Some "diet facts" are repeated so often that women can be pretty convinced that they know everything there is to know about fat, carbs and hunger. But when you peel back the platitudes and look at the research, the truth about eating healthy food—and what fills you up and what trims you down can surprise you. Find out the real truth about these common diet myths.
Only eat when you're hungry.
Researchers at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) report that spacing food evenly throughout the day is key to weight-loss success. People who eat healthy food at regular intervals, starting with breakfast, are better nourished, think more clearly and report fewer mood swings than those who eat erratically. Meal skippers are more prone to weight problems probably because once they do eat, they eat too much of all the wrong stuff. People who successfully maintain a healthy weight eat nutritious foods every four to five hours, regardless of whether it's a weekday, weekend or holiday.
People often think they can save calories by skipping meals, but most people more than make up for those saved calories at other times of the day. Keeping track of calories with a food journal is a great way to stay on track throughout the day.
There are no bad foods, everything in moderation.
You may have heard that there are no good foods or bad foods, only good and bad diets. But truth be told, some foods just don't stand up nutritionally speaking. For example a potato chip can't hold a candle to a baked potato. And to say there are no bad foods might be a license for some people to eat anything whenever they want.
What's more, if having cookies in the house triggers a person to binge, then that food could be a problem simply because it results in unhealthy behaviors. Not to say you can't enjoy bad foods once in a while and in reasonable portions, but focus on eating fresh healthy foods and be aware of your own trigger foods.
A low carb diet flushes calories from the body.
Many people believe the body can excrete fat fragments (called ketones) in urine while on a low carb diet, essentially flushing calories out. But a study at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg found no correlation between urinary ketone levels and weight change in women on a low carb diet.
Cutting carbs restricts so many foods that are normally accompanied by fat, that dieters often end up slashing calories overall. The initial rapid weight loss they experience is caused by the body draining glycogen stores for energy. With each gram of glycogen used, 3 grams of water are released, with the result being almost immediate weight loss due to increased urination. After about 10 to14 days, increased urination ends and so does the rapid weight-loss phase.