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Top 8 Weight Loss Myths – Debunked!
Maybe you’re struggling to shed the extra pounds you packed on during the holidays. Or maybe successful weight loss has eluded you for years. Don’t lose hope though. You may be going the wrong way.
After all, there are fad diets and myths floating around, and some of them are completely sensible. If you follow the hype, you’ll jump from crazy diet plans to weight loss supplements and back again — without any real results for your efforts.
Honestly, it’s tough to separate fact from fiction in the world of dieting. In this article, we are going to take some of the secrets of dieting and weight loss. We’ll discuss some of the most prevalent diet myths — and give you some solid facts to blow those myths out of the water.
Myth #1: You should eat “fat burning” foods like celery, cabbage soup, and grapes.
Facts: This myth is responsible for all kinds of crazy diet plans, including the “master cleanse,” the cabbage soup diet, and the grapefruit diet. People who eat little more than cabbage soup or grapefruit (supplemented with a few scraps of lean protein). Ultimately, the results are inconsistent and never permanent.
Verdict: There is no such thing as a “fat burning” diet. Certain foods temporarily increase your metabolism (including celery and grapefruit); However, they do not cause weight loss on their own.
Myth #2: Cut out starches because they make you fat.
Facts: Most starches are actually low in fat and calories. Bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, whole grains, and beans are all low-calorie, low-fat foods. Sure, if you slather your potatoes in cream cheese and your bread with butter or mayonnaise, they’re fattening. However, natural and whole grain starches are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide the fuel your body needs for energy, so cutting them out is a bad idea.
Verdict: Some starchy foods should be an important part of your diet — even when you’re trying to lose weight. Stick to whole grains, potatoes and beans and avoid adding fatty toppings or spreads.
Myth #3: High protein/low carb diets are the best way to lose weight
The Facts: Stay away from any diet plans that suggest cutting out key food items. When you eat less than 130 grams of carbohydrates per day, your blood builds up high levels of ketones. This leads to high levels of uric acid, which can eventually lead to gout and kidney stones.
Additionally, when you cut carbs, most of your daily calories come from high-protein foods. Because these diet plans give you free rein to eat red meat, cheese, and other high-fat proteins, you may end up eating more fat and cholesterol, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
Verdict: A high-protein/low-carb diet may lead to temporary weight loss; However, this is only – temporary. Plan your diet around a healthy balance of foods, including plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Myth #4: Over-the-counter weight loss supplements are a safe and effective way to lose weight.
The Facts: Because dietary supplements are not technically “drugs,” they do not meet the same rigorous standards that other drugs face. Since it’s on the shelf at our trusted local pharmacy, we assume it must be safe to use. Unfortunately, many diet pills hit the market without being tested or approved by the FDA. Occasionally, if a product is seriously defective or dangerous, the FDA will issue a warning; However, for the most part, the industry is unregulated.
When you read “unproven,” it means there is no evidence that these supplements are effective. A good sales blurb and persuasive before-and-after pictures hide nothing more than an expensive placebo.
Verdict: Just because you find it at your local pharmacy, doesn’t mean it’s safe or effective. There is no pill or powder that can take the place of a healthy diet and exercise program. A supplement can speed up the process; But every diet pill out there has some sort of unpleasant side effects.
Myth #5: Fad foods are the best way to kick-start my weight loss goals.
The facts: You may be aware of long-term ineffectiveness diets, the “grapefruit cleanse” or the “cabbage soup fast” that may tempt you to kick your diet. After all, these diets usually promise quick and impressive results. And in fact, many of them can help you lose five or ten pounds in a week.
Such rapid weight loss can be really dangerous, however, and can increase your risk of gallstones. In addition, eating less than 800 calories per day can cause heart rhythm abnormalities, which can be fatal in some cases.
Verdict: Fad foods — fad diets — simply don’t provide the nutrition your body needs to sustain itself. Depriving your body of fuel and nutrients will ultimately do more harm than good.
Myth #6: Low-fat or no-fat foods are the best way to eat what I want and still lose weight.
Facts: Low-fat or non-fat foods may be low in fat, but they are often high in calories. When fat is removed from a product, something else needs to be added to maintain the same flavor and consistency. Often, a low-fat product is loaded with sugar, flour, or starch thickeners — and these ingredients pack in calories.
Verdict: A low-fat product isn’t an excuse to go hog-wild — and it certainly won’t help you lose any weight. Read product labels for calorie information and stick to small serving sizes.
Myth #7: Skipping meals is the quickest and easiest way to lose weight.
The Facts: Interestingly enough, studies have shown that people who skip meals – specifically breakfast – are heavier overall. The reason: When you skip a meal, you tend to crave the next meal and end up eating more than you should or otherwise. So instead of slimming down, your waistline expands.
Verdict: Don’t skip lunch. In fact, four to five small, healthy meals a day are better than three regular meals. Eating regularly will help control your appetite and prevent unhealthy snacking.
Myth #8: You don’t need to diet if you get enough exercise.
Facts: You lose weight only when you burn enough of what you eat. You can exercise for an hour a day, but if you stuff your gut with high-fat, high-calorie foods three times a day, don’t expect any progress.
Verdict: Diet and exercise go hand in hand when weight loss is your goal. You can’t live without the other, so eat a healthy, balanced diet and get regular, vigorous exercise.
Remember: The most important part of weight loss is being consistent with your diet plans. You can’t be sporadic about it or you won’t see consistent results. However, if you stick to a healthy eating plan and exercise faithfully, you will see those unwanted pounds begin to melt away.
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