It’s only human nature for us to look for a “quick fix” on things as tedious and unentertaining as weight loss. Throughout the years, several weight loss myths have sprung up. Today we’ll take a look at a few of them.
Myth # 1 When dieting it is necessary to cut out all white foods.
Think about it. If you cut out all white foods you’d have to give up yogurt, cauliflower, much of the fish, all white chicken and pork, coconut, onions, white beans, tofu and potatoes. Many of these white foods provide valuable sources of nutrients. There is a kernel of truth in this myth because switching to whole wheat breads, crackers and pasta.
Myth # 2 Exercise looks after weight loss.
As long as you exercise enough you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight.
[quote]In fact, exercise alone seldom results in weight loss. Thirty minutes of brisk walking burns about 200 calories. It is a simple mathematical calculation. In order to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than you burn off.[/quote]
Myth # 3 Fresh foods are always better.
In the summer and fall when fresh foods abound, fresh is always a good choice. In the winter, however, when the raw fruits and vegetables are picked green and shipped hundreds of miles and may sit for days en route and in the store, frozen fruit and vegetables that was picked in its prime and flash frozen is a better choice.
Myth # 4 Gluten-free diets are good for weight loss and for your health.
If you have intolerance to gluten then certainly a gluten-free diet is the way to go. However, there is no evidence to support cutting out gluten products helps with weight loss. In fact, filling up on gluten-free breads and cookies may well hinder weight loss.
Myth # 5 Diets heavy in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and/or celery will speed up weight loss.
There is a lot of chewing involved in eating cruciferous vegetables so you as a result eat slower and may eat less. These foods are also low in calories so if you fill up on them you will not be eating foods with more calories. But, as for their burning more calories? There is no food that speeds up metabolism.
Myth # 6 If you cut carbs from your diet you will lose weight.
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy. All carbs are not all created equal. The secret is to limit carbs in processed foods like white bread and croissants. Get “good carbs” from such foods as: beans and whole grains like brown rice and whole-wheat bread. The carbs in fruits and vegetables are low in calories, and high in fiber. They can help reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease.
Myth # 7: Eggs are bad for you. Eliminate them from your diet.
Eat everything in moderation. Eggs contain some valuable nutrients. The idea is to cook them without fats. Prepare an egg by poaching or boiling or scrambling in the microwave. Avoid cooking with butter like eggs over easy. Eggs Benedict, Egg Nog, and Custard? Well, those ARE bad for you! If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or high LDL cholesterol, limit yourself to no more than 2 eggs per week. You can have as many egg whites as you like. An egg white omelet with lots of veggies is a great breakfast or lunch. The cholesterol is in the yolk!
Myth # 8 Skipping meals is a great way to cut calories.
Skipping meals can actually result in weight gain. A study tracked those who skipped one meal a day and discovered that they gained twice as much weight over the course of four years those who ate three meals a day. People who eat four or five smaller meals instead of skipping meals eat fewer calories over the course of the day. They don’t get hunger binges and grab whatever is handy.
Myth # 9: Eating certain foods in combination will stimulate weight loss.
Once a popular myth, there is no proof for this. The digestive system handles different types of food at the same time. If you lost weight by eating a “food-combining” diet, it’s merely because you were eating fewer calories. The one does not follow from the other.
Myth # 10: If you are genetically pre-disposed to weight gain, you will not lose weight.
Only ¼ of your metabolism is determined by genetics. The remainder is your eating habits. If you eat less and exercise more you will lose weight.
Myth # 11: If you don’t exercise you will never lose weight.
It’s simple mathematics. If you are burning more calories—no matter what you are doing—than you are consuming you will lose weight. However, exercise will help burn calories and it is good for you for many other reasons including: healthy heart, blood sugar control, and muscle tone.
Myth # 12: Eating after dinner is a certain way to gain weight.
Weight loss is simple mathematics. It doesn’t matter at what time food is consumed. Several smaller meals are better than three large ones. If you require a late-night snack make sure this is not added calories. Plan for this “meal” as part of your day’s caloric intake.
Myth # 13: Drinking lots of water speeds up weight loss.
Alas, nothing you eat or drink speeds up weight loss. However, water is good for your body. It keeps organs in good working order and flushes toxins. In terms of weight loss water can replace sugary juices and sodas and, in that way helps with weight loss although it does not speed up the weight loss process.
Myth # 14: If it’s a healthy food you can eat as much of it as you want and you won’t gain weight.
Unfortunately, eating large quantities of high-quality foods such as olive oil, some fish, brown rice or nuts can cause as much weight gain as eating butter, pizza and cookies. It’s all about eating fewer calories than you are burning!
Myth # 15: Fast foods are absolutely taboo if you are trying to lose weight.
Nothing is forbidden. The famous Subway diet proved you can lose weight while eating fast food. The trick is to count calories and choose lower calorie items. Most fast food restaurants now publish a list of calories contained in their dishes. Remember: it’s all mathematics. Burn more calories than you ingest. Controlling your portions is also crucial.
Myth # 16: Eating smaller more frequent meals will boost your metabolism to lose weight.
While eating smaller more frequent meals is a good strategy for losing weight it does not boost your metabolism to burn calories faster. Eating portion-controlled meals every three or four hours instead of three meals a day helps fend off hunger cravings that cause binge eating. If you plan for snacks every three to four hours you will have healthy snacks on hand and avoid hitting the cafeteria or snack machines for bad snacks.
Myth # 17: Eat only when you are hungry.
Waiting to eat until you are hungry encourages binge eating. If you eat smaller, planned meals every three or four hours you will avoid getting over-hungry and then over-eating.
Myth # 18: There are no bad foods. Eat everything in moderation.
Remember: Eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. However, if all foods are good for you, then you will use up your complete day’s calories on a double fudge brownie sundae or fettuccini Alfredo. Unfortunately these foods do not possess the nutrients your body needs. The old story about a man losing weight eating only Twinkies is not incorrect BUT his body was being denied necessary nutrients.
Myth # 19: Grazing is a good weight loss strategy.
Grazing in and of itself is neither good nor bad. However, grazing often leads to binge eating or at the very least not counting calories. Meals consumed while sitting at a table and concentrating on the food—not multi-tasking while you eat—help you stay aware of what you are putting into your mouth and stop when you have consumed allotted calories.
Myth # 20: Losing weight is costly.
If you opt for pre-packaged foods, a fat farm or a diet-control company like Weight Watchers, Take off Pounds Sensibly or Jenny Craig or Herbal Magic then there will be a cost involved. However, eating healthy foods is not more expensive than eating any other kinds of food. The secret is to have a food purchasing and preparation plan. In fact buying whole foods instead of packaged, processed foods can save you at least $10 a week. That’s almost $400 a year per person.
There is no mystery to weight loss. It’s simple mathematics. Do you have other weight loss myths to share? Do you have tips for weight loss that worked for you? We’d love to hear about them.