Are you trying to lose weight but aren’t seeing any results? You are not alone. With all the diet misinformation out there, it’s often hard to distinguish between weight-loss facts and fiction. To help bring you closer to reaching your health goals, here are seven weight-loss myths you can stop believing.
1. Downing the juice?
While juices are viewed as natural sources of Vitamin C and Potassium, they are surprisingly high in calories. A 500ml juice can typically contain 250 to 300 calories. But it’s easy to drink these calories without giving them much second thought. Why? Because juices don’t contain any phytonutrients and fiber, therefore they do not provide the same feeling of satiety than solid foods or fruits provide. And because juices don’t suppress hunger, people often end up consuming more overall calories throughout the day.
The problem is that too much juice is a simple source of packing in the sugar and calories, outweighing the benefit of the vitamins consumed. So instead of drinking your fruits, eat them instead. And stay hydrated with water and other calorie-free options, including coffee or tea.
2. Going gluten-free?
Have you decided to follow the gluten-free trend and eliminate those carbs that you love? Well, this may seem like a good way to lose weight, but there’s actually no evidence that suggests it will help you slim down. And it may contribute to weight gain because many gluten-free foods are higher in calories, fat, sodium and sugar.
This is because manufacturers need to enhance flavours and textures to make up for the lack of gluten. A better approach: no foods need to be off-limits when you’re trying to lose weight (unless you have a food sensitivity). Cut back on added sugars and other nutrient-poor carbs, and enjoy healthy, fibre-rich, whole-grain carbohydrates that help keep you satisfied.
3. Breakfast for a bird?
You’re not particularly hungry when you wake up because you’re in a rush to get out the door, so you skip breakfast or just grab a piece of fruit. But cutting calories in the morning generally means you’ll eat more later in the day.
What’s more, your metabolism is more efficient earlier in the day compared to late afternoon or evening. So keep your overall calories within your daily budget, but shift your eating pattern so that breakfast and lunch are larger meals and dinner is smaller. After dinner, try to avoid mindlessly snacking in the evening.
4. Smaller Meals Method?
You’ve probably heard that you should eat several small meals throughout the day to lose weight and increase your metabolism. But recent human clinical studies have found that mini meals lack sufficient calories to trigger feelings of fullness and may end up boosting your appetite and desire to eat.
Constant nibbling also puts the body in a perpetually fed state. This is identified by elevated blood glucose, insulin and pro-inflammatory markers, which are linked to an increased risk for chronic diseases. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how many meals is best, you can try what is considered a “normalized” eating pattern. Start with three main meals and one or two snacks, and adjust from there. The key is to try to distribute your calories during the day and avoid eating too many calories in the evening.
5. Loading up on Organic Foods?
Many organic foods have healthy halos, which can lead you down a slippery slope of assuming that you can enjoy them or eat more of them. But organic sugar, honey or agave is still added sugar. The same is true for all-natural chips, chocolates, crackers or candy, which should be limited if you’re trying to trim down. Buy organic foods for their environmental benefits, and stick with the core principles of healthy eating, by planning your meals and snacks around produce, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy, unsaturated fat.
6. Piling on the Protein?
Protein is filling, so it can help you keep calories in check. It may also provide a slight lift to your metabolism and is important to help you retain muscle mass as you lose weight. But eating too much protein can lead to weight gain, just as eating too much bread or pasta can.
High-protein diets are also usually harder to follow than traditional eating plans like a Mediterranean diet. As a result, studies reveal that, over the long run, high-protein diets have no weight-loss advantage over high-carbohydrate diets. What’s more, there is significant scientific agreement that too much animal protein increases risks for certain types of cancer.
Instead, eat a primarily plant-based diet rich in filling fibre, and divide your daily protein into three servings of around 25 to 40 grams.
*Remember that animal products aren’t the only place you can get your protein from, so by switching to a plant-based diet, you can eat bigger portions, of protein-packed meals with fewer calories and saturated fats.
7. Eating more "Healthy Fats"?
From avocados to almond butter and hummus to olive oil, the fats-that-won’t-make-you-fat list seems to have grown bigger than ever before. But the problem is that fat contains nine calories per gram compared to four calories per gram for both protein and carbohydrates. Just small amounts of fat-rich foods pack a lot of calories. What’s more, studies show that fat is more satisfying than carbs, but it doesn’t provide the same level of satiety as the same amount of calories from protein.
You don’t need to eat a low-fat diet to lose weight, but you do need to keep total calories in check. That usually means keeping a lid on the amount of fat-rich food you eat. So enjoy foods with unsaturated fats but in moderation. The main rule to follow if you are wanting to shed some weight is Calories in vs -Calories out.
The best way to increase your “calories-out” count is to add exercise in to your daily regime. With AktivBody’s 12-week beginner program you are able to burn up to 500kcal in one 30 minute workout and up to 1500kcal in the following hours.