Popular Dieting Facts and Myths
Losing weight is a long-term goal for most people and any diet that promises it can be tempting to try. These diets have a bad reputation, however, because they often involve drastic dieting and fasting. These extreme measures may help you lose weight, but losing weight by extreme means is difficult to sustain, and getting the weight loss back is nearly impossible.
Dieting has never been more popular. Over the past few decades, eating has become less satisfying, and weight gain has become a societal norm. But just because people are more aware of the need for exercise doesn’t mean that we want to exercise more or that we want to expend more energy. It recently dawned on me that many people are unsure what dieting is about.
The Dieting Facts:
When it comes to dieting, there are endless advice options, but only a small fraction of them is worth listening to. While there are diets that may seem too simplistic or unproven to work, there are some more tried and true methods. One of the more popular ones is the ketogenic diet, which emphasizes getting all nutrition from foods that contain fat and very few carbohydrates (or none at all). This diet is not without its drawbacks.
The Four Dieting Facts
Added Sugar Is a Disaster
Sugar has long been blamed for the obesity epidemic. But new research shows that added sugar may be more dangerous than fat, even leading to heart disease and diabetes. Reducing the amount of sugar you eat may help to reduce obesity and help prevent diabetes.
Artificial Trans Fats Are Very Unhealthy
Did you know trans fats can cause heart disease, clogged arteries, obesity, diabetes, and even depression? Artificial trans fats can be found in processed foods and restaurant foods. Unfortunately, all fats aren’t bad. Healthy fats can be found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, and herring. There are also healthy saturated fats found in nuts and seeds and unsaturated fats in olive oil, canola oil, avocados, and fatty fish.
Eating Vegetables Will Improve Your Health
Most health experts agree that eating lots of vegetables is a healthy diet, and this advice doesn’t just apply to dieting. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that our bodies need. And according to the National Institutes of Health, eating a variety of different types of vegetables is also helpful because it helps keep our immune systems strong.
Supplements Can Never Fully Replace Real Foods
If you’ve never dieted, it’s easy to believe that weight loss supplements, pills, protein shakes, and the like are effective substitutes for eating fruits and vegetables. They’ll help you lose weight—right? Time and time again, research has proven that when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, there’s no such thing as a magic pill. Supplements can’t replace real food.
Popular Dieting Myths
Dieting doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, dieting can be a lot of fun. The trick is figuring out what healthy eating choices work for you and what don’t. Dieting myths can take the enjoyment out of losing weight, but with so many myths floating around out there, it can be hard to know what’s true and what’s false.
While it’s true that diet plans don’t just come free of charge at your local supermarket, many diet myths can be debunked based on medical facts.
Here Are a Few of the Most Popular Myths
Healthier foods are more expensive
The popular dieting mantra that healthy foods are more expensive than processed foods is false. The notion comes up all the time: “Healthy foods cost more, so how can I afford them?” The truth is, it’s never about cost when we’re talking about your health. But let’s back up. The premise that whole foods are more expensive than processed foods hinges on the assumption that you put a lot more effort into preparing healthy meals. However, the truth is: that’s not always the case.
Carbs are fattening
We’ve all heard that carbs are fattening, right? But are carbs really the cause of our obesity problem? Or is something else to blame? Popular diets seem to all blame carbs, which has led many to believe that all carbs are bad, no matter what type of carbohydrate they are. But the actual truth is more complicated.
Intense exercise is the only way to lose weight
While exercise is super important for weight loss and overall health, it’s not the only thing we do. There are a few other things we can do to be successful at losing weight and keeping it off.
Skipping meals will keep the weight off
Although skipping meals won’t help you lose weight, skipping breakfast is. A study published in the journal “Obesity” found adults who skipped breakfast had elevated levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger.
Everyone has a different opinion about dieting. What works for one person may not work for you since our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors.