With the amount of information out there regarding how to lose weight, you’re guaranteed to find that some totally shameless people have been telling lies to sell products.
This happens in every industry, and the diet industry is no exception. Many diets are sold on fake ‘before and after’ pictures, while others are based on very questionable ‘scientific’ evidence that has been conveniently manipulated to suit the diet creator’s plan.
Here are some diet myths that you can chuck out with this week’s trash.
1. Eating before bed makes you fat
This one’s been around for years. The idea that eating right before bed makes you fat is an easy one to believe, especially because people will tell you that your body doesn’t do anything when you sleep so the food is all stored as fat.
The truth is that if the calories are a necessary part of your energy requirement for that day, then you will use the calories. Or did you think your body stopped using energy when you slept?
The real issue with night-time eating is that it is usually not a scheduled meal, but rather a snack that could add many additional and unnecessary calories to your overall daily intake. And extra calories make you fat, no matter when you have them.
2. Low-fat diets are the best kind
While too much fat is certainly not good for you, and eating certain kinds of fats is certainly not good for you, the idea that a low-fat diet is good for you is misguided.
Your body needs a certain amount of good fats to sustain itself – the number is just lower than most people tend to think. Also, fat is really easy to overeat because it is so calorie-dense (nine calories per gram). So you do have to watch yourself.
Instead of thinking ‘low-fat’ or ‘high-fat’, find out how much fat you need and get that amount every day.
3. High-fat diets are the best kind
This one is the same but opposite to the point above. Lately, diet gurus are all about eating loads of fats and very few carbs.
This unbalanced approach is also not effective. You see, there are three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. We need them all for our bodies to work healthily.
So, again, find out what the healthy fats are and how many of them you need (it’s far less than you think). Combine your fats with a balanced meal that includes the other two macronutrients. And don’t forget to include a generous portion of veg so that you get your nutrients and minerals too.
4. Drink water, lose weight
This is a tricky one, because drinking water should mean that you drink fewer other beverages, which can lead to your total calories consumed being lower, meaning you could lose weight. But that’s the only way water helps your weight loss.
So if you’re drinking a lot of water and also a lot of brandy and cola (even the low-fat, zero sugar kind), then the water is not a good weight-loss tool.
The bottom line here is that water doesn’t make you lose weight in some magical way. It just has no calories, so it’s a good substitute for any drink that does have calories.
5. If you exercise you need a ton of protein
Another tricky one. You see, if you are trying to lose weight and are exercising a lot, then you do need to eat the right stuff (obviously).
The issue with protein is that you certainly don’t need tons and tons of it in order to build muscle in the gym. According to the well-researched and proven science, you need around 120 – 150g per day as a healthy, muscle-friendly portion.
But protein is a really great macronutrient in terms of its support for weight-loss diets in the sense that it is slow-digesting, satiating, and unlikely to be stored as fat. So if you have to eat extra calories for whatever reason, then protein is often a better choice than carbohydrates or fat.
Many people who are on a diet will think they are eating a high protein diet to build muscle, but it’s actually just to get the macronutrient balance right for weight loss.
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