Debunk myths before starting a weight loss program

It’s one of the seasons of the year when people are thinking of losing weight. Whether it’s for a family or class reunion or trips to the beach, finding your own motivation for losing weight is critical. It’s also important not to jeopardize your success by believing the myths and misconceptions about weight loss.’

Getting started with a healthy weight loss plan can be a minefield of confusion. Luckily, there are some programs designed to reveal the truth about losing weight the healthy way. The Mayo Clinic Diet – which focuses on changing habits and developing a more healthy, yet still enjoyable lifestyle for a lifetime – is a trustworthy example that breaks through the myths and misconceptions with simple, evidence-based recommendations.

The Weight-control Information Network, a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health, provides a list of weight loss and nutrition myths on its website. Here are a few:

Myth: Fad diets work for permanent weight loss.
Truth: Diets that strictly limit calories or food choices are hard to follow for long periods of time and may not be healthy. You may experience success in the short term, but if you feel the program is not sustainable for you long-term, you will likely gain the weight back quickly.

The Mayo Clinic Diet includes a two-week quick start program that focuses on breaking unhealthy habits and adding healthy habits. According to the book’s medical editor-in-chief, Dr. Donald Hensrud, “It’s the healthiest way there is to lose weight fast. It’s safe and evidence-based, and is intended to be a two-week quick-start program that gets people motivated, helps them understand how their lifestyle habits affect their weight, and gets them on the right track to make permanent lifestyle changes.”

Myth: Eating late in the evening will make you gain weight.
Truth: It doesn’t matter when you eat – a calorie is a calorie at all times of the day. What you eat, how much you eat, and how much physical activity you get on a daily basis are much more influential factors. No matter when you eat, your body will store extra calories as fat.

Myth: Skipping meals will help you lose weight.
Truth: Studies show that people who skip breakfast and eat fewer times during the day are, on average, heavier. The Mayo Clinic Diet recommends eating a healthy breakfast and balanced meals, as well as a virtually unlimited amount of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Weight loss doesn’t have to mean starvation or deprivation, and you just might benefit from the added nutrients of a more well-rounded diet.

Myth: Low-fat or fat-free means no calories or fewer calories.
Truth: Many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many or sometimes more calories as the full-fat versions of the same foods. They may contain added sugar, flour, or starch thickeners to compensate for the flavor that is lost when the fat is removed. All of these ingredients add calories.

Myth: It’s possible to lose weight by eating whatever you want.
Truth: There are some diets that say this is possible, but there are some major qualifiers to the point. It comes down to calories in and calories out. Portion control is key, and learning how to gauge portion sizes can help you avoid needing to count calories or points. The Mayo Clinic Diet offers simple visual cues to help you learn healthy portion sizes of calorie-dense foods.

It’s easy to get lost in the confusing strategies that a lot of diets ask you to follow. But weight loss doesn’t have to be a big mystery. With a good diet plan that you can live with for a lifetime, this might just be the last summer you have to stress about looking good in your bathing suit.

By ARAcontent


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