Top Five Diet and Weight Loss Myths

diet and weight lossMost of us have decided to lose weight, but we’re not always successful! Sometimes it’s because we give up or change our priorities. But often it’s because we follow fitness, nutrition, and weight loss advice that isn’t accurate. When it comes to diet and weight loss, it’s important to know about these five myths that seem to keep coming back—just like that ten pounds we keep trying to lose!

Myth #1: Cutting calories is enough for weight loss.
Truth: While cutting calories is certainly a component of weight loss, it’s not a way to keep weight off permanently. When you consistently reduce your calorie intake, your body adjusts your metabolism accordingly. Your best bet: pair a healthy diet with regular exercise, so you’re cutting out unhealthy calories from fat and sugar, while effectively burning the calories you intake.

Myth #2: Diets that restrict the kinds of food you can eat are safe.
Truth: Sure, if a diet restricts your intake of fat and sugar, that’s fantastic. But diets that eliminate entire food groups can rob your body of necessary vitamins and minerals. The Atkins diet, for instance, requires giving up all breads and other carbs. A better bet is to replace these with whole-grain versions, such as whole grain bread instead of plain old white bread.

Myth #3: Diet pills are safe and healthy.
Truth: Diet pills generally fall into two categories. The first are diuretics, meaning they simply help you lose water weight. The results may be dramatic and fast, but this kind of weight loss doesn’t last. The second category of diet pills contain caffeine or other stronger substances to “help you burn calories faster.” A better, healthier way to burn more calories? Exercise!

Myth #4: Snacks will spoil your diet.
Truth: A nutritious snack is actually a great way to curb your appetite and prevent overeating during meals. The key here is to eat the right kinds of snacks. Get in the habit of keeping healthy snacks in your purse, briefcase, desk, or pantry, where they’re easy to access when you need them. Almonds and carrot sticks are great choices, as are fruits that have their own “natural packaging,” like apples, oranges, and bananas.

Myth #5: Losing weight means giving up all the foods you love.
Truth: Losing weight does require you to rethink your eating habits, but often you’ll find that substitutions are just as delicious as the “real thing.” For instance, dark chocolate will still satisfy your sweet tooth. Fruit juice mixed with a splash of sparkling water has the same fizz as your favorite soda. And don’t feel like you must constantly deprive yourself; enjoy a slice of cake at your kid’s birthday party—but skip the second helping!

The reality is that losing weight isn’t about deprivation. It’s about developing habits that make your body healthier overall. As you change your diet over time, you’ll find that your body feels better, and your have the energy you need for a challenging workout routine.

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