There is so much misinformation in the media today. It’s hard to sift through and know what is right, what’s wrong and what is applicable. Consulting with a Registered Dietitian makes finding the way through it all so much easier.
MYTH: Food eaten after dinner goes straight to your thighs.
REALITY: It doesn’t matter what time of day you eat. It is all about “calories in” vs “calories out” that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. Also, limiting when you allow yourself to eat can put you out of touch with you hunger signals. Listening to your body and eating when you are hungry, whether this is at 4 pm or 11 pm is the best way to stay at a healthy weight and not be burdened with guilt for eating late at night.
MYTH: Never snack between meals
REALITY: Adding small snacks between meals will boost your metabolism and make you feel more energetic making it easier for you to lose weight. It also takes the edge off your hunger, preventing you from overeating at the next meal. The important thing is that you choose a healthy snack, for example, fruits or vegetables, yogurt, air-popped popcorn, or some high fibre/low fat crackers.
MYTH: Eating fat causes weight gain
REALITY: Everyone needs fat in their diets to stay healthy. Fat is an essential nutrient, which provides our bodies with energy, carries some vitamins into our blood stream, makes hormones, and keeps our skin and hair healthy. There are also different types of fat, like omega-3 fatty acids, that have proven beneficial effects on our health. Fat-free products are everywhere in the marketplace, but often contain the same or more calories than their fat-containing versions. Excessive calories causes weight gain…NOT FAT!
MYTH: To lose weight you must eat less
REALITY: Eating less would appear to be the most likely answer to losing weight successfully. An overly restrictive diet is usually quick and is largely a result of water and some muscle loss. Over time, the body compensates for the lack of energy by reducing the amount of energy it uses and reduces your metabolic rate. The less you eat, the more adept the body becomes at storing and holding on to calories. Limiting calories is the answer, at least in part, to losing weight, but over-restricting is counterproductive.
MYTH: Carbohydrates are fattening, or “empty calories” and should be limited
REALITY: Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for your body. The important things to remember about ANY energy source are portion size and calorie content. An important factor is choosing carbohydrates which are high in fibre and vitamin-rich like whole grain breads and cereals, and fruits and vegetables. These have will keep you feeling satisfied for much longer, even with smaller portions.
MYTH: People who are thin are healthier than people who are overweight
REALITY: Weight alone does not indicate health! Many people who are overweight are healthier than those who are thin. They may be more physically active and eat healthier foods, but perhaps have been genetically pre-disposed to being heavier. Never judge a book by its cover!
Watch this great video of obesity expert Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, on the Social, discuss common food myths such as gluten-free, Paleo diets, cleanses and artificial sweeteners:
Information provided on this site is meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from a health professional. Contact your family doctor or registered dietitian to make any changes in your diet.