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Diet & Weight Loss Myths

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

#1: Starches are fattening.

Fact: Even carrots can be considered fattening when the individual's calorie needs are exceeded. As to starches, many are super-low in calories. Just a few examples include: bread, beans, fruits and cereals. So it's not the starch that requires the Evil Diet Eye, rather the high-fat, high-calorie additives such as butter, sour cream, Mayo and creamy dressings.

#2: Certain foods such as grapefruit, cabbage soup, celery, carrots and cucumbers work to burn fat and generate weight loss.

Fact: Foods do not and cannot burn fat. Energy burns fat but it's actually more of an extraction process that occurs when stored energy is taken from the fat cells - thus generating weight loss. In individuals who are at their recommended weight, the body uses the energy consumed throughout the day in conjunction with the energy expended throughout the day to manage weight. Unless there is an overage of calories, there is no excess energy to store in the fat cells.

Any weight loss associated with the foods mentioned above (grapefruit, cabbage soup, carrots and cucumbers) is likely due to the foods being super-low in calories.

#3: Diet, herbal and weight loss supplements, diet vitamins and certain foods burn fat and are safe to use for pursuing weight loss.

Fact: The body requires a certain amount of energy and is constantly changing due to several influencing factors, such as activity level, muscle mass, age, climate conditions and current state of health.

Excess energy equals the calories an individual consumes which exceed the body's daily energy needs - even if the excess calories originate from an innocent, healthy carrot.

The key to expressing the energy from the fat cells is accomplished by creating a situation where more energy will be required by the body than the body intakes in the form of food, or expends in the form of activity. Weight loss can only be accomplished by consuming less energy (calories) than the body needs, or by expending more energy through activity than the body's daily calorie intake can support, thus forcing energy to be drawn from the fat cells.

As to safety, herbal weight loss supplements have some history that we can glance into; those that contained Ephedra (now banned) caused serious health issues, including death. Although banned, many of the revised herbal weight loss supplements contain ingredients similar to Ephedra. It doesn't take a Diet Rocket Scientist to do the math going forward.

#4: High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diets are a healthy way to lose weight.

Fact: Protein helps in ridding water from the body while a decrease in carbs accomplishes the same so the initial yet incorrect conclusion is that a high protein, low carb diet is a healthy mode for weight loss. The trouble is that weight loss, particularly in the initial stages of the diet plan is due to water loss rather than fat loss. When additional carbs are reintroduced into the diet, the weight quickly returns.

- A daily diet mined with protein can end up creating health issues that exceed the ill effects of having too much weight on the body as animal protein sources tend to be extreme in fat and cholesterol  - both proven to raise heart disease risk.

- The exclusion of adequate vegetables, fruits and whole grains places the body at an increased risk for digestive issues.

- Excess protein in the daily diet also puts the body at risk for serious health issues, including death, in those individuals having certain health conditions, particularly hidden health conditions including kidney issues, diabetes and heart issues. Initial symptoms that signal danger include: feeling nauseous, weak, tired, and having no energy.

- A daily diet that contains less that 130 grams of carbs per day may trigger the build-up of ketones in the blood, leading to serious health issues as the body in turn produces high levels of uric acid. Those at increased health risks include individuals who have or have experienced the following conditions: gout, kidney stones, kidney disease, diabetics, and pregnant individuals.

#5: If I take this magic weight loss pill or potion, I can eat anything I want while losing weight - as well as lose weight and burn fat as I sleep.

Fact: This is one of the saddest myths on the Diet Planet. So many individuals are tricked into this type of weight loss scheme, hoping for miracle weight loss as their hard-earned money flies out the window. Using common sense over convincing hype, if there were truly a miracle pill or potion for weight loss, everyone would be taking it and everyone would achieve reaching their recommended weight.

While it is true that an individual can eat anything they want and still lose weight, the calories must remain below their body's daily energy need requirements in order for the weight loss to occur. In addition, fad-type diets almost never provide the necessary nutrition required by the body for good health. What is the point in losing weight, only to fall ill afterwards? And unfortunately, some individuals have fallen to depths of '6 feet under' due to unhealthy, unsafe fad diet plans.

#6: Skipping meals is a great way to lose weight.

Fact: The metabolism is King when it comes to weight management. A sluggish metabolism can really bog-down the weight loss process. Here's how it works....

When the body doesn't receive the energy it requires, it slows down to conserve calories. Although the metabolism is brilliant, it's not smart enough to realize that the individual is purposely skipping meals to generate weight loss. No, oh no....the metabolism actually thinks, "GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST! We must be in a pickle....stranded on a desert island (obviously not on a Dessert Island!) with no food in sight. Unless I conserve my energy resources, we're doomed!"

Furthermore, when the metabolism grows sluggish, the body is simultaneously growing sluggish as blood sugar levels get out of whack. It's an ugly mess.

Bottom line - don't skip meals, rather refuel your metabolism with a healthy spread. Skipping meals will only serve to generate slower weight loss results while putting the body at risk for health issues.

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