There is a lot of misinformation out there that may be slowing down your dieting efforts – For example, will eating several small meals throughout the day speed up your metabolism? Do you really have to go to the gym to lose weight?
Here are some of the most common weight-loss myths explained, so you can get on the right track and lose those extra pounds.
1: You have to work out to lose weight.
Exercising does burn calories, but it is is not mandatory for shedding pounds. If you already lack restraint when it comes to intake, exercising may actually contribute to overeating, since you’ll inevitably feel hungrier than usual.
2: Eating after 6 p.m. (or 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.) makes you gain weight.
Eating oversize portions at night is often indicative of eating poorly during the day. The best way to manage late night hunger is to have evenly spaced meals and snacks every few hours to stabilize blood sugar, which keeps hunger at bay.
3: Your metabolism gets slower with age.
Though most of us do tend to tip the scale a little more with each passing birthday, weight gain can’t be blamed on aging alone. Most people gain weight as they get older due to loss of muscle, which is what determines resting metabolic rate.
4: Carbohydrates make you fat.
Many comfort foods high in carbohydrates are also high in calories. But your best approach to maintaining a carbohydrate balance in your diet is to choose healthy versions, like fruits, veggies and whole grains. And make sure they only account for one-third or less of each meal.
5: Drinking water helps you lose weight.
Drinking water replaces other beverages, so it can reduce your calorie intake. So swap sugary juices and sodas for a glass of water.
6: If you only eat healthy foods, you’ll definitely lose weight.
Weight loss depends on the calories consumed and portion control is just as important to weight loss as food choice.
7: Fast food is forbidden if you’re trying to lose weight.
Approach fast food with these tips in mind: Look for a meal with no more than 400 to 500 calories; non-breaded and non-fried foods; meals that feature at least three food groups including, but not limited to, low fat dairy, veggies and a lean protein like grilled chicken; and order foods with condiments on the side so you can add small amounts yourself.
8: Eating small, frequent meals will boost your metabolism.
Eating portion-controlled meals every three to four hours doesn’t actually boost your metabolism but it does help to fend off the type of hunger cravings that make healthy food choices more difficult.