6 Weight-Loss Myths Debunked

Myth #6: Add More Long Runs

Many runners assume that going longer is always better—especially when it comes to weight loss. But a recent Danish study published in September 2012 found that this isn't always the case. During the study, researchers had overweight participants do 30 or 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Surprisingly, those who exercised less lost more weight during the 13-week study. What's the catch? The group that exercised longer ended up eating more throughout the day than the moderate-exercise group. In other words, the longer they exercised, the more they overcompensated for it.

Make it work Running long is good, but not if you overeat because of it, says Beals. Make sure you pay attention to your diet on days you do run long. On the flip side, beginners should be encouraged to know you don't need to run for hours to see real weight loss results.

Read 14 More Weight Loss Myths to find out if you're guilty of the common slim down misconceptions!

Be a Good Loser

Simple strategies for shedding pounds—and keeping them off.

Change one thing: "If your plan is a huge change, you won't stick with it," says Edward Weiss, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University. Write down five changes you'd like to make; choose one you can manage with the least disruption. Once you keep it up for a few weeks, move on to the next.

Slow down: "When you eat in five minutes, it doesn't give your body time to process and get full," says Margaret Harris, Ph.D., an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Colorado Springs. By slowing down while you eat you'll enjoy yourself more, eat less, and feel satiated.

Keep a mood journal: "Write down not only what you eat but how it makes you feel," says Harris. This will keep you more attuned to your selections, and steer you toward healthy choices that make you feel energized.

Remember it's a Lifestyle: Diets offer a quick way to lose weight but rarely offer long-term solutions, says Weiss. Think of nutritional plans as just that—plans to rethink your eating patterns permanently.

More: Dieting and Weight Loss Action Plan

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