Every time a new fad diet comes out, people jump on the bandwagon believing that this one will be the one that actually works. We desperately want it to be true.
Have you ever worked hard to lose weight, only to have all your lost pounds come rushing back? You’re not alone! The problem isn’t you, and it’s not your willpower. There’s a scientific reason why your body does this… and the good news is, you can simply and successfully lose those excess pounds.
Research shows that intermittent fasting provides a whole array of benefits, from weight loss to increased energy levels and overall improved health. Learn More…
With two-thirds of adults in the U.S. overweight, including one-third who are clinically obese, the status quo clearly isn’t working. These statistics are double the numbers from 30 years ago. Even so, people continue to spend more than $40 billion on diet-related products and quick-fixes every year.
Obviously, something is wrong with this picture. All of that time, effort and money have not made us any healthier.
Here are the facts about five weight loss myths:
Diet Myth 1: Fad diets help people lose weight permanently.
Fact: While fad diets may offer a promise of quick weight loss, they are not successful at losing weight and keeping it off. While having you cut certain foods out of your diet may help you lose weight initially, that approach is extremely difficult to sustain. Most people quickly tire of the regimen and gain back any weight they initially lost.
A problem with fad diets is that they are often unhealthy. If they don’t provide the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs, they will harm you more than help you. It isn’t healthy to lose weight too quickly either. More than 3 pounds per week can increase your risk for developing an abnormal heart rhythm which can be fatal. It can also increase your chances of getting gallstones.
Tip: Losing 1/2 to 2 pounds a week by making healthy food choices, using portion control, and increasing physical activity is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. This may also lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Diet myth 2: Herbal remedies and products labeled “natural” are safe and valuable products for weight-loss.
Fact: The words “natural” and “herbal” do not mean a product is necessarily safe. Rarely are these claims supported by scientific testing which proves that they are safe and will work. One popular ingredient found in some herbal products is called ephedra, and it is now banned by the U.S. Government due to the serious health issues it has caused. It is even linked to some deaths. Some products are now ephedra-free, but that doesn’t mean the new ingredients used to replace ephedra are necessarily safe.
Tip: Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before using any weight-loss product. Take control of your own health by ensuring that what you are taking has been tested and is safe.
Diet Myth 3: You will be safe if you try a high protein/low carbohydrate diet.
Fact: There isn’t enough scientific research that has examined the long-term health effects of a high protein/low carb diet. Balance in a diet is important, and this type of diet loses that balance by giving you the bulk of your daily calorie intake from high protein foods such as meat, cheese, and eggs. Consuming too much fat and cholesterol are known to raise your risk of heart disease and other illnesses.
Your body needs carbohydrates. A lack of them can lead to ketosis, the build-up of partially broken-down fats. There are illnesses associated with not enough carbohydrates in a diet, such as gout (a painful swelling of joints,) and a risk of kidney stones. It is especially important that pregnant women and people with kidney disease and diabetes include carbohydrates in their diet.
Tip: Short-term weight loss on a high protein/low carbohydrate diet can be dangerous. Naturally, a limited low calorie diet will help you lose weight, yet with few choices, dieters get bored from eating the same limited menu. Instead, it’s much healthier to eat a well-balanced diet and more interesting to have many choices of reduced calorie foods. Using portion plates can help you learn portion control, which is the key to eating a variety of foods and staying healthy while losing weight.
Diet Myth 4: Starches are fattening and should be avoided when dieting.
Fact: Many high starch foods, like rice, pasta, beans and fruits, are low in fat and calories. They become a problem when eaten in large quantities or with high-fat toppings like butter or mayonnaise. Foods high in starch (also called complex carbohydrates) are an important energy source for your body.
Tip: The best diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, as well as protein from lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, nuts and eggs. In addition, your diet must be low in trans fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium from salt, and added sugars.
Diet Myth 5: Certain foods are high fat burners, such as grapefruit, celery, and cabbage soup, which will help you lose weight.
Fact: It would be nice, but in fact, there aren’t any foods that burn fat. There are certain things in foods, such as caffeine, that may speed up your metabolism (the way your body uses energy from calories,) but they do not cause weight loss.
Tip: Weight loss success comes from increased physical activity and reducing your caloric intake. Portion control plates can be very helpful in reducing food consumption.