5 Shocking Diet Myths

Dieters, prepare to be shocked… Here are five of the most surprising myths about dieting.

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Eating late at night will make you put on weight

You’ve probably heard the theory that eating after a certain time will lead to weight gain, but if a study carried out at Dunn Nutrition Centre is anything to go by, this could be another common diet myth. Results of the study suggest there was no correlation between the amount of fat participants stored and the time at which they ate. The real diet mistake is when you eat the wrong types of foods (crisps, chocolate, ice cream) late at night. Many people eat while watching TV in the evening, which can cause you to consume more calories than you need, but this nutrition mistake shouldn’t be blamed on the time of day that you eat at.

Fad diets help you lose weight and keep it off

The latest fad diets might sound like the miracle weight loss cure you’ve been waiting for and although they might initially help you lose weight quickly, they are not a sustainable solution. After you complete a fad diet and go back to your regular eating habits, any weight you might have lost during that time will be put back on. The majority of fad diets also suggest you cut out specific food groups from your diet, restricting your body from you from obtaining certain nutrients, which can leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Rather than falling for this diet myth, a more sustainable option is to stick to a balanced diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight.

Cut dairy to lose weight

For many dieters, cheese, full fat milk and other forms of dairy are generally avoided through fear of putting on weight. But researchers at the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville blew this theory out of the water, as they found that low-fat calcium foods can actually reduce body fat. The researchers suggested that calcium can help encourage the burning (rather than the storage) of fat. Another interesting find from the study was that taking a calcium supplement did not have the same fat burning benefits as eating dairy products. So to lose weight, try eating some natural yoghurt or have a fruit smoothie made from milk, fruit and ice.

You can eat what you want if you exercise

Unfortunately, exercise is not a fast pass to eat whatever foods you want - despite what many people think. Although exercise is undoubtedly an important factor of a healthy life, alone it’s not enough to make up for indulging regularly. So although it might be easy for you to say ‘I’ve earned this treat’ or ‘I’ll burn it off in the gym’ it’s far from easy for your body to burn these additional calories. The occasional treat won’t ruin your weight loss efforts, but the mindset of thinking you can eat anything as long as you exercise is one of the common diet myths you should avoid at all costs.

Carbs should be avoided

Many comfort foods are high in carbohydrates, which is why they often get a bad reputation when it comes to dieting but carbohydrates are your body’s most important source of energy and it’s not a sustainable option to cut them out of your diet long-term. That’s not to say that you should eat excessive amounts of carbohydrates in your daily diet but moderation is key. Where possible, try to avoid highly processed carbs and stick to healthy carbs such as quinoa, vegetables, whole grains, oats and beans. Cutting carbohydrates out of your diet could also reduce the amount of fibre you consume, which can lead to further health deficiencies.