When it comes to dieting over the past 100 years, there have been so many new techniques and advice books that they could literally fill a library all on their own. With these new techniques have come a lot of myths that have been ingrained in our consciousness. We may not even know where we picked up a factoid, but we’re certain that it is true. There are numerous diet myths out there that are not only false, but also harmful. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.
1. Carbs are evil.
While in large quantities carbs can be very bad for you, each and every one of us does need carbs in a balanced diet. The key is finding the right kind of carbs. Yes, you should stay away from refined flour, white rice and other high-starch foods. However, adding whole grains, oats and other smart carbs can actually help you lose weight. You’ll still be able to lose weight without feeling so deprived.
2. You can target zones of fat on your body.
While it would be great if this were true, it simply is not. There is no magic belly fat buster. We all have our problem areas and it would be terrific if we could target them, but it’s just not true. If you want to lose weight in your stomach, you’re going to have to eat less, exercise more and wait for the results. You’ll lose fat all over, not just in your stomach.
3. It’s a good thing to trick your body into dangerous medical states.
One of the most common diets involves cutting out carbs so that your body thinks it is in a state of ketosis. While it sounds like it could work, this is actually quite dangerous in some cases and may even cause organ damage. There are medical conditions that can cause a fatal form of Ketosis. Do you want to mimic one of these dangerous conditions? It’s just not smart without doctor supervision. As we mentioned earlier, we all need carbs, we just need to eat the ones that are “smart.”
4. Starvation or fasting is an effective weight loss tool.
This is patently false. Although you’ll see quick results, you are doing irreparable harm to your body’s metabolism. When you go into starvation mode, you’re telling your body that it needs to store more calories, not less. Once you’re done with your fast and you go back to eating normally, that weight you lost is going to pile right back and then some. That’s right, you’ll be gaining more weight since your body is now thoroughly confused.
5. You can lose tons of weight without exercise.
While this would be great, the only way to consistently lose weight without exercising is by starvation or deprivation. Yes, reducing calories will make you lose weight, but you’re going to eventually plateau. A healthy diet includes the right amount of exercise to keep building lean muscle mass, the key to continuing your journey to burn fat.