The Myths Dispelled: 6 Misconceptions about Diets

17 January 2018 0 Comments Category: Active Lifestyle


With the new year just begun no doubt you’ve made one or two resolutions and perhaps some are food or diet-related. But beware of resorting to extreme measures or embarking on any ridiculous diets in order to achieve your goal.

Don’t forget that we are what we eat, or so the old saying goes, and one that in fact has been substantiated through hundreds of studies which have been carried out in recent years on health and nutrition. That being said, although there have been numerous studies which indicate what the most balanced and healthy diet is, time after time we continue to ignore them and instead allow ourselves to be sucked in by the hype of faddy diets for which there is no scientific basis whatsoever.

What are the most widespread misconceptions about losing weight?

  1. Citrus fruits help to burn fat.

    Lots of people think that lemons and oranges will help them burn fat when so far there have been no studies showing anything of the sort. However, it’s true that citrus fruits possess mild diuretic properties which helps to reduce fluid retention, aid digestion and stimulate pancreas and liver function, speeding up the metabolism.


  1. Whole grains don’t make you fat.

    Some whole foods contain the same amount of calories than their refined counterparts. Where they differ is that the former contain more fibre, which helps you burn fat. However, excessive consumption of wholegrains and whole foods can also cause you to gain weight.


  1. Salt makes you pile on the pounds. 

    Upon weighing themselves the day after having eaten salty foods, some people find they’ve put on weight. This has propagated the belief that salt is fattening. However, in actual fact, salt is calorie-free; what it does do is promote fluid retention, owing to its high sodium content. What’s more, you should always bear in mind that body weight and body fat aren’t one and the same – indeed, you’ll find muscle weighs more than fat.


  1. Don’t eat dinner if you want to lose weight.

    There are three fundamental meals that should never be skipped: breakfast, lunch and dinner. A healthy diet should never involve cutting out or skipping one or another of these meals, since it can be harmful to your health, potentially leading to gastric irritation and yo-yoing glucose levels. In addition, skipping dinner will do nothing except make you irritable and impatient for your next meal.


  1. ‘Light’ products make you thin.

    ‘Light’ products are those that contain 30% less energy value than ‘conventional’ foodstuffs. This means that ‘light’ products are as fattening as their ‘full fat’ counterparts but it doesn’t mean that they possess magical properties that enable us to lose weight or that we can gorge ourselves on them without there being any danger of us getting fat as a result. Let’s take the of example ‘light’ ie ‘low fat’ or ‘low sugar’ shop-bought pastries: does eating them help you slim down or avoid putting on weight? Absolutely not. You’d simply put on more weight eating the non-light version of the same food. Remember that gaining or losing weight depends on how many calories you consume daily and how many you burn.


  1. To lose weight you should avoid carbs.

    A balanced diet should incorporate both proteins as well as carbohydrates and fats; in moderation of course. Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy and they provide us with essential nutrients. It’s therefore okay to reduce your daily intake of carbs but it’s not recommended that you cut them out altogether. In any case, it’s better to opt for complex carbohydrates since they’re much better for you than so-called ‘simple’ carbohydrates.

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