5 Myths that Destroy Diets
Dieting is practically a national hobby, and there's plenty of information and advice out there. However, not all of it is helpful, or even true. It's time to debunk five of the most common myths that cause dieters to fail.
1) Carb-free is the way to go.
Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not your enemy. They provide a source of quick energy, as well as dietary fiber and several important micronutrients. However, not all carbs are created equally. Simple carbs, such as sugar and baked goods, supply little fiber and are broken down too quickly, resulting in a blood sugar crash that leaves you feeling hungry again. Complex carbs like whole grain bread and brown rice, on the other hand, are filled with fiber that will help keep you feeling full until your next meal time.
2) I can eat whatever I want as long as I exercise.
Although exercise is important for overall health and helpful for people trying to lose weight, it's not an excuse to continue practicing poor eating habits. The calories burned by spending an hour in the gym are seldom enough to offset a day's worth of overeating. In the game of dieting, calories in versus calories out is the only thing that matters. If you eat more than you burn off, you will gain weight, even if you exercised or ate only healthy foods.
3) I'll be able to stop dieting once I reach my goal weight.
This myth isn't completely false, but it is very misleading. Unfortunately, you can't just starve yourself for a few months and then go back to your normal eating habits once you've reached your goal weight. After all, it was those eating habits that made you too heavy in the first place! Sustainable weight loss, then, means making lifestyle changes that you will be able to continue practicing after the excess weight comes off. Failure to do so will just make the weight come back.
4) Weight loss pills, supplements, etc. are safe and effective.
No substance should be considered safe unless it has been approved by the FDA. Medications that are sold without FDA approval are not guaranteed to contain the same ingredients, in the same concentrations, as what is advertised. Further, weight loss products are at best ineffective, and at worst downright harmful. Many contain absurd amounts of stimulating substances for example. They may help suppress appetite, but they certainly won't improve your overall health.
5) Organic, unprocessed foods are always better.
Although organic and unprocessed foods are generally healthy and desirable, this has nothing to do with weight loss. Weight loss is all about the math: if you consume fewer calories than you expend, you lose weight. It doesn't matter if those calories were healthy or unhealthy, processed or unprocessed, paleo or not paleo, etc. The end effect is the same. For this reason, you needn't pay any attention to fad diets. If weight loss is your goal, counting calories is the only thing you need to worry about.
As this list shows, you can't believe everything you read, especially about topics like health and dieting.
Always do your own research, even if what you are hearing seems to make sense. Take dieting advice only from trustworthy sources, such as your physician or a registered dietitian.
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