“Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!”
“Eat as much as you want and still lose weight!” “Try the thigh buster and lose inches fast!”
Have you heard these claims before? A large number of diets and tools are available, but their quality may vary. It can be hard to know what to believe.
Here, we discuss myths and provide facts and tips about weight loss, nutrition, and physical activity. This information may help you make healthy changes in your daily habits. You can also talk to your health care provider.
She or he can help you if you have other questions or you want to lose weight. A registered dietitian may also give you advice on a healthy eating plan and safe ways to lose weight and keep it off.
Myth: Fad diets will help me lose weight and keep it off.
Fact: Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. ese diets often promise quick weight loss if you strictly reduce what you eat or avoid some types of foods.
Some of these diets may help you lose weight at first. But these diets are hard to follow. Most people quickly get tired of them and regain any lost weight.
Fad diets may be unhealthy. They may not provide all of the nutrients your body needs. Also, losing more than 3 pounds a week after the first few weeks may increase your chances of developing gallstones (solid matter in the gallbladder that can cause pain).
Being on a diet of fewer than 800 calories a day for a long time may lead to serious heart problems.
Myth: Grain products such as bread, pasta, and rice are fattening. I should avoid them when trying to lose weight.
Fact: A grain product is any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain. Grains are divided into two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains.
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel—the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include brown rice and whole-wheat bread, cereal, and pasta.
Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.
People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet may lower their chances of developing some chronic diseases. Government dietary guidelines advise making half your grains whole grains.
For example, choose 100 percent whole-wheat bread instead of white bread, and brown rice instead of white rice.
Myth: Some people can eat whatever they want and still lose weight.
Fact: To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat and drink. Some people may seem to get away with eating any kind of food they want and still lose weight.
But those people, like everyone, must use more energy than they take in through food and drink to lose weight.
A number of factors such as your age, genes, medicines, and lifestyle habits may affect your weight. If you would like to lose weight, speak with your health care provider about factors that may affect your weight.
Together, you may be able to create a plan to help you reach your weight and health goals.
Myth: “Low-fat” or “fat-free” means no calories.
Fact: A serving of low-fat or fat-free food may be lower in calories than a serving of the full-fat product. But many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat versions of the same foods—or even more calories.
These foods may contain added our, salt, starch, or sugar to improve flavor and texture after fat is removed. These items add calories.
Myth: Fast foods are always an unhealthy choice. You should not eat them when dieting.
Fact: Many fast foods are unhealthy and may affect weight gain.
However, if you do eat fast food, choose menu options with care. Both at home and away, choose healthy foods that are nutrient rich, low in calories, and small in portion size.
News source: NIH. The content is edited for length and style purposes.
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