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JGSLIMMER's Photo JGSLIMMER Posts: 3,150
1/20/09 10:49 A

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Outrageous Diet Myths

Get the scoop on bogus diet claims—and how they might be sabotaging your weight loss.

1. All carbs are evil. With obesity and diabetes at an all-time high, carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap, mainly because dieters don't distinguish between the two types: simple and complex. Although neither is inherently bad, complex carbs (found in whole grains, berries, and beans) are starches that cause a more gradual change in blood sugar than simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs keep you full for longer periods of time, contain more nutrients and don’t cause the crash associated with simple sugars, such as soda, candy, white bread, and processed snack foods.

2. Fat makes you fat. Like carbohydrates, fat has a bad reputation. Keep in mind, however, that not all fats are created equal. Saturated and trans fats can expand your waistline, raise your cholesterol, and increase your disease risk. But natural, unsaturated fats, found in foods such as olive oil, avocadoes, salmon, and nuts, are essential for good health and can help prevent certain diseases. When unsaturated fats are a part of daily meals, they can also help you feel fuller longer, decreasing the amount of calories that you consume.

3. As long as it's healthy, you can eat 'til your heart’s content. A calorie is a calorie, despite the form that it takes. If you eat too much of anything, calories will add up and derail your weight-loss efforts. Watch out for foods labeled low-fat or low-calorie. A Cornell University study showed that people ate 28 to 45 percent more calories when eating low-fat foods because they thought it was acceptable to increase the amount they ate. Control your portions of all foods to keep the pounds off.

4. The scale is your savior. Depending on factors such as how much you’ve eaten and how hydrated you are, weight loss varies from day to day, so if you’re a slave to the scale, you could be doing yourself (and your sanity) a disservice. That said, if you want to shed pounds, most experts recommend hitting the scale once a week. In addition, you can monitor your progress by using other gauges, including how your clothes fit and the measurements of your waist, arms, thighs, and hips. If your favorite pants are looser and you've lost inches, you're on the right track.



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