No, gluten and dairy aren't the devil. Stop believing these weight loss myths once and for all

By PureWow
November 09, 2015

Maybe you have a high school reunion coming up. Maybe you just haven't been feeling your best. No matter your reasons for wanting to drop a few pounds, read this first and know that not every weight-loss "rule" is true.

Myth: Everyone loses weight at the same rate

The truth: Sometimes slow and steady wins the race, but not necessarily when it comes to dieting. Every body is different. For example, the more weight you have to lose, the faster you'll initially lose it. The opposite is true as well: Someone starting out with a lower body-fat percentage is going to shed pounds at a slower rate because they've got less to lose.

Myth: Don't eat after 7 p.m.

The truth: It doesn't matter what time you take your last bite as long as your overall calorie intake is stable. (Think about thin people all over the world who eat dinner at 10 p.m.) The problem is that late-night snacks aren't typically healthy. Stick to light treats, like fruit or popcorn.

Myth: Skipping meals helps you lose weight

The truth: Sure, breezing over lunch seems like an easy enough trick. But skipping meals is a big no-no if your main goal is to lose weight. Limiting yourself makes you feel sluggish and also more prone to consume larger quantities than you normally would at your next meal.

Myth: Six small meals are better than three big ones

The truth: The thinking goes that multiple small meals boost your metabolism. But studies have shown that there's no real difference in weight loss between those who ate the same calories in three versus six meals. Again, just keep your daily calories in check.

Myth: Avoid carbs at all costs

The truth: In a post-Atkins world, carbs should absolutely be part of a balanced diet. The key is to choose good ones (like brown rice, fruits, and vegetables) over refined and processed versions (like white bread, cookies, and chips).

Myth: All fat is bad fat

The truth: Please get this out of your head. Yes, some fats can bulk you up (namely dairy-related), but others are essential. Take olive oil, which is a monounsaturated fat (the good kind) and has been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol in addition to reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Myth: Gluten and dairy are the devil

The truth: Unless you have a diagnosed health condition, these have no correlation to weight loss. Depriving yourself of goods with gluten or dairy means missing out on great sources of calcium, protein and those good carbs we mentioned earlier.

Myth: Cardio is the only way to shed pounds

The truth: Strength training won't make you a bodybuilder, okay? Lifting weights helps you build muscle, which burns more fat and calories. So, yes, cardio is important, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't pepper in a few weights sessions every now and then.

Myth: Drinking water is a quick fix

The truth: Someone with an unhealthy diet and nonexistent exercise regimen isn't going to lose weight just because he or she drinks a lot of water. You should still hydrate constantly, since water keeps you fuller, and we often mistake thirst for hunger. But don't make it your main weight-loss strategy.

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