The dieting myths affecting your weight loss
When it comes to watching your waistline, there’s endless information out there. But did you know that some of the rules you’ve been living by to keep things in check are in actual fact, not necessarily working in your favour. Let us explain…
Myth 1: Low-fat or no-fat diets are good for you
Fact: When you want to lose fat, it might seem counter-productive to eat calorie-laden fat, right? Wrong! The body needs fat for energy, tissue repair and to transport vitamins A, D, E and K around the body.
Cut down on saturated fats found in all the foods you already know you should be avoiding – cakes, biscuits and so on – and include olive oil and avocadoes in your diet.
The other problem with some low fat foods is that what they lack in fat, they over-compensate for in sugar.
Women need around 70 grams of fat a day (95 grams for men) with 30 grams as the minimum (40 grams for men). Remember, though, fats are still very high in calories, so don’t overindulge!
Myth 2: You can eat as much healthy food as you like
Fact: While swapping white rice and bread for brown varieties will increase your fibre intake, contain less sugar and be good for heart health, they often contain as many calories as the white versions. Similarly, while you need some “healthy fats” in your diet (think avocadoes, almonds, olive oil and so on) remember they are still high in calories and shouldn’t be consumed in excess.
Red wine and dark chocolate might be full of antioxidants, but if you’re dieting we’re talking about a small glass, or a couple of squares, every now and then. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but “healthier” foods need to be accounted for in your daily calorie allowance too!
Myth 3: If you exercise, you can eat as much as you want.
Fact: Oh, if only! Then we could do an hour of exercise and wipe a week’s worth of bad eating off the slate. But no, in fact, it takes a lot more exercise than you might think to burn off those little treats. For example, two biscuits with your afternoon tea could easily add up to 400 calories. But that moment on the lips will take about an hour of running to burn off.
Myth 4: Don’t eat after a certain time
Fact: Don’t eat after 6pm and definitely no carbs after 5pm, or they’ll just sit in your body and turn to fat, right? Wrong.
Although many diets tell you not to eat after a certain time in the evening, recent research has shown it’s not what time you eat that matters at all – only what you eat over a 24-hour period.
There’s also some evidence to suggest that eating regular meals helps regulate appetite and overall food intake, but if for you that means having your lunch at 3pm and your dinner at 9pm, rest assured that so long as they are healthy meals, a late dinner won’t make you fat. Too early a dinner might leave you hungry by 8pm and reaching for a late-night snack.