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30 Dieting Myths

30 Dieting Myths

Diet Myths

Myth # 1.Trendy diets work and will keep the weight off permanently.

Trendy diets are not the most adequate way to lose weight and to keep in shape. Most of these diets promise a quick weight loss by eliminating certain food or food groups from your diet.

This kind of diet is difficult to follow in a long term because you lose interest, and you get tired of the restrictions. As a result, you regain the weight.

As you know, these trendy diets are not healthy because they deprive your body of many nutrients. Besides, the diets that provide less than 800 calories per day can cause abnormalities in your heartbeat and serious nutritional deficiencies that put your health at risk.

If you want to lose weight, we recommend you to lose one to two pounds per week. How are you going to achieve this? Choosing healthy food options, moderating the portions you eat and exercising are good choices. Changing your dietary habits and physical activity will not only make you feel good, but you will also reduce your risk of developing diseases such as diabetes type 2, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

Myth # 2.A diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates is a healthy way to lose weight.

Meat, eggs and cheese are high protein foods. Eating large quantities causes an imbalance in your diet because you stop eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which give you many vitamins, minerals and fiber.

This kind of diet may give you constipation problems and make you feel weary, weak and nauseated, not to mention that the weight loss will be temporary.

You should reduce the number of refined carbohydrates you consume, such as flour and sugar, but without limiting the number of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In order to lose weight, it is advisable to eat a balanced diet and to include a physical activity plan every day.

Myth # 3.If I want to lose weight, I should avoid eating too many starches because they are fattening.

Bread, rice, past, cereals, beans, fruits and some vegetables such as potatoes are high in starch but low in fat and calories.

The key to enjoying these meals is the portion sizes and the method of preparation. A small baked potato with no butter is not the same as a family portion or super size order of French fries.

Myth # 4.Some foods such as grapefruit, celery or cabbage soup may burn fat, causing you to lose weight.

There is no food that helps you burn fat, although there are some studies that prove that the green tea extract and caffeine have certain thermogenic effects; or in other words, they make your metabolism work a little faster.

The only thing that really helps you burn more fat is exercising more and eating fewer calories with a healthy diet, like the one we offer in MiDieta™.

Food Myths

Myth # 5.If I want to lose weight, I cannot eat peanuts or nuts because they are fattening.

Both nuts and peanuts are high in calories, but they contain healthy fats. In small quantities, they can be a part of a healthy diet to lose weight. Besides having healthy fats, they are also a good source of protein, dietary fiber and minerals such as magnesium and copper.

Myth # 6.Dairy products are fattening and are not healthy.

Low-fat or skim dairy products contain the same healthy nutrients of whole milk products. The difference is that they have less fat and fewer calories.

Milk, yogurt and cheese provide us with good proteins to build muscle and are good sources of calcium to build strong bones.

How much should you eat? Always remember the number three!

The new dietetic guidelines recommend you to have three cups of low-fat or skim milk or their equivalent of yogurt or cheese.

Myth # 7.If I become vegetarian, I will lose weight and be healthier.

It has been proven that people who are vegetarians eat fewer calories and fats than people who are not. For this reason, they tend to weigh less than people who are not vegetarians.

It is important that you know that a vegetarian diet consists of not eating food of an animal origin and only eating grains, vegetables or fruits. The nutrients that you get from foods of animal origin like protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, B12 and zinc are essential nutrients for your body. This is why the vegetarian diets have to be carefully planned in order to avoid any kind of nutritional deficiencies. The dieticians of MiDieta™ can help you to achieve this.

Myth # 8.If products are labeled as “95% fat-free,” only 5% of the calories come from fat.

When you find a product that says 5% is fat, it means that 5% of the product gross weight is fat, not that it has 5% of all the calories.

Here is an example to help you understand better: if you buy a frozen piece of meat ready to be eaten that is “95% fat-free,” it is important that you read the nutritional label. You ou will find that a portion of meat contains fifty calories and three grams of fat.

As you already know, each gram of fat is equal to nine calories; therefore, those three grams will give you twenty-seven fat calories out of the total fifty calories. This means that 54% of the calories are fat.

For this reason, it is always important to read the nutritional label and not let yourself be carried away by the appearance of the package.

Myth # 9.Products that are labeled as “cholesterol-free” are healthier for your heart.

As you may already know, high cholesterol contributes to the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is why several food companies are promoting low or cholesterol-free products.

It is important to know that your diet’s cholesterol is not the only contributing factor; saturated and trans fats also contribute to your cholesterol levels. Therefore, you should always read the nutritional labels and look for the information on the saturated and trans fats.

Food like cookies, chips, or energy bars generally contain palm or coconut oil, hydrogenous oils or shortening, which are rich in saturated fat. As always, we recommend you read the nutritional label and find out not just the quantity but also the kind of fat contained in the products you are going to buy. Don’t be carried away by the advertising.

Myth # 10.Low-fat or fat-free foods do not cause weight gain.

Most of the low or fat-free foods that you find in the market have fewer grams of fat or fewer calories than their original versions. This does not mean that they have no fat or that they are calorie-free.

Many times other ingredients are added to these products in order to substitute the fat, and the final result is a product with the same number of calories.

In these cases, it is very important that you assess the nutritional labels.

Carefully, so you can make the right selection of these products and not let yourself be carried away by the advertising.

Myth # 11.It is better to buy food in health food stores.

The fact that you buy your products at health food stores does not mean they are the best for you. Many of these stores are more expensive, and they offer almost the same products as normal supermarkets.

Also, be careful with products that are labeled as “natural” because “natural” does not necessarily mean it is safe to be eaten.

“Natural” products can still have many conservatives, additives, and cholesterol and great quantities of saturated fats. Here is an example: a “natural” granola bar can contain more saturated fats than a candy bar. Do not forget to read the nutritional label. That is the key!

Meal Myths

Myth # 12.If I stop eating breakfast or dinner, I will lose weight and be healthy.

Skipping meals may have harmful effects not only to your metabolism but also on your appetite.

If you skip breakfast or dinner, it is very probable that, at your next meal, you will be hungrier than usual and will eat more than you should.

Another thing you should take into account is that if you let your body fast for a long period of time, your basal metabolic rate decreases, causing your body to burn fewer calories than it should.

Besides, several studies report that people who have several small meals during the day have better control over their appetites and that they lose weight easier and are able to maintain a healthy weight.

Myth # 13.Eating at night makes you gain weight.

Not exactly, but have you heard the saying, “You must eat breakfast as a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar”? Well, in a way, this applies to real life.

At breakfast your body is ready to begin the day, so it needs a good start for all the activities you are going to carry out.

Then at lunch, you need another load of energy to continue with your daily activities as efficiently as possible.

At dinnertime, your body is ready to rest and you normally go to bed shortly after.

Thus, dinner should be light; and, if possible, try to have it at least two hours before going to bed, so sleeping does not interfere with digestion and resting.

Myth # 14.I can lose weight eating everything that I want.

The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you eat.

You can accomplish this by increasing the amount of exercise and decreasing your food consumption.

In other words, if you want to lose weight eating hamburgers and chocolates, it is not very probable that you will be successful; but if you choose healthier meals and smaller portions, then you will surely achieve your goal.

Myth # 15.If I am on diet, I cannot eat fast food.

Fast food can be part of your losing weight program or healthy diet, as long as you choose the right options.

How do you choose the best options? Avoid extra large combos; ask for diet drinks, bottled water or low-fat milk. Select light salad dressings and grilled, baked or roasted meats. Try to avoid fried foods, such as French fries or fried chicken. Avoid sauces or dressings high in fat, like mayonnaise and creamy dressings.

Today, there are a number of restaurants that offer you healthy options, so take advantage of them.

Exercise Myths

Myth # 16.If I am on a diet, I should not exercise because I will gain weight and not be able to get rid of it later.

Doing exercise while you are on diet will help you to reduce your body’s fat and at the same time help you shape it while also toning.

Besides, the exercise will also help you stay motivated in order to continue with your diet.

If you manage to make exercises part of your daily routine, it will be easier for you to remain healthy.

Myth # 17.I can lose weight by only exercising and not following a diet.

Exercise plays an important role in weight loss because you not only help your body burn more calories, but you also increase your metabolism.

But, if you do exercise and you do not reduce your caloric consumption, it is very possible that you may not lose weight. In order to get optimum results, it is very important to complement your exercise program with a healthy diet and the recommended calories to lose a healthy amount of weight.

Myth # 18.Weightlifting is only for men.

 A good exercise routine that incorporates weights can offer many benefits for your health, such as increasing your bone density and your muscle mass.

Muscle burns more calories than fat; therefore, as you increase your muscle mass, you also increase the number of calories you use each day. Besides, when you do weightlifting exercises, you don’t just burn calories while doing the exercises, but you also continue to burn calories for more hours.

Myth # 19.Slimming belts and sweat/sweating suits are effective.

Neoprene slimming belts are made of some kind of latex that, when in contact with the skin, produces sweat and increases the body temperature at the contact zone. Right after exercising you will notice a slight weight loss, but this weight loss is due to loss of body fluid.

Myth # 20.I am too old to start exercising.

It is never late to start exercising. The secret to a happy and healthy old age is to keep yourself active.

Exercise helps you improve your cardiovascular function, reduce the risk factors for developing some diseases and increase your wellbeing in general.

Myth # 21.It is necessary to take protein supplements in order to gain muscle.

Your muscles need protein for their growth; but if you overload your body with protein supplements, your body cannot use them all at once. The waste will be eliminated through the kidneys. If this happens day after day, your kidneys may get overloaded, causing permanent damage.

If you keep a balanced diet that gives you the right amount of calories and protein that your body needs, like the one we give you in MiDieta™, it is not necessary that you spend money on these types of supplements.

Myth # 22.If I stop exercising, my muscles will convert into fat.

If you stop exercising, your muscles will lose size; therefore, the rate of burning calories will decrease. This does not mean that muscle turns into fat because they are two totally different tissues.

We suggest you complement your diet with an exercise routine; and if for some reason you cannot exercise as before, you take this into account so that your caloric consumption will equal what you burn.

Myth # 23.It is better to exercise in the morning.

The time of day has little impact when you are trying to increase you physical activity levels. The fact that you are exercising is the most important factor, not what time of day you do it.

Keep in mind that you must enjoy the exercise of your choice; this way it will be easier for you. In order to select the best time, integrate the exercise with the rest of your daily activities and do it in a consistent manner.

Pregnancy Myths

Myth # 24.I must eat twice as much during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, there’s no need to double your portion size; you just need to eat better. The amount of food you have to increase depends on your physical activity and how much you weigh at the beginning of your pregnancy. It is true that your needs increase, especially after the first trimester. A complete and varied diet will help your pregnancy develop correctly, and your baby will have a healthy weight. At MiDieta™, we have dieticians who can help you during this period that is so important in your life.

Myth # 25.Spicy food or heavily spiced food will harm my baby.

Spicy foods will not affect your baby, but they can irritate your stomach and cause gastritis or reflux. Talk to your physician if you have this problem.

Myth # 26.Some vegetables with strong flavors are bad for my baby.

Some people say that eating cauliflower, cabbage or garlic harms your baby, but there is no scientific evidence. Keep a varied diet with all the vegetables like the ones MiDieta™ offers to you, and you will be helping your baby.

Myth # 27.If I am vegetarian, I have to change my diet because of my baby.

A vegetarian diet may be healthy during the pregnancy; however, you have to assess the consumption of food rich in protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium and iron and monitor your weight gain.

Enriched soymilk and cereals are a good source for these nutrients, but check the product labels to make sure that you are eating what you need.

You can take multivitamins and supplements if necessary. The dieticians at MiDieta™ can help you design a vegetarian diet plan so that your protein consumption is the right one.

Myth # 28.I should not exercise during pregnancy.

It is advisable that you do moderate exercise during pregnancy, since it stimulates the blood flow to the uterus, It also keeps you in shape, helps at the time of childbirth and provides a faster recuperation after having your baby. Some of the exercises you can do during pregnancy, under your doctor’s supervision, are Pilates, yoga, tai chi, walking and swimming.

Myth # 29.The placenta protects my baby from harmful substances that I may eat.

The placenta protects your baby from some, but not all, harmful substances.

Therefore, you must avoid the consumption of harmful substances during this period because anything that may harm you will harm your baby.

Myth # 30.I must satisfy any cravings to avoid harming my baby.

The cravings during the pregnancy have nothing to do with your baby; in fact, it is assumed they are the result of hormonal changes occurring in your body. We recommend that you try to satisfy healthy cravings that you have and avoid those that are very high in calories, sugar or fat, so that you can control your weight better during your pregnancy.


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