Fat loss is a relatively simple process – eat fewer calories and your body will use your body fat stores to make up the deficit.
However, that doesn’t stop some people making fat loss seem far more complicated than it really is.
One way in which they do this is to perpetuate myths.
Many myths were actually originated by food manufactures and other people who want you to buy something you just don’t need.
Here are FIVE fat loss myths you need to stop believing NOW!
1. “Low-Fat” and “Sugar-Free” Diet Foods Are Healthier Than Regular Versions
Health food stores, grocery stores, and supermarkets are packed with low-fat and sugar-free products that are marketed to be healthier and better for fat loss than the regular versions.
Low fat ice cream, sugar-free cookies, diet candy, fat-free potato chips – the list is virtually endless.
However, despite being sold as being good for you, in many cases, these diet foods are no better than the original version.
· Reduced and low fat diet foods are often loaded with sugar and sugar is even worse for you than fat could ever be.
· Sugar-free diet foods are artificially sweetened and artificial sweeteners, while lower in calories, are every bit as unhealthy as sugar and can lead to overeating.
· Diet foods often trigger the “health halo” which means you end up eating more of the diet product than you would the regular product and undo any potential benefit simply because you believe what you are eating is healthy.
Eating diet versions of unhealthy, fattening foods is no better than eating the regular version.
And even if they ARE in calories, it’s not by enough to make much of a difference.
Instead, eat a little of those not-so-healthy foods and then fix the rest of your diet by eating lots of healthy vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, fiber and some healthy fats.
That is the key to sustainable weight loss.
2. If You Are Dieting for Weight Loss, You Cannot Have Snacks
Contrary to popular belief, if you are dieting for weight loss, snacks can be very useful.
Snacks help prevent the hunger that can lead to overeating.
They also give you something to look forward to between meals and provide an opportunity to take in even more healthy nutrients.
The trouble is, what most people think of as snacks are very unhealthy.
Candy, potato chips, snack cakes, pastries, and other unhealthy snacks will certainly derail your dieting efforts.
In contrast, an apple, some celery and natural peanut butter, some raw nuts, a pot of natural yogurt or cottage cheese will enhance rather than hinder your weight loss.
Just because you are dieting to lose weight doesn’t mean you can’t have snacks; you do, however, have to have the right kind of snacks!
3. Some Foods Burn More Calories Than They Contain
Some people believe that there are magical foods that burn more calories than they contain and that adding these foods to your meals will produce effortless weight loss.
Cabbage, lettuce, lemon, grapefruit and celery are the common suspects in this myth.
While these foods are very low in calories, because they contain a lot of fiber and water which are essentially calorie-free, eating them does not burn more calories than they contain.
This simply isn’t possible.
For a food to burn more calories than it contains, it would have to have a higher-than 100% thermic effect – that being the amount of energy required to digest it.
The highest thermic effect in food is 30% and that is protein; celery only has an 8% thermic effect.
While low calorie foods are obviously beneficial for weight loss, there are no foods that burn more calories than they contain.
The only exception is chilled water. Water contains no calories but your body will have to use energy to warm it up to body temperature prior to absorption.
However, this effect is so small that it’s virtually irrelevant – about 10 calories per day.
4. If You Exercise, You Can Eat What You Like and Still Lose Weight
If you rely solely on exercise for weight loss, you can look forward to doing a lot of exercise every day forever!
If you exercise for an hour a day, you’ll probably burn around 500 calories.
Do that every day and you should lose around one pound of fat per week.
But what about those days you don’t exercise?
Or maybe eat more than usual?
If you rely on exercise alone, your weight loss will stall.
What if you suffer an illness and injury and cannot exercise for a few weeks?
You’re doomed to regain any weight you lost.
Also, relying on nothing but exercise might address the calorie content of your diet but what about your body’s need for nutrients?
In addition to calories, you also need vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein to be healthy.
Exercise takes these things OUT of your body and you’ll need to eat healthily to put them back in if you want to stay healthy.
Research reveals that the best way to lose weight and then keep it off is to combine modest dietary interventions with regular physical activity.
The combination of eating a little less, eating healthily, and being more active is the best way to reach your target weight and stay there.
5. Low Fat Diets Are Best for Weight Loss
Dietary fat has been demonized by the media since the early 1960s.
Fat has been blamed for all sorts of problems including the current obesity crisis and many health problems such as coronary heart disease.
There is no denying that fat IS calorie dense – it contains 9 per gram – but eliminating all fats from a weight loss diet is not a healthy option.
In fact, back in the days when people actually ate MORE fat, they tended to be slimmer and healthier.
The trouble with the “fat is bad” attitude is that there are actually several different types of fat and some fats are deemed to be very healthy indeed.
The anti-fat movement has resulted in an increase in the consumption of refined carbs and sugar which are far less healthy and much more fattening than dietary fat could ever be.
Naturally-occurring fats are healthy and unlikely to lead to weight gain.
In contrast, very low fat diets are more likely to be high in carbs and sugar – both of which are likely to interfere with fat loss or cause weight gain.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Many fat loss myths have been around so long that they are almost a part of the constitution.
However, a myth is still nothing more than a lie.
Don’t let these myths derail your fat loss efforts – seek out and act on the truth instead.