Faulty thinking. That’s what’s standing between you and your goal weight. Turns out there are a number of diet myths out there that are keeping you FAT. Here they are, courtesy of Real Simple magazine.
- Myth #1: Eating fat makes you fat. The theory is this: Fat has 9 calories per gram, carbs and protein only have 4. So to lose weight, you have to avoid fat. The reality is this: Fat is NOT the enemy. Although a lot of fatty products can be full of calories, a sensible amount of fat can help you feel full – so you eat less overall, and can help healthy foods, like vegetables, not only taste better, but deliver more of their nutrients. So – eat fat, but don’t go overboard. Choose mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats, which are found in liquid oils such as canola, safflower and olive. They’re also found in most nuts and fish. You should limit or avoid saturated fats, which are found mainly in beef and dairy products, and trans fats, found in packaged foods, fats foods and margarine.
- Myth #2: Eating small, frequent meals boosts your metabolism. The theory is that if you keep adding small amounts of food to your fire, the fire being your metabolism, you’ll burn more calories. The reality is that food intake has very little effect your metabolism. Some foods – including those with caffeine – may slightly increase your metabolism, but the effect is too small to help you lose weight. What you want to do is build muscle. A pound of muscle burns about 14 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns just 2 or 3 calories. Remember, when you lose weight, part of that weight is muscle. So it’s especially important to include strength-training in your exercise plan.
- Myth #3 : Pasta makes you fat. The theory is that when you eat carbohydrates, your body turns them into sugars – which are stored as fat. The reality is – carbs don’t make you fat. Extra calories do – whether you eat them in the form of carbs, fats or proteins. Besides, carbs include veggies, fruits and whole grains, which are important for a healthy diet. So pasta isn’t the problem, it’s how MUCH you eat. Dieticians say 2 to 3 ounces of uncooked noodles a day is fine.