As a dietitian for more than a decade, I’ve heard it all when it comes to weight loss. In an effort to help squash the most common weight-loss myths, I’ve highlighted a few that are likely doing you more harm than good below. Are you guilty of any of these tricks? If so, maybe it’s time to change it up. Let me show you how.
1. Skipping meals – Ultimately you may think “why eat if I am not hungry? I can save those calories and come in low at the end of the day,” but this usually backfires and results in overeating late at night or at times when your body doesn’t need the calories. So don’t skip meals, if you do, skip the late night snacks and watch your portions!
2. Eating fat-free/low cal foods – This may seem like the better choice, lower fat must mean fewer calories and therefore weight loss right? Wrong! When companies remove fat from items they add more sugar to enhance flavor and taste. The more sugar a food has the more you are likely to eat period. Fat in food, keeps you feeling full, the more full you feel the less you eat overall. “Empty” foods don’t fill you up, they may however, fill you out!
3. Not counting calories from alcohol – People tend to watch what they eat but they forget to watch what they drink (and in turn after a few drinks, who knows what happens!). A glass of wine (that is a 5 ounce pour NOT 8!) is 120 calories. When you drink 3 glasses and enjoy a dinner out you can easily consume more than 1,000 calories even if you order healthy. If you are going to drink, make sure to scale back somewhere else (bye-bye dessert) to allow for those extra calories without the extra pounds. You get to choose where you treat yourself so you won’t feel deprived, more so, empowered!
4. Using your workout as an excuse to eat more – Working out makes you feel great but it also can trick you into thinking you can eat more calories because you burned so many. Wrong. We often overestimate how many calories we burn in a workout so, spin class before brunch doesn’t earn you those chocolate chip pancakes (sorry, not sorry). Use your workout to help you create a calorie deficit and to remain healthy and strong rather than an excuse to eat more.
5. Waiting to start on Monday – A bad meal doesn’t mean you should throw all your efforts out the window for the rest of the week to restart again on Monday. Nope, enjoy that treat and get right back on track the very next time you eat and you’ll see that “cheat” won’t even show up on the scale. A week of cheats however will.
7. Thinking all salads are diet friendly – Many salad bars and restaurants give you huge portions and too many toppings. Adding cheese, avocado, nuts, seeds, protein, dressing, olives and bacon all add up (yes even if they are healthy) and can easily turn your salad into a calorie bomb. Keep your salads simple go for greens then add a protein, 3-4 other veggies and one serving of fat to ensure your meal is balanced not booming. Say no to the free bread (those calories aren’t free) and dig. Yes, your salad should be a salad, not a party.