When it comes to dieting, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. Is low-carb the way to go? Should I only eat during certain hours? Should I cut out this or that? Sometimes it seems like there are 5 right answers for every question. Well, wonder no more. Click through to find out the truth behind some of the most popular myths.
1. Low-Carb Diets Are the Best Way to Lose Weight.
Sure, if you cut out carbs from your diet you’ll probably see some dramatic weight loss in a very short time period. But it’s not sustainable, and it’s not really all that healthy. Carbohydrates are an essential part of your diet, and once you go off that diet, you’re likely to gain most of the weight back. Instead, try eating better carbs, like whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits and veggies. Learn more about good vs. bad carbs here.
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2. Some Foods Are So Low in Calories, You Lose Weight When You Eat Them!
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: eating celery, cabbage, citrus fruits and other low-calorie fruits and veggies will actually burn calories. Unfortunately, that’s not true at all — these foods are very low in caloric content, but the calories you burn from actually chewing and digesting them are not even close to making up for the caloric content of the food.
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3. Physically Active People Need More Protein.
While it’s true that you need protein to build muscle, the Average western diet contains more than enough of the stuff. Consuming too much protein is, in fact, the bigger issue here.
4. You Gain More Weight From Food Eaten After 8PM.
A calorie is a calorie, whether you consume it at 3PM or 3AM. It may take a little longer for your body to burn off that late-night bowl of ice cream than it will your lunch, since you’re more active during the day, but timing isn’t the issue.
The problem here is that late-night snackers have a tendency to overeat because they haven’t eaten balanced, regular meals through out the day. Want to cut out that late-night snacking? Don’t skimp on breakfast, lunch and dinner!
5. Dieters Should Always Avoid Fruit Juice.
Fruit juice in general is not the enemy: all of those fruit “drinks” and “cocktails”—and anything that’s anything less than 100% juice—are. That stuff is chock full of added sugars and high-fructose syrup, which should be avoided by dieters. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that whole fruit is better for you than even 100% juice, since it contains the natural fibers that are left behind in the juicing process.
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6. Brown Grains are Always Whole Grains.
Just because your loaf of bread is brown doesn’t mean it’s actually whole grain — there are plenty of products that achieve a rich brown color through food coloring alone. Make sure to read the nutrition label before purchasing.
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7. Drinking Lots of Water is the Key to Weight Loss.
Water is great, water is important, but it doesn’t help you burn calories, it doesn’t boost your metabolism, and it won’t make your fat magically disappear. Instead, try replacing some of your calorie-filled beverages with plain ol’ H20; upping your water intake alone won’t help you shed the pounds.