15 BS Weight Loss Facts That Everyone Thinks Are True

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Common Weight Loss Myths

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Well-intentioned dieters can fall victim to diet myths that ruin their entire weight loss program. Are you going to be one of them? It's easy to believe certain weight loss "facts" because they are repeated in social gatherings and you may even see them promoted in magazines and on the internet.

But if you dig a little deeper, you'll find that many of these weight loss tips and truisms are misunderstood. Scan this list of diet myths to make sure you have your facts in order to slim down, eat a healthy diet and maintain your goal weight.

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Diets Don't Work

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People who want to lose weight may avoid traditional diets (like calorie counting) because they believe that diets don't work. In fact, there have been studies to confirm that overly restrictive eating programs are likely to backfire. And it is true that many people who lose weight will regain the pounds. But that doesn't mean that all diets don't work.

The truth is that if you want to lose weight, you must change what you eat. And that's a diet. If a weight loss program advertises that you can eat whatever you want and still slim down, it's not likely to work. 

Get the facts: The (One) Proven Method for Weight Loss

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Starchy Foods Cause Weight Gain

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Do you love potatoes and bread? If you're trying to slim down, you might avoid these foods because you've read that they cause you to gain weight. Not true.  

Starchy foods like white bread, white rice and other refined carbohydrates are common sources of empty calories. That means that they provide calories without supplying your body with other important nutrients. But they don't actually cause you to gain weight, unless you eat too much of them. And some starchy carbohydrate foods, like potatoes, do provide nutrients. So you can include them in a calorie-controlled eating plan for healthy weight loss. 

Get the facts: Should I Count Calories or Carbs to Lose Weight?

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Eating Small Frequent Meals Promotes Weight Loss

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Eating small meals and snacks every few hours may help you to slim down. But some studies have shown that when we increase the number of eating occasions throughout the day, we also increase hunger, desire to eat and calorie intake.

There are different ways to get the right number of daily calories to lose weight. Some dieters find that they keep hunger at bay if they eat small frequent meals. But other dieters find that they prefer 2-3 larger meals. One method is not necessarily better than the other.  

Get the facts: How Often Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

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Bananas Make You Fat

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Bananas usually contain 100 calories or more per fruit. Larger bananas might provide 150 calories or more. For that reason, some dieters avoid them. But bananas don't make you fat. In fact, bananas are full of nutrients and when added to certain recipes (like a healthy smoothie recipe) they are a great way to create a creamy texture without using less healthy saturated fats like ice cream.

Get the facts: How to Include Bananas in Your Weight Loss Plan

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Quick Weight Loss Programs Don't Work

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Most weight loss experts will tell you that slow and steady weight loss is the smartest way to reach your goal. And very few successful dieters will tell you that a quick weight loss plan helped them slim down for good. But not all quick weight loss plans are bad.

Some commercial weight loss companies and other popular diets include a quick weight loss "jump start" in the early stages of the program. The quick slim down helps some dieters separate from bad habits and provides motivation for the longer, slower weight loss process ahead. 

Get the facts: Quick Weight Loss Methods That Work

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Peanut Butter is Good for Weight Loss

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Most of us love peanut butter. So it makes sense that a myth about the diet benefits of peanut butter would catch on.  But the truth is that peanut butter is very high in fat, may be high in sugar (depending on the brand) and is easy to overeat.

There are a few dieters who are very good at portion control who might be able to benefit from including peanut butter in their diet. The creamy treat does help us to feel full and satisfied. But for most dieters, peanut butter provides too many calories and too much fat to make sense in a weight loss plan.

Get the facts: The Truth About Peanut Butter and Your Diet

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Starvation Mode Causes Weight Gain

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Do you eat every few hours to avoid "starvation mode?" There is a common belief among some dieters that if you don't eat often enough, your body's metabolism grinds to a halt and you start to gain weight.

It is true that your body will adapt to changing eating patterns and your metabolism may slow slightly to preserve calories, but not to the point where you gain weight. As you eat less and lose weight, it is normal for your metabolism to change.

No weight loss professional would recommend starving yourself to lose weight, but very few people need to be worried about starvation mode.

Get the facts: The Truth About Starvation Mode 

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Low Glycemic Foods Are Better for Your Diet

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The glycemic index is used as the basis for a number of popular diets, including The South Beach Diet. So you might be tempted to eat low glycemic foods to slim down. But not all low glycemic foods are low in calories and not all of them are a healthy part of a weight loss program. Ice cream, for example, is a low glycemic food. But very few successful dieters eat ice cream on a regular basis.

Some low glycemic foods are also low in calories and good for a weight loss program. But not all of them. Make sure you know the difference before you use the popular food index to slim down.

Get the facts: Is a Low Glycemic Diet Effective for Weight Loss?

10
Weight Loss Surgery Is Cheating

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Weight loss surgery is a smart choice for some dieters who have tried traditional weight loss methods without success. But it is not an easy choice.

Patients who undergo bariatric surgery must follow a strict diet and exercise program before and after they undergo their procedure. In addition, many patients experience uncomfortable and difficult physical and social side effects after surgery

The entire weight loss surgery process requires a serious commitment to your health and should never be considered the "easy way out."

Get the facts: Is Weight Loss Surgery Right for Me?

11
Eating Breakfast Boosts Metabolism

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Many dieters who lose weight and keep the pounds off for good eat a healthy breakfast each morning. A smart morning meal can help to curb late morning cravings and help you to avoid vending machine snacks and trips to the coffee shop that can send your daily calorie count through the roof. But eating breakfast doesn't boost your metabolism.

Some dieters skip breakfast with success. Other dieters find that breakfast is an essential part of their complete weight loss program.  Your total calorie intake throughout the day will determine your weight loss success, not the timing of the meals.

Get the facts: Can You Boost Metabolism at Breakfast?

12
High Intensity Workouts Are Better

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The popularity of high-intensity workouts might lead some dieters to believe that HIIT workouts, CrossFit sessions and Tabata classes are the only way to lose weight.

It's true that these sweat sessions are effective for fat loss. But in order for you to benefit fully from high-intensity workouts, you need to do a few easy and moderate workouts during the week as well. In fact, easy workouts are just as important as hard workouts for a healthy, strong and fit body.

Get the facts: The Best Workout Program to Lose Fat

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You Should Always Eat More Protein

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Protein foods help you to feel full for a longer period of time and help you to maintain muscle mass. If you are participating in a strength training program, protein helps you to build muscle as well. But more protein is not always better.  

Protein is good for you, but your body also needs carbohydrates for energy, and good fat sources for healthy cells. It's important to eat each of these macronutrients in moderation and to control your overall calorie intake if your goal is weight loss. 

Get the facts: How Much Protein is Best for Weight Loss?

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Natural Foods Are Better For Your Diet

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Smart shoppers usually buy groceries that are natural for better health. After all, natural foods are better for your weight loss diet, right? Wrong!

There is no regulated definition of the word "natural." So food manufacturers can use the word on food packages even if the food isn't really natural in the way that you might expect it to be. In addition, if weight loss is your goal you need to be especially careful. Some foods that are natural and healthy are also very high in calories. Avocados are a perfect example.  

Before you pay more for foods that are natural, make sure they are also foods that will help you lose weight.

Get the facts: 15 Natural Foods That Help Curb Hunger

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Fat Burners Can Speed Up Weight Loss

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Every dieter has seen ads for fat burners that are "scientifically proven" to help you lose weight. The diet pills or weight loss supplements are often advertised to help speed up your metabolism to burn more fat.  

The problem is that the scientific proof often lacks credibility. Some pills may help to speed up your metabolism, but not in a way that will create a noticeable weight loss effect. Some pills may be dangerous and some are just completely ineffective. 

Get the facts: Sneaky Ways to Spot a Weight Loss Scam

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Healthy Eating Is Easy

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It can be hard for new dieters to face the fact the weight loss is really hard. So, most of us are tempted to believe the advertisements, books and program endorsements that tell us that weight loss is easy. 

But the truth is that changing any habit is hard. Changing our eating habits is especially difficult because our physical, social, cultural and sometimes even emotional patterns involve food. 

Learning to eat a healthy diet is certainly possible. But it takes time and practice. Is it worth the effort? Yes, absolutely. But before you start the process it's important to gather support and set both short and long terms goals to guide you through the process.

Get the facts: The 3 Things That Smart Dieters Know About Weight Loss

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