Are these six diet myths sabotaging your weight loss and weight management?
Most of us have ideas about how to lose weight. But are these weight management ideas based on facts?
Below, we’ll sift through the myths about dieting, and give you some solid, fact-based tips for healthy, long-term weight loss and weight management.
Diet Myth: Don’t Eat After 7 pm
There is no magic hour after which every morsel you eat turns to fat. But because our evening snacking is generally related to boredom rather than hunger, those snacks are often high-fat, high-sugar foods. Feel free to chow down during your favorite TV shows – just choose carrots, celery, apples or bananas over cookies and chips.
Diet Myth: Drink Water Before Your Meal to Fill Your Stomach
Filling up on water won’t help you in the long run. Liquids don’t help us feel satisfied and full, so while it’s great to stay hydrated, you might find yourself craving something more substantial if you count on water to fill you up at mealtime. But drink plenty of water between meals – we often mistake thirst for hunger.
Diet Myth: Avoid Snacking
Snacking is good for weight management, because you come to meals less hungry. Plan your snacks ahead of time, and pair 2 food groups – apples and peanut butter, whole grain crackers and cheese. Snacking on a schedule is a solid strategy for weight loss.
Diet Myth: Go Gluten Free.
The only people who need to avoid gluten are those with Celiac disease. Gluten-free foods are highly processed, and can be very low in fiber. For weight management, choose high-fiber foods made with whole grains.
Diet Myth: Eat These Superfoods
There are no “superfoods” for weight loss and weight management. Don’t label foods as “good” or “bad” – instead, think of foods in terms of whether to eat them more or less often. At every meal, make a balanced plate that includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meat or beans, and low-fat dairy.
Diet Myth: Go on a Diet
Sure, diets that cut out entire food groups or promise quick results might help you with short-term weight loss. That’s because you’re limiting calories and paying such close attention to what you eat. But dieters are more likely than non-dieters to be overweight or obese.
A diet is a short-term solution. Weight management takes long-term commitment. Your diet needs to be something you can stick with. It should include your favorite foods, but in moderation. Instead of starving yourself, eat a balanced diet with appropriate portion sizes. Instead of vowing you’ll never eat dessert again, enjoy a small serving on special occasions, and savor every bite.
So how can you shed those extra pounds?
- Manage stress. Stress hormones make your body hold on to fat cells.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation makes you feel hungrier, and makes you crave sugary, fatty foods.
- Pace yourself. The faster you lose weight, the less likely you are to maintain the weight loss. A healthy guideline is 1-2 lbs. of weight loss per week.