Diet Myths And Diet Facts - Do These Weight Loss Myths Keep You Fat?

Myths are everywhere and weight loss is not an exception. Here is a quick overview of some popular diet myths:

Myth 1: If you eat late at night you will gain weight

Meal timing has nothing to do with weight loss. If that was true, the Mediterranean people would be among the fattest Europeans, because they usually eat a very large dinner. The total amount of calories you eat is the determining factor.

Myth 2: Bread and pasta make you fat

Bread and pasta are not fattening, if you practice portion control. The only problem with these foods is that they don’t keep you full for long.

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Myth 3: Fat deposits increase your health risks

The fat on the legs, buttocks and hips is not as dangerous for your health, as the fat that is stored on the waist.

Myth 4: Olive oil is less fattening than butter

Olive oil is a much healthier choice than butter: it’s good for the heart and contains unsaturated fatty acids. However, 100 grams of olive oil contain
884 calories and the same quantity of butter contains 717 calories.

Myth 5: The more frequently you eat the better

Some people say that eating 5 meals per day is better than eating 3 meals, because it increases your metabolism and prevents food cravings. The reality is that it doesn’t matter how many meals you eat, the important thing is how many calories you consume.

Myth 6: After 30 we gain weight automatically, due to metabolic decrease

This is only partly correct. It is true that as we get older our metabolism decreases.
We lose muscle mass and our body needs less energy. But, this decrease is very small and can be prevented with some resistance training.

Myth 7: Potatoes are fattening

Potatoes themselves are not fattening at all, and you will need to consume a huge quantity of potatoes every day to gain weight. What makes them fattening is the way we cook them (french fries).

Myth 8: Some foods burn more calories than they provide

If that was possible, then no one would have to worry about their weight. They would simply eat these foods regularly.

Myth 9: More perspiration means you burn more calories

The amount of sweat has nothing to do with the burning of calories, it’s simply a way to decrease the temperature of your body.

Myth 10: Fresh vegetables are healthier than frozen vegetables

This is not always the case. Frozen vegetables are frozen immediately after harvesting and all the essential vitamins are protected from light and air.

Myth 11: You can burn calories in the sauna

That would be terrific. We would just go for a while in the sauna and sweat those extra pounds away and eat everything we want. But that's not possible, because the only thing we lose in the sauna is water.

Myth 12: Hot spices burn calories

This is partly a myth. It’s true that some spices like cayenne pepper raise the metabolism slightly. However, the increase is too small to make a difference.

Myth 13: Fat-free means calorie-free

There is no food without calories except water, tea, coffee and some spices! Even if you eat low-fat foods, you still need to practice portion control.

Myth 14: All calories are equal

In theory, this is correct. Losing weight is about creating a calorie deficit. The source of calories doesn’t matter for weight loss (of course it matters for your health). However, in real life things are a little bit more complicated. Some foods don’t keep you full for long, and other foods with the same amount of calories curb hunger much more efficiently. Whole grain bread and boiled potatoes, for example, keep you full for longer and aid weight loss indirectly.

Myth 15: A small snack before meals curbs hunger

This is not always the case. Sometimes snacking stimulates appetite and makes you eat even more than you should.

Myth 16: Fast food makes you fat

You can enjoy fast food in moderation from time to time and not gain weight. However, this type of food lacks a lot of vitamins and contains a lot of saturated fats and trans fatty acids, so it’s certainly not a very healthy choice.

Myth 17: Being fat is hereditary

Whether one is fat or not depends on their eating habits. This doesn’t mean that some people aren’t born with a stronger tendency to gain weight. Some people have a slightly slower metabolism and may have a bigger appetite than others. However, no person is doomed to be obese, due to their genes.

Myth 18: Food combining makes you lose weight

From a psychological point of view yes, because your meals will be dull and you won’t over consume calories. Still, the decisive factor is calorie consumption.

Myth 19: Skipping meals makes you thin

It does not matter how many meals you eat. If you skip lunch and then eat a huge dinner, don’t expect any good results.

Myth 20: If you exercise, you can eat whatever you want

That would be nice, but exercise burns fewer calories than you may think.
For example, walking for 40 minutes per day will help you burn only 150 calories (less than a chocolate chip cookie!).

Myth 21: Cutting carbohydrates leads to weight loss

Carbs are not fattening. No food is fattening, if you eat it in moderation. What is more, excluding carbs from your diet for long periods of time can lead to fatigue and constipation and could put you at risk for heart disease and colon cancer.