Still believe that carbohydrates make you gain weight? If so, you’re falling victim to one of the most common diet myths. Here, this article explains how any one of these myths could be undermining your attempts to drop pounds and offers tips on the right way to diet.
Myth One: Diets don’t work.
Fact: All diets work if you follow them correctly.
Most people fail to maintain their weight loss because they return to their old eating habits and don’t adjust to consuming fewer calories. But not all diets are created equal: Fad diets that strictly limit calories or forbid certain food groups are not only hard to stick with but also unhealthy.
You should choose a healthy weight loss plan that provides balanced nutrition and fits your lifestyle. Don’t follow a fad or try something you can’t live with. Your diet should be scientifically proven to work, flexible and easy to follow. And remember, a safe, sustainable weight loss pace should be one to two pounds per week.
Myth Two: Skipping breakfast saves calories, helping me lose weight.
Fact: Eating breakfast is essential in a weight loss plan.
Studies have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. Breakfast helps to kick-start your metabolism, satisfies your hunger first thing in the morning and prevents overeating later in the day.
A healthy breakfast should include a source of complex carbohydrates, fiber and lean protein to help keep you satisfied. Don’t have time for breakfast? Start your day with a SlimFast® shake or meal bar for a satisfying, healthy “on the go” choice.
Myth Three: Snacking is a bad idea.
Fact: Snacking can be a smart weight loss strategy.
Snacking itself isn’t the problem – it’s food choices and portion sizes that can do a dieter in. Smart snacking can help curb your appetite between meals and prevent overeating. But be sure to count snacks as part of your total daily calories.
Choose calorie- and portion-controlled snacks of 100 to 150 calories, and stick to healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, low-fat yogurt and nutritious snack bars.
Myth Four: Carbohydrates make you gain weight.
Fact: Calories are calories.
Excess calories cause weight gain, not too many carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a good source of energy and necessary for a balanced diet.
Choose complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which are good sources of nutrients (including fiber and B vitamins). Limit refined carbohydrates such as soda, candy and cakes.
Myth Five: Eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain.
Fact: What’s important is how many calories you consume in a day, not when you eat them.
You can have a late snack and still stick to your diet, as long as you don’t exceed your total daily calorie allowance. No matter when you eat, your body will store extra calories as fat.