It’s that time. We’re back from holidays and back to school, uni and work. This is when a lot of people make promises to themselves to change their lifestyle, habits, jobs, or more commonly, their diets. Nowadays, there is so much information available on what is and isn’t good for you, it can be hard to know what advice is true and what is best left on the internet. Many dieting myths have been circulated for so long that they are accepted as fact, despite being based on outdated research or sales-based factoids. So you ensure that you’re making the most informed decisions about your nutrition and diet, and working towards sustainable and balanced eating for healthy weight longevity, we’ve busted some of the most common dieting myths for you.
1. Eating more frequently will boost your metabolism – BUSTED
You might remember reading about the craze where some celebrities were switching to six small meals a day instead of the traditional three in a bid to keep the weight off. One of the most pervasive dieting myths is that eating small meals more frequently will boost your metabolism, but this is simply not true. While there are medical professionals who agree that eating more often can help you feel fuller for longer, and this can help you avoid unhealthy snacking between meals, it won’t do much to rev up your metabolism or help you lose weight. In actuality, it’s the total calories consumed and the nutritional quality of those calories that make a difference. Eating less frequently and refraining from snacking between meals is also what signals your body to start using its stored energy to result in weight loss. One of the best and obviously proven ways to use up excess energy is exercise.
2. Low-calorie diets guarantee weight loss – BUSTED
There are now several diets on the market being hailed as low-calorie solutions.
One of the most common dieting myths is that eating fewer calories is the only way to lose weight. While it’s true that drastically reducing your calorie intake can lead to rapid weight loss, this isn’t necessarily sustainable in the long term. Eating too few calories can even cause your metabolism to slow down, which can make it harder to keep the weight off. It’s also important to make sure you’re eating enough of the right kinds of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs. Eating fewer calories is not the only way to lose weight; it’s just one part of a balanced approach to diet and lifestyle. It’s also important to remember that not all calories are created equal. If you’re eating fewer calories, but those calories are not coming from a healthy source, your body will digest them differently and you may not lose the weight you were hoping to.
3. Eating carbohydrates will make you gain weight – BUSTED
One of the most commonly believed dieting myths is that eating carbohydrates will cause you to gain weight. A lot of extreme, anti-carb diets such as Atkins and ketogenics seem to have given all carbohydrates a bad name. Eating complex carbohydrates can be part of a healthy diet and can help you to feel energised and satisfied. It is important, however, to eat high-GI carbohydrates in moderation. This includes starchy or processed carbohydrates such as white rice, white flour, pasta, white bread, potato chips, crackers and pastries.
Healthy carbohydrates include whole grain carbs and vegetables, such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, beans, lentils, pulses and sweet potato. These contain more fibre and other nutrients than their processed counterparts. Eating an excess of any type of food is likely to cause weight gain, so it is important to maintain a balanced diet with a combination of healthy carbs, proteins, and fats.
4. Fasting is a good way to lose weight – BUSTED
Drastic fasting diets can result in initial weight loss, but often just lead to yo-yo dieting. When we talk about drastic fasting diets, think extreme juice detoxes or liquid-only diets for days at a time. They can help you lose weight quickly, but as soon as you go back to your regular eating pattern the weight will return. Restrictive diets can also lead to nutrient deficiencies and unhealthy eating habits. Long-term weight loss requires making a commitment to healthy eating and physical activity and making gradual, sustainable changes to your lifestyle.
Not all fasting is considered bad though. Intermittent fasting has gained favour with weight loss seekers and even the professional health community. This means consumed calories on certain days are reduced, or fasting is adhered to from a certain time at night to a time in the morning.
Intermittent fasting has several methods that have gained popularity including the highly popular 5:2, where you restrict your calorie intake two days a week and eat normally on the other five. Intermittent fasting has also been proven to reduce inflammation and reduce your risk of type II diabetes. Between meals and foregoing snacking, our insulin levels go down and our fat cells can then release stored sugar, to be used as energy. The main idea behind intermittent fasting is to allow the insulin levels to lower far enough and for long enough that we start to burn off our fat.
5. Cutting out entire food groups can lead to weight loss – BUSTED
Another common dieting myth is that cutting out entire food groups is necessary in order to lose weight. While it may be beneficial to reduce or eliminate processed foods, it is not necessary to eliminate entire food groups. Doing so could also be detrimental to your health. Your body needs a variety of nutritious foods in order to function properly, and cutting out entire food groups can actually lead to nutrient deficiencies, which can have serious health consequences. Additionally, when you cut out an entire food group, you may be missing out on some of the most nutrient-dense foods that can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Are no diets working for you?
Some of our patients have tried every diet on earth with zero success. If you are looking to improve your life through a permanent and effective weight loss surgery solution, get in touch with the Winnett Specialist Group.