You may have gotten a lot of advice from your friends and relatives when you said you wanted to lose weight. Right? Don’t eat after 8 pm, stop eating rice, avoid bananas and potatoes, no tea and coffee! And you end up following the advice without realising that it may be doing no good to you.

In reality, you may be surrounded by many misconceptions when it comes to dieting and that is the reason you may fail to achieve your weight loss goals even if you are highly motivated. 

Let’s look at 10 such myths associated with dieting and the impact they can have on you.

1. Myth: Low-Fat Means Low Calorie.

Fact: You cannot eat as much as you want just by seeing the label low-fat. Low-fat does not mean low calories as well. Suppose you are piling up your plate with a low-fat snack, you may actually end up eating more calories if you had only one serving of chips. 

In order to make products low in fat, manufacturers add substituting ingredients like flour, sugar, starch, etc. to improve the taste of the food item, and this adds calories. Thus, always check the nutritional label to get an exact idea about the calories, fat, and sugar content you might be indulging in.

2. Myth: Say Goodbye to Rice, Potatoes, And Bananas.

Fact: You may not have to completely eliminate these items from your diet to lose weight. Understand their calorie count and make smart choices to include these foods in your diet. You can have a banana in the morning which will not only provide you with a dose of potassium, fibre, vitamin C, etc. but will also give you the energy to keep going throughout the day.

Rice contains methionine which helps mobilise fat from the liver, so control the portion of rice rather than just eliminating it. Potatoes, when included sensibly in the diet, can protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer due to their high potassium and Vitamin B6 content.

3. Myth: Avoid Eating Outside Food While Dieting.

Fact: Not all the foods you eat outside are unhealthy. You can choose your options carefully and include them in your healthy diet. Here are some of the tips that you can follow:

  • Opt for steamed, baked, or grilled items rather than deep-fried.

  • Try to avoid high-calorie toppings like cheese, butter, mayonnaise. Instead, you can go for salsa, garlic dip, etc.

  • Choose a wrap or burger that is salad-based.

  • Select fresh fruit juice or milkshake rather than aerated drinks.

4. Myth: Eggs Are High in Cholesterol.

Fact: Eggs for breakfast can help you limit your calorie intake all day. Eggs are a rich source of protein along with several vitamins and minerals essential to your health like B2, B12, vitamin A and E, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. 

Boiled eggs are the perfect option if you do not wish to add more calories. You can include one boiled egg in your daily diet without bothering about the cholesterol content.

5. Myth: Late Night Meals Are Fattening.

Fact: Your weight is a result of what you eat throughout the day and not just at night. This might be true if you are skipping meals in the daytime and bingeing at night. 

Maintain a gap of at least an hour before hitting the bed and eat something light as you do not need many calories in the night.

6. Myth: Eat Less to Weigh Less.

Fact: The misunderstanding that you may lose weight faster if you eat less, is wrong. When you skip a meal or eat less, you will end up binging later on when you feel extremely hungry. And therefore you gain more weight and your efforts get wasted. 

Furthermore, if you keep yourself on an extremely low-calorie diet for a longer period of time, your metabolism gets altered. This may pose a threat to your health as you are restricting yourself from essential nutrients.

7. Myth: Avoid Snacking.

Fact: Mindless snacking can add those extra kilos on the weighing scale, while thoughtful snacking can help you reduce the extra kilos. If you have small, frequent meals with snacks, then you are more likely to get better weight loss results. 

Choose snacks that are low in calories and high in protein so that they can curb your hunger pangs in a healthy way. 

8. Myth: Fast to Reverse Your Feast.

Fact: It is a foolish idea to compensate for your feast with fasting. Your body stores those calories as fat when you eat more than you require. Skipping meals creates an urgent need for energy in your body. 

This need is served by breaking muscle tissue because breaking down fat for energy is a long process and it does not come into circulation that easily. Therefore all your efforts with fasting might go to waste.

9. Myth: Vegetarians Are Devoid of Proteins.

Fact: There are plenty of protein options for you, even if you are a vegetarian. 

By including at least three servings of milk and milk products such as curd and paneer, two servings of pulses especially soybean, and one serving of nuts, you can meet your protein requirement.

10. Myth: Fruits Are Your Best Breakfast Option.

Fact: There is no doubt that fruits are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. But cereal can be a better option when it comes to refuelling your body after a long gap as it contains complex carbohydrates, protein, and fibre. 

Your ideal breakfast should contain a serving of cereal, milk or milk product, and fruit. 

Do not believe all you hear about dieting. Eat a well-balanced nutritious diet and exercise regularly for long-term results. Always aim to stay fit rather than just lose weight. Eat healthy! Stay fit!

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.