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  • Dieting Myths Debunked
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Health and Fitness News

Dieting Myths Debunked

The lies you believe may be the reason you’re not losing weight.

What you believe determines how you live. You believe the chair will hold you up so you sit in it. You believe it’s going to rain so you take an umbrella with you wherever you go. The same goes for the way you eat. If you believe that calories make you gain weight, you cut back when you’re trying to lose weight.

Unfortunately, diet information isn’t always that simple to decipher. Every day, you’re bombarded with new information that agrees with common wisdom or tries to discount it. With so much information, it can be hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

As a result, you may be taking steps to lose weight that do you more harm than good. Before letting that happen to you, find out if you’re tricked by some of the most beloved and believed myths about food, eating, and calories.

Myth #1: Cutting Carbs Is the Only Way to Lose Weight

It’s true that reducing the number of carbs you eat is one way to shed pounds quickly. Carbs provide energy and unused energy gets stored as fat. Cut the carbs, and you stop storing as much fat. But that’s not the whole story. Because your body needs carbs for health and wellness. Avoiding them altogether is dangerous. The key is to choose the right kind.

Simple carbs are often high in calories and low in nutrients and are found in foods such as cakes, candy, sugar, and foods made with refined grains. Foods that contain complex carbs are nutrient dense and are good for you: fruits, beans, and whole grains. Go with the complex carbs to lose weight and maintain your good health.

Myth #2: Food Eaten at Night Is Stored as Fat

You’ve likely been told not to eat a late-night snack if you’re trying to lose weight. However, what time you eat doesn’t affect your weight. What you eat does.
Remember—a calorie is a calorie, whether it’s eaten at two in the afternoon or two in the morning. The problem is that with late-night eating, you’re more prone to eat unhealthy or high-calorie foods. Why? Because you’re tired and therefore more likely to make poor choices.

Myth #3: Calories Are Created Equal

While a calorie is a calorie (see above) and too many calories leads directly to weight gain, not all calories are created equal.

Imagine you’re at the office. You can choose to snack on a donut that contains 170 calories or you can choose a handful of almonds with the same number of calories. Which will do your body better? The donut provides no nutritional value, leads to a spike in blood sugar, and leaves you hungry soon after eating. Nuts, on the other hand, are full of nutrients, fiber, and protein that provide energy and satisfy you for longer. The obvious choice is to go with the nuts. And any time you can, get your calories from whole foods rather than processed foods or simple carbs to reduce your appetite.

Myth #4: Supplements Lead to Aid Weight Loss

Contrary to what you want to believe, there is no magic potion to help you lose weight. Many supplements claim to provide dramatic results, but studies show they’re rarely effective, and if they are, then only in a small way. So stop looking for a magic pill and invest in your long-term good health today by approaching weight loss by making lasting lifestyle changes.

Myth #5: Weight Loss Means Eating Less and Exercising More

Actually, this is true. However, weight loss often requires more than diet and exercise. While eating less and moving more will lead to weight loss, it’s rarely permanent. The only way to keep pounds off for good is to continue doing what led to the weight loss.

In other words, lasting weight loss is about a change of perspective. Lifelong habits must be addressed and altered, psychological factors must be factored into the equation, and emotions must be dealt with in new and healthy ways.