Don’t eat before bedtime. Cut carbs to lose weight. These are just a couple of the common pieces of “wisdom” floating around in the diet world.
…would you be surprised to hear they’re total baloney?
Much of what you think you know about weight loss is bad advice, passed on and perpetuated over many years of bad diet fads.
So what are the biggest diet myths of our generation? We’re busting five of the worst offenders below.
- Dietary Fat Makes You Fat
This is the biggest myth of them all.
Even though dietary fat is a more concentrated source of energy than carbs and protein, it won’t make you gain weight if you eat it in moderation.
Not all fats are created equal. Really, do you think eating a bag of potato chips is the same as munching on a handful of almonds? Of course not! They both contain fat, but whereas the first is saturated fat from being fried in oil, the second is healthy, monounsaturated fats that come from nature.
You won’t get fat from eating primarily unsaturated fats and omega-3 fats that come from from fish, olive/canola oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, etc.
Just so you know, the biggest offender when it comes to weight gain and increasing risk of heart disease are processed carbs with fat: French fries, pastries, doughnuts and the like.
So, overdoing it on sugar and the wrong types of fat will impact your waistline, yes. But eating the right types of fats can actually help you lose weight.
- Eating After 6 p.m. is Bad for You
Not true, late-night-munchie-loving friends!
There’s no set time to stop eating, however you should make dinner your lightest meal of the day and try to avoid eating about three hours before bed. Obviously, this time will be different for everyone and has nothing to do with barricading the kitchen by 6 p.m.
In fact, the latest obesity research shows that restricting food after a certain hour has no lasting effect on overall weight loss. It’s most important that you eat throughout the day and stick to a calorie limit. A nutrition tracking app like Mealviser can help you do this.
- Drinking 8 Glasses of Water is a Must
Yep, you’ve heard it, and we feel bad if you’ve been meticulously counting your glasses of water consumed throughout the day!
There’s no evidence out there that eight is the magic number when it comes to weight loss or health. Every body is different, so it makes sense that a large-framed 200 pound man would need more water than a petite, 120 pound woman.
Instead, take your body weight in pounds and divide it in half. That number (in ounces) is a more realistic figure for how much water you should be drinking each day.
- Avoiding Carbs Will Make You Lose Weight
Are you kidding?! Carbs are one of your dietary cornerstones, providing your body with a healthy source of energy.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you absolutely should consume complex carbs like brown rice, whole grain pasta and bread in moderation, as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables.
The carbs you want to limit are mostly refined carbs such as white pasta, rice and bread, and the white sugar you find in commercial sweets, juices and sodas; as well as anything made with high fructose corn syrup.
- Skipping meals is helpful in weight loss
Please, don’t skip meals with the hope of shedding pounds.
The more you skip and starve yourself, the more your body goes into energy conservation mode, and the more likely you are to overeat at the next meal. So forget this strategy.
Just like a car needs gas to function, your body needs food—its own fuel—to operate.
We hope you’ve got a better idea of what’s fact and what’s complete fiction when it comes to your diet. Remember—if it sounds too good to be true, well, you know the rest.