Thanks to books, television, radio and the Internet, there is a seemingly endless amount of information on dieting and weight loss. It is no wonder, then, why there are so many myths about these two topics floating around.

You want to shed extra pounds and maintain a healthy diet, but how you do begin separating the facts from the myths? Here we examine some of the most common myths about dieting and weight loss so you can become better educated when it comes to following a healthy diet:

  • Myth #1: If you eat after dinner you will gain weight.
    Fact: The truth is that your weight loss efforts will not be inhibited if you indulge in a meal beyond 8PM. Your body works by taking in calories and burning them, regardless of the time of day (or night).
  • Myth #2: Fasting will kick-start any diet.
    Fact: Any type of fasting automatically puts your body into “survival mode,” thereby actually slowing your rate of metabolism! The best way to keep your metabolism at its peak is to eat regularly. Plus, fasting usually results in intense hunger, which will ultimately cause you to overeat.
  • Myth #3: Low-carb diets are more successful.
    Fact: Although it may seem like losing weight is easier when you adopt a high-protein, low-carb diet, the truth is that people who follow these types of diets have a much harder time keeping the weight off long-term. In order to stick to a healthy diet and weight loss program, it must be sensible and reasonable, and eliminating entire food groups from your diet makes it incredibly hard to maintain in the long run.
  • Myth #4: The best way to lose weight is to drink water when you’re hungry.
    Fact: Although water will give you a sense of fullness for a short period, it is not a solution to hunger. Eating foods rich in protein and fiber is the best way to stay comfortable throughout the day and keep your blood sugar levels at reasonable levels so you don’t experience intense hunger and mood changes. Although water should be a staple of every healthy diet, nothing should replace healthy whole grains, vegetables, fruits and proteins in your diet.
  • Myth #5: Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat and calories.
    Fact: Exercising on an empty stomach will not burn more fat and calories; in fact, it may do more harm than good because you aren’t supplying your body with the energy to burn calories. Plus, working out on an empty stomach will likely cause fatigue, thereby cutting a productive workout short.
  • Myth #6: The best way to lose weight is to choose low-fat or fat-free packaged snacks.
    Fact: Low-fat and fat-free foods may be lower in fat, but most of the time the manufacturer replaces the fat with sugar. Because the body turns excess sugars into fat, you may be doing more harm than good every time you indulge in one of these snacks. It is, perhaps, just as important to pay attention to the sugar content in foods as the fat content, as both of these ingredients can lead to weight gain.

Bust these myths, and you’ll be in a better position to lose weight and achieve your goals!

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