The world is full of diet myths. Weight loss and dieting can be treacherous and overwhelming at the best of times. With rumours and diet myths being thrown at you from every direction, it’s hard to get a grasp on what’s real and what’s a load of crap. This can be detrimental to those trying to embark on a fitness journey as it can lead to feeling overwhelmed and developing a troubling relationship with food. Luckily for you, I’m here to bust the diet myths and inform you once and for all what is fact and what is fiction.
1. Don’t Eat After 8 pm
Weight loss is primarily based on calorific intake and health is based on the nutritional value of the food you’re eating. Simply put, eat natural, whole foods and don’t eat ridiculous amounts of them. Simple. The time of day you consume foods has absolutely no effect on weight gain. I think this one may have spawned from the uncomfortable feeling of going to bed and laying on a full stomach. Whilst it may make you feel a bit uncomfortable and gassy, it won’t make you gain weight.
2. Chewing Gum Speeds Up Weight Loss
Chewing gum sends signals to the brain that you’re eating. For some people, this can trick you into feeling more full, however, for others, it can increase the feeling of hunger and make you want to eat more. Tricking your brain into feeling full may result in you actually consuming fewer calories, which leads to weight loss. However, chewing gum will not magically melt fat, it’s still all about caloric intake.
3. Eating Grapefruit Melts Fat
Grapefruits contain a load of great vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, B1, B5 and Fibre which aids digestion. However, a meta-analysis of three randomised controlled trials on the effect of eating grapefruit on body weight found no change in body weight compared to controls. While grapefruit, as with other fruits, is great for you and a worthwhile snack, your fat will not magically melt away whilst eating it.
4. You Have to Cut Out All ‘Naughty’ Foods to Lose Weight
We need to get out of this mentality that foods are ‘good’ and ‘bad.’ There are really only more nutritionally-dense foods and less nutritionally-dense foods. You don’t have to cut out all the foods you love and consume only steamed fish and vegetables. Quite frankly, it’s unrealistic and makes you much more likely to crack and revert back to bad eating habits. Enjoy the treats you love but just enjoy them in moderation. As long as they fit within your daily goals and you remain in a calorific deficit, you’ll still lose weight in the long term.
5. Fat Makes You Fat
FALSE. The recent popularity of the Ketogenic diet has started to shed some light on this matter. Healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil can help keep you satiated for longer. This will keep you from heading to the snack cupboard. Fat also aids in the absorption of vitamins and nutrients within foods. In the peak of fat-phobia, so many companies launched low fat and fat-free versions of products such as yoghurts. However, these products replaced fat with tons of sugar, making these ‘fat-free’ versions arguably less healthy than the original versions.