When it comes to weight loss diets, it seems as though somebody out there created a book of rules that everyone is expected to follow.
Eat this, don’t eat that; you get the picture.
But the truth is that most of these so called “rules” of dieting are nothing more than popular myths and fads.
People will always do things that the group is doing just so they can be accepted.
8 Diet Myths To Avoid
So following certain dietary habits just because the group proclaims that this is the way to do things is how most of these myths get started and then catch on.
But you can be smarter than this and do what works best and not what is popular at the moment.
Here are 8 myths about weight loss nutrition that you should think twice about believing.
1. Skip Meals to Cut Your Calories and Lose Weight Faster
Skipping a meal will cut your calories even further and that is the name of the game, right?
There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to calorie restriction so skipping meals is definitely a recipe for disaster.
And the worst part is that deliberately not eating in order to cut your calories even further will only set you up for failure when your next meal comes around.
Since you skipped a meal, you will be twice as hungry when the time comes to eat and you will find yourself easily overloading on calories that you just don’t need.
2. Don’t Eat After 7:00PM
Some will report that it is 7:00pm and others preach 8:00pm.
And then there are others that will say that you shouldn’t eat after 6!
But the truth is that fat gain actually comes from consuming an excess amount of calories that your body cannot use for fuel.
Packing on the pounds really has nothing to do with eating at a particular time of the day.
So with that said, it doesn’t really matter what time of the day you eat, as long as you are eating clean.
This is particularly true for anyone who works odd shifts or for those who just have a longer than average day.
The fallacy also doesn’t make sense for people who work out late and spend their evenings in the gym.
You need to fuel up after training session to start the reparation process, so why would you postpone your meal just because it is a certain time of the day?
3. Stick to a Strict Timed Meal Schedule
For most people, it just isn’t possible to stick to a timed meal regimen, unless they want to lose their jobs or lose out by cutting classes at school.
For most people who need to function in the “real” world, you are going to have to get your meals in whenever you can, which may be sporadically and at different times of the day.
Some people buy into something called “starvation mode” and think that you need to eat every two hours or you are going to slow down your metabolism and lose your gains.
There is just too much hype about your body going into starvation mode and not enough facts.
It would literally take days for your body to start storing fat from real starvation so taking a few hours between meals won’t really make that much of a difference.
Just relax and get your meals in whenever you can.
4. Steer Clear of Breads and Pastas
This one is definitely going to ruffle some feathers but the truth is, breads and pastas won’t make you gain weight any faster than eating something considered “healthy” and acceptable like yams and quinoa.
It is the total number of calories and macro-nutrient (macros) breakdown that you consume throughout the day that matters.
As long as you control your food intake and stick to your set macros, there is no reason that you cannot enjoy foods such as bread and pastas in moderation.
5. Load Up on Healthy Fats to Feel Full Longer
Some so called experts preach that loading up on dietary fats will act as an all natural appetite suppressant and help to keep your hunger under control.
This works only in theory and not in the real world.
Eating 240 calories worth of carbohydrates and the same amount worth of fat, which is a measly 2 tablespoons of oil, is going to have a totally different effect on your satiation.
And since fats are so calorie dense, it is much easier to go beyond your daily caloric requirements and won’t be long before you start to gain weight.
6. When You Fall Off Your Diet, Start Back Tomorrow
Everyone will screw up their diet at some point in time.
The key is to get right back on track and not waste any time in doing so.
Most people will simply blow the entire day after they have fouled up.
But the best thing to do is get right back on the wagon and not wait until the next day to do so.
The truth to the matter is that you really won’t do much damage with just one small screw up.
And it may even be beneficial for boosting your metabolism if you have been dieting for a while.
7. Dieting is Easier With a Friend
Contrary to popular belief, having a partner tagging along side of you on your weight loss journey can actually be a burden.
When it comes down to it, you are the only one who can stick to your diet and make your goals become a reality.
Learn to be self sufficient and take control of your own life.
Set diet goals for yourself and then be your own source of motivation and inspiration.
Having someone there to support you on your weight loss journey is great, but don’t rely solely on someone to push you through.
Sometime having a partner will only hold you back, especially if they are a slacker.
You may find yourself missing workouts and crashing your diet just because your diet buddy is sabotaging your efforts.
8. All Calories are Created Equal
This point was touched briefly in point 5 and it’s all about energy value.
All calories are not created equal.
Eating 1,000 calories from proteins and carbohydrates and the same amount from dietary fat is going to show up different on the scale.
Fat can be used as an energy source and nothing else.
Protein is used to repair muscle tissue and carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in either the liver or in muscle tissue where it can be used when needed.
Your body is also more likely to use glycogen for fuel over fat. So stick to the foods that are going to help you burn fat and not store it in your belly.
So the key to diet success is not to believe everything you hear! Much of it is just superstition and tradition based on whatever the majority feels most convenient at the time.
So don’t follow the masses. Do your research and then test and see what works best for you. And then stick to it until you are successful at reaching your weight loss goals!
Stephanie DeAngelis is a passionate health and wellness writer and fitness trainer who loves to research and spread the word on all aspects of nutrition and healthy eating. When she isn’t wrapped up in writing and research, you can find Stephanie in the kitchen putting her cooking skills to work, whipping up tasty and nutritious recipes or out getting a workout in on the tennis court.