Myths That Will Make Your Diet Fail

Slender woman holding measuring tape
What are the best diet foods? What are the worst ones?

If you’re losing weight, cut back on those carbs, right? Actually, your body relies on carbohydrates as an important source of energy. In fact, the body uses carbs as fuel to burn fat when you work out, so cutting them out of your diet isn’t a smart weight loss move.

Of course, that doesn’t mean all carbs are ideal for weight loss.

If you want to drop pounds faster, you should you limit processed carbs such as white bread and pastries. Instead, enjoy more beans and whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread and pasta, and fruits and vegetables, which provide a host of nutrients and fiber, are low in calories, and can help reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease.

Other Things You Should Rethink…

Frozen fruits and vegetables are less nutritious than fresh ones.

Produce picked at the peak of ripeness does have more vitamins and minerals, but nutrient levels drop during shipping and storage. Frozen veggies and fruit, on the other hand, are usually picked ripe and immediately flash frozen, so they retain most of their nutrients. For calorie control, be sure to select frozen produce without added sugar, syrup, sauces.

Eggs have too much cholesterol.

One large egg has 213 milligrams cholesterol, and health experts suggest limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day or less (200 milligrams a day if you have heart disease, diabetes, or high LDL “bad” cholesterol). However, dietary cholesterol’s effect on blood cholesterol is still a mystery, and studies suggest that saturated fat and trans fat may have a much bigger impact.

If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or high LDL cholesterol, you should eat no more than 2 eggs per week, but you help yourself to egg whites, since the cholesterol is in the yolk.

You don’t need to eat breakfast.

Actually, eating breakfast can help you lose weight. A recent British study that tracked 6,764 people found that breakfast skippers gained twice as much weight over the course of four years as breakfast eaters. Another research group analyzed government data on 4,200 adults. They found that people who ate breakfast tended to eat fewer calories throughout the day.

You can’t lose weight because your metabolism is slow or because of your genes.

Your genes determine about 25 percent of your weight. The rest? It’s all about your daily habits. Whether you’re 25 or 55, you can change your body by eating right and working out (and not forgetting strength exercises).

To lose your belly, you have to focus on ab exercises.

Really want flat abs (or thinner thighs, or more shapely arms)? Then you need to increase your lean muscle throughout your body. When you work all of your muscles, you increase your metabolism. When you increase your metabolism, your body will change.

Exercising in the morning is the best way to lose the most weight.

Fitness experts agree that the best time to exercise is whatever time you actually exercise. While some studies show that people who work out in the morning tend to more consistent exercisers, you burn about the same number of calories whenever you work out. The key is working out regularly.