7 Diet Myths You Should Stop Believing

In your journey to lose weight and improve your health, you’ll come across loads of suggestions and ideas on how to successfully shed the unwanted pounds. You’d want to begin your journey to a better you with the right steps. Know how to separate the truths from the myths.

Read on to learn more about the diet myths you shouldn’t be falling for.

1. You should skip breakfast to lose weight faster.

Surely you have friends who crash-diet by skipping meals, and it’s usually breakfast that they opt to miss. This does not hold true for everyone, however. It’s actually your total meal plan for the entire day that is more important, as well as the food you do consume.

Recent researches have revealed that the successful dieters actually start their day by having the right breakfast. Beginning the day with a substantial meal, contrary to popular belief, might actually help you shed the pounds in multiple ways. 

  • When you skip breakfast, you’re more prone to making poor food choices as you get hungry in the mid-morning, and you’re stuck with unhealthy food options such as vending machine junk food or the common burger and fries at your nearest fast food joint.

    Preparing your own nutritious and calorie-monitored breakfast can fill you up and prevent unnecessary mid-morning food cravings.

    Moreover, be proactive and lobby for
    healthy alternative snack options at your place of work. Eating nutritious snacks mid-morning will complement your breakfast meal well. You may propose healthy snack delivery services to your company, as an incentive for all employees.
  • One good way to lose weight and keep to your ideal weight is to have good control over the portions you eat per meal. When you eat a modest breakfast, you’re more likely to have control and eat just the right amounts for your lunch and dinner as well.

    You won’t be binge-eating at succeeding meals because you’re weak or dizzy from having missed your first meal of the day. There is value to starting your day right by eating well and healthily.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics actually suggests that it’s better to divide your total daily food consumption into four or five meals per day, including breakfast and snacks. Breakfast is not the most critical meal of the day, but skipping it is not the answer to losing weight either.

2. You should stop eating after 8 p.m.

This myth is based on the theory that during the day, your body is able to burn up all the food it consumes, then late at night, the calories just stay in your body and transform into fat. 

The truth is, the calories you consume and burn don’t depend on the time of day or night. Your body processes and utilizes the calories in the same manner, regardless of what time it is.

The more sensible reason behind avoiding late-night or after-dinner snacks is that you tend to settle for junk food when you’re tired and have no more energy to prepare something nutritious before bedtime or as you’re unwinding.

If you’re serious about losing weight and being healthy, ditch poor nighttime snack choices like ice cream, chips, or popcorn. Doing this alone will help you lose a few pounds per year.

If you still want a snack after dinner or before going off to bed, choose something nutritious such as a piece of fruit or even a small bowl of cereal with nonfat milk. Make smart food choices after 8 p.m., and you’re bound to stay on track with your weight goals.

3. Instead of three big meals per day, eat small but frequent meals in order to speed up your metabolism.

According to this diet theory, eating smaller portions but more regularly throughout the day will keep your metabolism up and you get to burn more calories. 

To set the record straight, the amount or portions of food you take in hardly has an effect on your metabolism. The greatest factors that affect your metabolic rate is really your body’s composition and size. If you have more muscles and your body is bigger, you’ll generally burn calories faster.

The solution is to step up your muscle-building. A pound of fat-free tissue consumes about 14 calories every day. On the other hand, a pound of fat merely burns 2 to 3 calories only.

When you’re working on shedding pounds, note that you also lose muscle as part of the weight. So, make sure that you include strength training in your fitness regimen even as you’re losing weight. Lift weights or join regular Pilates or yoga classes to maintain your muscles.

4. Avoid eating pasta because it will make you fat.

This idea is based on the theory that your body turns carbohydrates into sugars, and these then stay in your body as fat. The truth is, carbohydrates alone don’t make you gain weight. It’s the extra calories in its varied forms--whether in carbs, fats, or protein--that will make you fat.

Choose carbohydrates wisely. This means making sure vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are included in your balanced diet. All these types of food have carbohydrates. The problem isn’t in consuming pasta itself. Rather, it’s in the amount of pasta you eat if you’re not watchful.

So, go ahead and enjoy pasta -- in moderation. A trick is to consider it as an ingredient, not as the main component of a dish. When you cook, prepare a big portion of grilled or sauteed vegetables with a tomato-based sauce. Then, add in the pasta together with a protein source such as chicken or shellfish.

To make it even more nutritious, choose whole-grain pasta which has more fiber that can help you feel full.

5. Don’t eat foods high in fat.

Many believe that you have to eschew fat altogether if you want to lose weight. Truth be told, fat is not the culprit here.

While it is true that fat-laden food types will also be high in calories, you need a reasonable amount of fat to help you feel full and to add flavor to other food types such as vegetables. More importantly, you need it for your body to absorb specific vitamins and phytonutrients, which benefit your overall health.

As with other types of food, eat fat moderately and choose the good fats. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Select monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in oils like canola and olive, many kinds of nuts as well as fish. 
  • Limit your consumption of saturated fats, such as those contained in beef and dairy products.
  • Avoid trans fats, which you’ll find in processed foods, fast food, and margarine.  

6. Drink coffee to make you lose weight faster.

Many people mistakenly believe that caffeine boosts your metabolism and suppresses your appetite. While it is true that drinking coffee may take away your desire to eat temporarily, it won’t affect your long-term plans to lose weight.

Taking in too much of it may have adverse effects on you, and causes you to feel more anxious, sleepless, and may make your blood pressure go up and your heart rate faster.

Drink one to two cups of coffee per day, but check what you add to your coffee. Take note of the calories in the cream, sugar, or milk that you add to it. These calories might add up and make you gain an extra pound or two. 

7. Going on a strict diet is the top way to lose weight.

If you want to get rid of the extra pounds fast, it’s so easy to follow a diet fad. In the short-term, any diet plan will really make you lose a few pounds because you’re lessening your caloric intake. But dieting as a temporary solution will not keep the extra weight off for good.

You need to commit to an eating strategy that you will carry out. If you want permanent results, you need a whole lifestyle change and not just menu alterations.

  • You need to come up with a diet plan that’s partnered with a balanced exercise regimen to keep your weight ideal for the long-term.
  • Search for a balanced and satisfying diet that meets your nutritional needs and that you can carry out easily.
  • Check also that you’re consuming just the right amount of calories for losing weight. You may discuss this with your doctor or nutritionist.
  • More importantly, don’t revert to your old eating habits or sedentary ways once you’ve attained your target weight. Stick with your improved eating habits and more active lifestyle.

Don’t fall hook, line, and sinker for every dieting trend that comes up. Work with your doctor and a physical fitness trainer to come up with a plan to help you lose and keep the unnecessary weight off.

More importantly, continue to do research and educate yourself about the best practices for your overall health. Education and your personal commitment will yield only the best and lasting results for you.

Guest Post by Sarah Morris

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