If only losing weight was as easy as making a tweak or two to your diet and, voila, you’re on the road to dropping those unwanted pounds. While editing out the bad stuff is rule number one, there are more than a handful of dieting myths out there that are thought to be good, but in reality, they don’t offer up much of any benefit to your body.
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Myth #1: As Long As You Work Out Hard, You Can Eat Anything
This one couldn’t be further from the truth. In order to lose weight, you need to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan—you won’t shed much of anything if you don’t do both. “You can only burn so many calories during a single workout. The calorie burn isn’t usually enough to overcome the excess calories consumed,” says says nutritionist and David Barton Gym trainer Jonathan Keltai.
Myth #2: Eating Less Helps You Lose More
When you’re dieting, and doing it right, it’s all about eating the right foods and not depriving yourself of food. New York certified fitness trainer and nutritionist Franci Cohen says many people think that the fewer calories they take in, the more they will lose. “When you eat too little, your body goes into starvation mode as a means of protecting itself. But, what this does is slow your body’s metabolic function to conserve fat stores for energy use. The most successful dieters are those who eat small meals throughout the day.”
Myth #3: You Have to Cut Out All Carbs Completely
It’s hard to go cold turkey with carbs—and that’s because you really shouldn’t. “Carbs are not the enemy when you’re on a diet,” says Cohen. While refined and processed carbs offer little to no nutritional value (those you should stay away from), healthy carbs are OK to eat. “Eating proteins, fruits and vegetables tend to satiate more than carbs, so you get full eating less,” says Cohen.
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