive during a food shortage, but it will frustrate dieters by short-circuiting their efforts. Second, you begin to crave food more and more, so that when you do finally eat, you over-indulge in your cravings. Regular, healthy, and low-calorie meals are the key to weight loss, not starvation.

Cutting out entire food groups is a good idea. A healthy diet is based in variety. When you cut out entire food groups, you risk depriving your body of nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Eat lower-calorie foods from each group instead, and focus on protein, healthy fats, fiber, and carbs from whole grains.

“Low fat” and “fat free” foods are good for you. Sometimes these food labels can be misleading. Often these “low fat” snacks are packed with sugar! Always pay attention to calorie content, not just fat grams.

Artificial sweeteners are the answer. First of all, foods that contain artificial sweeteners might also contain calories. They aren’t a free-for-all sweets buffet! Second, because your brain is not really satiated by artificial sweeteners, you might eat a lot more of the treat before you feel satisfied. A better plan is to eat a small amount of a dessert you enjoy, such as a single cookie, or try substituting fruit.

Going gluten-free is the secret to weight loss. Unless you are actually allergic to gluten, there is no need to eliminate it from your diet. Most “gluten free” packaged foods make up for those calories with a substitute anyway, so cutting out gluten does not result in weight loss for most people.

You can over-eat, as long as you exercise more the next day. Technically this could be true, if only most people didn’t seriously overestimate the calories they burn through exercise! You might think that going for an afternoon walk will burn off all those slices of pizza you consumed last night, but in reality you might burn only one piece of pizza. The majority of people don’t have the time or energy to spend hours per day on exercise, and that’s what it would take to burn off a major junk food binge!

For weight loss tips and tricks that actually work, call our office to schedule an appointment. We can analyze your health status and weight loss needs, and recommend a diet plan that will actually work for you.