Dieting and weight-loss are always hot topics for discussion, especially with all the fad diets and "magic" pills or food plans that are said to help people get, and stay, slim. People are constantly hearing about tried and tested ways to shed pounds easily, while avoiding the pain and inconvenience of proper dieting and exercise. However, are any of these diet and weight-loss tips true, and do any of these special plans or systems actually work? See for yourself in this list of the 7 worst weight-loss myths that can negatively affect your health:
1. Fad Diets Work
Fad diets are weight-loss plans that promise easy and effective results. They do not conform to conventional dieting and are meant as an alternative to eating healthy and exercising regularly. Many people see or hear about these diets from friends or in the media, and they are quick to jump on the bandwagon, expecting the same results. However, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), these diets are not the best way to lose weight, nor do they keep the pounds off. Most of these diets are hard to follow, and people eventually go back to their old eating habits, which cause them to regain any lost pounds.
2. Eat More Protein and Cut Carbs for Weight-Loss
High protein, low-carb diets have been popularized by celebrities and bodybuilders as a quick method for weight-loss. However, this type of diet is not a balanced one, and lacks the nutritional benefits one would obtain from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Eating only protein packed foods, which are primarily different types of meat can lead to increased cholesterol and can put you at risk for heart disease. The limited fiber can also lead to constipation.
3. Crash Dieting is a Healthy Way to Lose Weight
Crash dieting is similar to most fad diets, only more extreme with a focus on calorie deprivation. These are diets that have been proven effective for rapid weight-loss, yet many people are unaware of the myriad of health issues they may face for having such a low calorie intake per day. Crash diets like liquid dieting, or the Lemonade Diet that provide less than 800 calories per day can result in heart rhythm abnormalities that can be fatal, according to the NIDDK.
4. You Can Make Up for What You Eat Through More Exercise
Many people think of professional athletes and world-class bodybuilders, and how much food these types of people eat regularly. This leads them to believe they can eat anything they want, and as much as they want, just as long as they burn off the excess calories. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for the average person to burn off what they consume unless they are eating healthy and adhering to a proper diet. You can't just simply eat what you want and expect to burn everything off unless you are constantly active through rigorous training and exercise. While it is true that many athletes eat more than 2,000 calories per day, some of which comes from foods that are considered fatty or unhealthy, most of their routine schedule is comprised of constantly burning calories, not sitting in a cubicle all day.
5. The Skinnier You Are, the Healthier You Are
This weight-loss myth can be tied to a high protein, low carb diet. While a mirror or the weighing scale might suggest a person is healthy because of how skinny they are, this isn't always the case. It is still very possible to be within your suggested weight, and be at high risk for heart disease, stroke or diabetes if you aren't careful with what you eat. This is why a properly balanced diet is important for maintaining a healthy weight instead of fad or crash diets.
6. You Don't Have to Exercise to Lose Weight, Just Eat Healthier
While you can surely shed a few pounds by changing your diet and eating healthier, you will have a difficult time maintaining your desired weight without any form of exercise. Even if your only form of exercise is a quick, 20-minute jog before or after work, a littler exercise is better than no exercise. Being active will also help improve blood pressure and can help you achieve better sleep.
7. Don't Count Calories, Just Eat Healthier Foods for Weight-Loss
You can create an entire diet plan in accordance to the USDA's Healthy Plate and still gain weight if you aren't keeping track of how many calories you are eating, and how many you are burning. Whether it's considered healthy or not, all foods contain calories and all calories should be closely monitored. Many nutritionist and health aficionados suggest keeping a log of how many calories you are eating, along with a journal of how much you are exercising for a proper weight-loss regimen.