Tags: Health Topics | diet | weight loss

8 Weight-Loss Myths That Could Hurt Your Waistline

Fruit salad
Fruit salad (Mypointofview/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 16 August 2019 01:08 PM

Struggling to shift the pounds? You may be sabotaging your own weight loss efforts without even realizing it. It's not your fault though, as there are so many health myths floating around that could easily be mistaken for fact. By now you have probably heard that a high-protein diet is supposed to help your body burn more fat. And that low-fat foods are better for your waistline. These claims may not be entirely true.

The question is, how do you know what to believe?

USA Today recently delved a bit deeper into the topic, interviewing several nutritionists and fitness trainers in an attempt to separate fact from fiction. Based on the report, we look at eight common weight-loss myths that could be causing you to pack on the pounds:

  1. You just need to exercise more. Getting up and moving around can help you lose weight, but unless you are also making changes to your diet, you probably won't see any results. Susan Fink, a personal trainer in Los Angeles, said people tend to overestimate how much they exercise and underestimate how much they eat.
  2. Don't eat after 7 p.m. It has become widely accepted that eating after 7 p.m. will cause you to gain weight. In reality, it doesn't make much difference whether you eat before the sun sets or later in the evening. What causes weight gain is exceeding a certain number of calories, said Shira Hirshberg, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Rhode Island.
  3. Ditch carbs for serious results. This has become a controversial subject, but the weight that people lose when switching to a low-carb diet is not necessarily fat. "The glycogen in the liver holds water, and this is what you're actually losing," Hirshberg noted.
  4. Lose belly fat with crunches. Many people tend to think they can lose weight from a certain part of their body with exercises focused on that specific area. This could be crunches for belly fat or lunges for saddlebags. Fink said this idea, called spot reduction, does not exist. Exercising several groups of muscles is far more efficient.
  5. Tuck in, you've earned it. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that you have torched thousands of calories at the gym and therefore can get away with eating a big meal. However, most people think they burn more calories than they actually do. "The truth is you can't realistically burn as many calories in one workout as you'd consume in one meal," said Hirshberg.
  6. Fruit can cause weight gain. Despite what we have been told, the sugar found in fruit is not as bad as we may think. The culprit for weight gain is processed sugar, not the kind found in your five-a-day. Need one more reason to eat fruit? It is packed with fiber, which keeps you fuller for longer and can actually aid in weight loss.
  7. Eat three meals and two snacks. This is the standard eating formula that most dieters subscribe to, but it may not work for everyone. "You should eat when you're hungry," Hirshberg said. The key is to choose healthy foods and snacks and to pay attention to your overall calorie intake.
  8. Low-fat is better. You may think that consuming low- or non-fat foods will help you lose weight, but the opposite could be true. Many foods marketed as low-fat are crammed with sugar and other additives to compensate for the bland taste that comes from removing fat from a product. Aside from causing weight gain, these added ingredients have been linked to various health issues. Pay attention to labels.

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Struggling to shift the pounds? You may be sabotaging your own weight loss efforts without even realizing it.
diet, weight loss
Friday, 16 August 2019 01:08 PM
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