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Know the Facts: Diet Myths Debunked

Posted on November 10, 2015 at 3:29 PM by Lia Bahls, RD

Myth #1: Fad diets are a great way to lose weight.
Fact: While fad diets may promise fast weight loss through strict reduction in calories or the elimination of particular food groups, maintenance of this weight loss is unrealistic. Elimination and reduction diets are hard to follow and can lead to nutrient deficiencies and a reduction in metabolism. Many individuals are unable to remain on fad diets and eventually regain any lost weight. 
Tip: A safe reduction in calories with an increase in physical activity is what is recommended. Making sure to choose healthy and balanced foods throughout the day is important for weight loss and management. Reducing caloric intake by no more than 500 calories a day is recommended for an average of one pound weight loss per week. This would need to be adjusted if physical activity drastically increased. 

Myth #2:  If I skip meals, I’ll lose weight.
Fact: Skipping a meal may lead to increased hunger and increased calorie consumption later on. This is especially prevalent in those who skip breakfast. 
Tip: Make sure to have healthy meals and snacks prepared and ready to grab if you’re on the run. If you are not a breakfast person, begin with a small protein choice such as a string cheese or boiled egg.   Have healthy, already-prepared snacks on hand such as almonds, fruit, and string cheese. Prepare lunch and dinner meals in advance if you feel you don’t have time to cook so you still have a healthy options available.

Myth #3: Eating healthy is expensive.
Fact: There are countless healthy options that are also cost-effective. Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables provide just as many nutrients as fresh, at a decreased cost. When purchasing canned or frozen food make sure to choose low-salt, no sugar-added, and products that are canned in their own juice or water-packed. 
Tip: Rinse off canned vegetables to decrease the salt content. Make sure to check the nutrition label for items that have sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat. 

Myth #4: As long as you’re making healthy choices, calories don’t matter.
Fact: Bottom line, calories matter. What is important is where those calories are coming from. Some foods may provide the same amount of calories such as whole-wheat pasta and ‘regular’ pasta. However, whole-wheat pasta provides more nutrients than ‘regular’ and also has complex carbohydrates. Making healthy choices matter, but it is still important to monitor intake and portions.
Tip: Listen to your body. Work to understand when you are craving something versus when your body is actually hungry. This will help to regulate your calorie intake. 

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