We are obsessed with weight loss and dieting, and everyone has ideas about the RIGHT way to go about it. The trick is filtering out the good advice from the not-so-good advice. And, like anything else, there are a lot of myths floating out there that can lead us astray. This is designed to expose a few of the most common dieting misconceptions to help you get one step closer on your weight loss journey
Myth #1: Don’t eat between meals if you want to lose weight.
Busted: Eating healthy snacks between meals keeps your blood sugar levels even and your metabolism going strong. The most important thing to pay attention to is your daily caloric intake. While mindless grazing can be dangerous to any diet, well-planned eating every few hours can lessen hunger pangs and make you less likely to overeat at the next meal.
Myth #2: It’s not possible to gain weight eating too many “Free Foods”.
Busted: “Free Food” is a term used by many diets to identify foods that are allowed on a relatively unlimited basis to fill the gaping void left behind as we give up unlimited eating. Celery is usually on the list. One thing for certain, chocolate cake is NOT. While most of these foods are healthier and lower in calories, there is NO FOOD ITEM THAT HAS ZERO CALORIES! Even calorie free, fat free foods like butter sprays and salad dressings have some calories. They may have zero calories for their serving size which is most likely an unrealistic amount compared to actual usage. And eaten in large quantities, the caloric amount of these ‘free foods’ do add up and most certainly will cause weight loss stalls and even weight gain.
Myth #3: ‘Diet’ foods help you lose weight.
Busted: Low fat, low carb and even fat free don’t necessarily mean low calorie. Extra sugars and thickeners are often added to boost flavor and texture, so calorie content may be surprising. Always check the nutritional content of foods. While the fat may be less, the calories, which are stored as fat if they’re not used up, may not be.
Myth #4: Eating late at night causes you to gain weight.
Busted: Food, unlike Cinderella, does not turn to fat at the stroke of midnight. There is no magic time after which the body starts storing more fat. However, eating a lot right before bed can increase the risk of gastric reflux disease (heart burn) and it can make sleeping uncomfortable. Another concern is when snacking, which frequently occurs in the evening, becomes mindless noshing, of a lower nutritional value, higher in calories and more difficult to stop. However, whether you’re eating in the morning or at midnight is not the issue. At any time of day our body turns excess calories into fat.
Myth #5: If I stop exercising my muscle will turn into fat.
Busted: Fat will never turn into muscle and vice versa. They are made up of completely different cell structure and they are so different that they cannot convert to each other. Your muscle is alive and working hard (some people’s work harder than others) whereas fat just sits there doing nothing and looking ugly. Actually, over time inactive muscles will atrophy little by little. Also, increased muscle in the body increases the body’s resting metabolism which helps burn fat. But they can never turn into each other.