If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably suffering from an overload of information. Frustration inevitably occurs when diets left and right contradict each other, telling you to eat this when another diet tells you not to. Here to expose and disprove common diet misconceptions is Jackie Keller, nutrition expert and founder of NutriFit.
Diet Myth #1: Don’t Eat After Dinner
According to Jackie, it really doesn’t matter when you eat, it matters what you eat. It is true that people tend to be more metabolically active earlier in the day, which is where this myth stemmed from. However, it is not entirely disadvantageous to eat later in the day. Weight loss does not exclusively occur early in the day; your body does not know what time your watch reads. Weight loss is more a function of what you eat and how much of it versus when you decide to eat.
Diet Myth #2: Detox Diets are the Only Way to Jump Start your Weight Loss
Detox diets sound like a great way to cleanse your body, but Jackie strongly advises against them. Detox diets trigger your body to go into starvation mode, which can actually slow down your metabolism. When your body believes it is starving, it protects you by slowing down metabolism in order to conserve energy. People on starvation diets will find that they regain the weight once they start eating again. So instead of going straight to the detox diet, examine what you eat on a daily basis and work to eliminate processed foods by replacing them with nutrient rich foods.
Diet Myth #3: Cutting Carbs will help the Pounds Come Off
This myth is easy to believe after seeing so many no-carb dieters shed pounds right away. But the weight loss that low-carb dieters achieve in the first two weeks is not surprising, Jackie says. Carb cutting will cause the body to shed water weight, since carbohydrates are stored in the body with water. The problem is that water weight is easily regained after you have stopped your diet. A yo-yo weight loss such as this is counterproductive and bad for overall metabolism. Jackie says what makes weight loss possible is not the amount of carbs that you cut but the amount of calories. The ultimate goal is to consume healthy proportions of calories and burn more than you consume through physical activity.
Diet Myth #4: You Can’t eat any Dessert when you’re on a Diet
There’s nothing wrong with eating dessert if it is healthy and restricted to healthy proportions. Chocolate lovers, rejoice: Dark chocolate is actually very healthy for you. High in heart-healthy flavonoids, dark chocolate is a healthy option for those of you who crave something sweet after dinner. “A one-ounce serving daily can be a delicious way to obtain the health benefits and a bite of pure enjoyment,” says Jackie.
Diet Myth #5: Fat is the Enemy
Not all fats are created equal, suggests Jackie. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can actually improve levels of good cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. These healthy fats can be found in fish, walnuts, avocado, and olive oil. According to Jackie, they can aid the diet by delaying hunger pangs when consumed in appropriate amounts. A diet that contains a balance of favorable carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is ultimately the healthiest option for achieving long term weight loss goals.