Just open a newspaper or magazine, turn on the television, or search “lose weight” on the Internet, and you will find promises of health and well-being readily available in a pill or a potion. How do you separate fact from fiction and avoid fraud?
Here are 5 Dieting Advice That Is Not True:
1. EATING WITHIN CERTAIN PERIOD OF NIGHT CAN Make YOU FAT
Many diets advice encourage individuals not to eat after a certain time of night in the belief that the body will store more fat because the calories are not burned off with activity.
However, studies conducted in whole-body calorimeters (which measure calories burned and stored) showed eaten large meals late at night do not make the body store more fat. It is the total calories ingested per 24-hour period that is important. When fewer calories are ingested than burned, weight loss occurs (and vice versa) regardless of what time the calories are ingested.
2. SNACKING IS BAD
The frequency of snacking is not consistently related to weight gain. In fact, recent evidence suggests that individuals who eat more often tend to weigh less when controlling for the number of calories eaten. Snacking can help individuals avoid feeling that they need to starve themselves to lose weight and can help prevent strong cravings that may otherwise lead to consuming daily overeating. Snacking can also be used strategically before meals (e.g., fruit or salad before the main course) in order to reduce intake of a calorie dense plate. However, the caloric content of snacks is important. Continually snacking on high-calorie foods will likely lead to weight gain, while an increase in snacking on low-calorie foods may actually result in weight loss.
3. DRINKING WATER INCREASES WEIGHT LOSS
Water consumption that replaces caloric beverages may aid weight loss due to a decrease in caloric intake. however, water consumption itself does not result in weight loss. Drinking water may temporarily increase the feeling of fullness. However, studies show that individuals quickly overcome this feeling. choosing foods with a higher water content (lower in caloric density), however, has been shown to reduce overall caloric intake and cause weight loss. therefore, it may be more important for individuals to increase water consumption in the foods they eat as opposed to from the tap or bottle.
4 DIETING IS BAD
In past decades, there was a fear that dieting would lead to eating disorders, binge eating, and/or further weight gain. current research, however, does not support this contention. While improper weigh-loss techniques (e.g., skipping meals, starvation/fasting, purging, compulsive over exercise, amphetamine use) can be associated with disordered eating, evidence demonstrates that proper dieting (e.g., limiting portion sizes, consuming foods low in caloric density, limiting fat intake, balancing nutrients, avoiding excess sugar) actually reduces the incidence of eating disorders and binge eating in overweight individuals.
5 EXERCISE ALONE IS ENOUGH
A common assumption is that increasing exercise is as effective for weight loss as limiting food intake. To a large extent, individuals compensate for caloric expenditure due to exercise and as exercise increases, caloric intake tends to increase as well.
This is not to say that exercise should not be included in a diet program. Studies from the National Weight control Registry (individuals who have maintained significant weight loss) reveal that exercise is the single best predictor of weight loss maintenance. Although exercise has not been shown to significantly increase weight loss when added to lifestyle change diets, it may play an important role in the more difficult task of weight loss maintenance.