Diet Myths and Facts

MYTH: Skipping meals can help with weight loss

FACT: It doesn’t matter if you did skip lunch if you eat a steak, potatoes, chocolate cake, etc. for dinner. The fact is most people who skip meals tend to overeat later in the day.

MYTH: Eating in the evening causes weight gain.

FACT: Most diets caution against eating late at night. The reason behind it is that the body cannot burn the extra fat during the night However recent studies have shown that eating late at night doesn’t affect the amount of fat stored in the body. It is the total amount of calories you take in during the entire day that affects your total calorie intake.

MYTH: Some foods like grapefruit and cabbage help to burn fat.

FACT: There has been and will likely never be foods that can burn fat. While it may be comforting to those stuffing themselves with cabbage and grapefruit, the only way to lose weight is to diet and exercise.

MYTH: Quick weight loss diets equate to permanent weight loss.

FACT: Quick weight loss diets are typically water losses that will be regained over time. But most people quickly grow tired of these types of diets and gain the weight in a matter of months. There are also health risks to losing weight too fast such as developing gallstones. Some diets do not provide the necessary nutrients your body needs in a day. A slow weight loss is the best way to go long term. Aim to lose ½ to 2 pounds a week by making healthy food choices, eating moderate portions and physical activity.

MYTH: I can lose weight while eating whatever I want.

FACT: It’s a simple rule that every child knows. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t expect to lose any calories if you don’t take use more than you eat. It is possible to eat any kind of food you want and lose weight. As long as you limit the number of calories you eat every day and/or increase your daily physical activity.

MYTH: Low-fat or nonfat means no calories.

FACT: While it is true that some low-fat or non-fat foods are lower in calories that the same size portion of the full fat product, most have the same calorie count. Low-fat and non-fat foods have added sugars, flour and starch thickeners to improve flavor and texture after the fat is removed. Buyer beware indeed! Check the Nutritions Facts label at the back of the package to find out how many calories there are in one serving.

MYTH: High-protein/ low-carbohydrate diets are a healthy way to lose weight.

FACT: There really isn’t any concrete data to support or deny this claim but there is something wrong about getting most of your daily calories from meat, eggs or any high-protein foods. Eat a balanced diet of meat and fruits and vegetables. Don’t be a statistic that can prove the myth wrong.

MYTH: It is less fattening drink juice than milk.

FACT: A glass of juice contains more calories that a glass of milk. While juice contains mostly sugar and some vitamins, milk has more nutrients such as protein, calcium, potassium and Vitamin D.

MYTH: Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy.

FACT: Dairy products are a needed source of calcium and a host of other nutrients. They offer protein to build muscles and to help organs work properly, and calcium to strengthen bones. Most milk and some yogurts are fortified with vitamin D to help your body better absorb calcium. If you are trying to lose weight then it you could try to drink skimmed milk. This milk actually has more calcium than the regular milk. This is because the calcium is found in the watery part of the milk not in the creamy part.

MYTH: Drinking wine instead of beer is better

FACT: This is simply another drunken tale. One glass of wine (5 oz) contains around 130 calories whereas one bottle of beer (12 0z) has 150 calories. Remember, the sweeter that wine, the more sugar and calories it contains. The same rule applies to hard liquor: the higher the proof, the higher the calories.

MYTH: Starches are fattening and should be limited when trying to lose weight

FACT: Many foods high in starch, like bread, rice, pasta, cereals, beans, fruits, and some vegetables (like potatoes and yams) are low in fat and calories. They become high in fat and calories when eaten in large portion sizes or when covered with high- fat toppings like butter, sour cream, or mayonnaise.

MYTH: Nuts are fattening and you should not eat them if you want to lose weight

FACT: Any food when eaten in excess can ruin any diet plan. The same is true of nuts, in small amounts it can be part of a healthy weight loss program. However, most nuts contain healthy fats that do not clog arteries. Nuts are also good sources of protein, dietary fiber, and minerals including magnesium and copper.