8 Dieting ‘Rules’ That Don’t Hold Water
Have you noticed all the advertisements for weight loss fixes these past couple weeks? They are just everywhere! I can’t help but laugh when I see some of the diet plans highlighted and recommended by the trendy supermarket tabloids as I think to myself: “Wow….really?”
These off-the-wall diet plans make me laugh, but not for long as I realize that there are some people out there who believe every word they read pertaining to the latest diet strategies. I guess you could call it desperation; yes, I was that desperate overweight woman who would try almost anything to lose my excess weight. But I also understand that these diets do not work, no matter what they say. What is really upsetting to me is that they are full of falsehoods, so today I want to set some things straight!
These eight weight-loss diet strategies are FALSE:
- Eating late at night makes you gain weight. Our bodies burn calories the same way no matter what time we eat them, but late night snacks are often high in calories, fat, and sugar. And if you go to bed immediately after your late-night snack, then yes, your body doesn’t burn calories as efficiently during sleep. I personally enjoy eating at night — it was a habit that I wasn’t willing to give up when I changed my lifestyle in 2001. I realized that I could still enjoy a healthy snack, such as a bag of low-fat dry microwave popcorn, before bedtime. It is low in fat and calories, supplying one ounce of whole grain per three cups … my perfect late-night snack!
- If you have a weight-loss plateau, you can “break it” by eating fewer calories. According to dietitians, if you eat less than 1,200 calories a day, your metabolism may slow down because your body will try to conserve every calorie it gets. Instead of scrimping, increase your activity level, perhaps with a daily brisk-paced walk. (Of course, if you’ve hit a plateau after losing weight but still need to lose more, your calorie requirements may need readjusting to reflect your new, lower weight.)
- Don’t eat between meals. I don’t know about you, but I get hungry between meals. I allow myself a couple snacks a day. I either choose a low-fat granola bar, a handful of pretzels, one piece of fruit, a cup of vegetables (fresh or frozen), six whole-wheat crackers or popcorn, as mentioned above. It helps me avoid overeating at mealtime, plus it keeps me going the entire day.
- Fasting a few days shrinks your stomach and speeds your weight loss. Most of this weight that you lose too quickly will be water weight, and some of it will be muscle — not what you want to lose. Plus, as soon as you eat normally again, the weight will come back quickly.
- Fat-free foods are also calorie-free foods. Hopefully everyone realizes that this is not true at all. You really need to check the nutrition labels. Many are high in sugar and carbohydrates (to make up for the loss of flavor), which can leave them with more calories than those with fat. Compare items when shopping and see for yourself!
- Deny your cravings, they are just in your head anyways. You can really pack on a lot of calories trying to avoid a food craving. Simply have a small serving of the food you really want and get over it. Remember: One bite tastes the same as 20 — a motto that has helped me for eleven years now.
- Carbohydrates make you fat. Carbohydrates do not make you fat. Consuming too many calories from any food group makes you fat. Carbs just get a bad wrap because people eat too much of them, and the carbs they eat are basically empty calories. You still need carbs, but look for those comprised of whole grains, like oatmeal, whole wheat or quinoa. An added bonus: whole grain pasta is more filling and makes you feel satisfied longer than white pasta, though both have the same amount of calories.
- Don’t worry about calories, just exercise! Okay, I admit that walking daily for 22 minutes was the key to my 162-pound weight-loss success, but my calorie consumption was — and still is — very important. No, exercising alone is not enough. Think about the saying “Calories In, Calories Out” — the calories you burn have to be more than you ingest. Put another way, you won’t lose weight unless you also cut calories.
I hope that you only LAUGH at those crazy tabloid diet plans and don’t follow them. What are some diet stinkers you’ve seen?
Photo by TheFoodJunk