There is no shortage of dieting tips within the weight loss industry. But just as with any other hot topic, there are some good tips, and there are some not-so-good tips, leading to a lot of weight loss myths that begin to perpetuate themselves as fact. How can you tell the difference? Most of the time it is as simple as a little common sense, but in our desperation to lose those pesky pounds, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. Here are a few common misunderstanding about weight loss.
Myth, or Fact?
1. You should avoid a lot of carbs. MYTH
This is probably one of the most common mistakes people make when dieting. Though cutting carbohydrates out of your diet will help you lose weight quickly, it may also leave you feeling sluggish and less alert. The reason? Carbohydrates are needed for proper brain function, and although diet programs like Atkins can put your body into a state of ketosis for ultimate fat-burning, you may have a harder time sticking to your diet overall, as well as experience less of a desire to exercise. Carbohydrates are good for you, even when on a diet. As long as they are a combination of both simple and complex carbs – those which are found naturally in all whole foods – they are beneficial to your overall body function and weight loss plan. It is true, however, that simple carbs that are a result of processing (including “white” foods made of white flour and white sugar) are foods that should be avoided or eaten in moderation.
2. You shouldn’t eat carbs late in the day. MYTH
It is a widely perpetuated myth that eating a lot of carbs at night will stop you from losing weight fast. In fact, it’s one that I even bought into for a while, because the “science” behind it made sense: since the body slows down while sleeping, those easily processed carbs are more likely to be stored as fat. But, it turns out that I was wrong. There was a study performed in Israel, where two groups of dieters were observed, and the results showed that those who ate carbs at night were not only less hungry during the duration of the program, but they also lost a significantly greater amount of weight. Of course, these participants were also working out and were eating the “right” carbs – which didn’t include white rice or ice cream sundaes. But the results remain the same: the carb-snackers were very successful in achieving their weight loss goals.
3. You should eat 4-6 times per day. FACT
This tip is pretty easy to back up. Study after study shows that eating more frequently leads to an increased metabolism and more rapid weight loss. Your body never believes it’s starving, so it doesn’t mind pulling from its fat stores for energy. In fact, many bodybuilders who are trying to lose fat while building muscle will eat up to 8 times a day. So, as long as you keep your calories in check, switching up those meal schedules between 4 and 6 small meal periods can only benefit you. If you’re a bodybuilder, go for the 8 meal periods, but most of us who need to lose weight aren’t in that category.
4. You should eat at the same time every day. MYTH…. and FACT
This is both a myth and a fact, all rolled up into one. Eating at the same time every day – and in frequent intervals – is good at the beginning of a weight loss program because it helps people establish new eating habits. People who adhere to their new eating schedules tend to be more
successful in the long term. That is a fact. After the first couple of weeks, however, it is good to switch it up now and then. Switching up an eating schedule forces the body to adjust and prevents it from getting into a metabolic slump. So, when it comes down to it, it is actually better to switch off the exact times of your eating, as long as they are still spaced a few hours apart.
5. Don’t eat after 6pm. MYTH
That 6 p.m. deadline that people suggest is not a hard and fast rule for losing weight quickly, and it may actually be detrimental to your diet program. The whole reason the 6 p.m. rule was initiated was to get people to stop eating 3 hours before bedtime. So, if you don’t retire to your bed until 12 p.m., your body just may kick itself into a bit of a starvation mode and ruin all that hard work you’ve put in trying to get your metabolism revved up. This particular weight loss tip is only a myth only because it fixates on someone else’s timeline. Instead, you should consider your own schedule and adjust that cutoff accordingly.
Success in weight loss comes from being realistic about your eating habits and listening to your body. So, with every tip you come across, do a little research before you go “all in” and make it a primary focus of your weight loss program.
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