Top 10 Diet Myths
Many dietary guidelines were forged years ago, and have since been debunked as inaccurate. So why are so many serial dieters still following these myths as though they are fact? If you are still confused about which dietary advice to follow, here are a few popular myths exposed:
Myth 1: Eating late at night will cause you to gain weight.
In reality: Your weight is determined by the amount of calories you eat daily. When you eat those calories has no significant effect on your weight.
Myth 2: You should eat your meals at the same time every day.
In reality: If routine is a part of your daily schedule, that’s okay, but you should follow your stomach’s instructions and eat when it tells you you are hungry, not just because your schedule calls for it.
Myth 3: Following a diet with a partner will guarantee more success.
In reality: Whilst a dieting buddy may provide motivation to persevere in your efforts, weight-loss and wellness is a personal journey, and one that should not be influenced by others goals.
Myth 4: Healthy fats are what keep you feeling fuller for longer.
In reality: Whilst we do need to incorporate healthy fats into our diets, foods that fill you the most are proteins, then carbohydrates, followed by fats.
Myth 5: When you fall off the bandwagon in terms of your eating plan, you may as well write off your efforts for the day.
In reality: This couldn’t be further from the truth. Avoid having an all-or-nothing approach to your eating plan and restore balance by correcting your eating in the very next meal.
Myth 6: Each calorie is created equally.
In reality: Whilst a calorie-specific diet may guarantee weight-loss, it does not guarantee health. Whilst portion control is important and you are entitled to the odd treat, the quality of the food you put into your body is as important as the quantity.
Myth 7: You should always clean your plate.
In reality: It’s not ideal to waste food, so consider dishing up less with the option of returning for seconds. Cleaning one’s plate is a popular anecdote of parents to get children to finish their meals, but is not a sensible guideline for healthy eating. Dishing up less and enjoying it slowly means you are likely to feel fuller sooner than anticipated, and also won’t leave you feeling obliged to over-indulge.
Myth 8: Skipping meals occasionally will further your weight-loss.
In reality: Starving your system of important calories may cause your system to kick into a defensive state where it will store extra calories for fear of going hungry again. Skipping breakfast in particular will slow down your metabolism, as your body is not getting the fuel it needs to get started after a long period of rest.
Myth 9: Social events require you to indulge in whatever foods are presented.
In reality: Whilst you may be required to cheat a little if your only options are far more calorie-laden than required, you can still manoeuvre through cocktail snacks or indulgent meals sensibly. Opt for vegetarian snacks or lean meat options, avoid foods that have been deep-fried or are covered in batter, and remember portions control.
Myth 10: Breads, pastas and nuts are laden in fat and should be avoided.
In reality: Both bread and pasta are available in whole-wheat varieties, making them good sources of carbohydrates. Whilst nuts are high in calories, they are excellent sources of healthy fats when enjoyed raw and unsalted.
It is always worth investigating supposed dietary rules before accepting them as fact. Speaking to a professional will help you determine which myths are worth debunking, as will reading trusted health magazines or articles.