Dr. Dirk Busts 5 Common Diet Myths

5 Common Diet Myths

Nutrition and diet can be tricky subjects, especially with the amount of misinformation that can be found on the internet. Unfortunately, diet myths are widespread, and you’ve probably come across one or more of them in your efforts to lose weight.

In this post, Dr. Dirk will dispel some of those diet and nutrition myths to help you make smarter, healthier choices about food.

Myth No. 1: Fad diets can help me lose weight and keep it off.

If your goal is long-term weight loss and good health, avoid fad diets.

Fad diets tend to focus on fast weight loss by reducing your food intake or by avoiding certain foods altogether. Such diets can be nearly impossible to follow long-term, because it’s very difficult to keep certain foods out of your diet for good. Many people on fad diets give up after a while and end up putting the weight back on.

Dr. Dirk recommends…

The most reliable way to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way is to commit to a high-protein, low-carb diet eaten in small, regular meals, and to participate in daily physical activity.

Focus on getting lean proteins (skinless chicken breast, salmon, lean red meat), complex carbs (brown rice, quinoa, beans), and a variety of colorful vegetables in your diet. This combo will deliver the best mix of calories and essential nutrients for your body.

Myth No. 2: Eliminating carbs from my diet can help me lose weight.

Complex carbs, such as whole grains, provide an essential source of nutrients, such as dietary fiber, iron, B vitamins and more. By totally eliminating carbs from your diet, you also lose out on the body’s main source of fuel.

Dr. Dirk recommends…

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. If you’re trying to lose weight or keep it off, your goal should be to consume a high-protein, low-carb (not no-carb) diet, with an emphasis on complex carbs, such as whole grains (brown rice, whole-wheat bread, quinoa, etc.) instead of refined or simple carbs (white rice, white bread, candy, soda).

Myth No. 3: Some people can eat whatever they want and never gain weight.

There are a range of factors that can influence your weight, including genetics, age and lifestyle habits.

But gaining or losing weight is mainly a matter of calories. Simply put, if you burn more calories than you consume in a day, you’ll lose weight. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.

Dr. Dirk recommends …

Since losing weight boils down to burning more calories than you consume, your goal should be to consume a healthy amount of calories per day, and to perform enough physical activity in order to burn those calories and more.

Physical activity doesn’t have to be high-intensity — it can be as simple as taking a walk or dancing. The most important thing is that you get up and move each day.

Myth No. 4: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.

People who skip meals tend to overeat at their next meal. Instead of consuming two small meals of 300-400 calories each, they might eat one meal of 600-800 calories.

Studies show that when two groups of people eat similar calorie amounts — one in multiple smaller meals, the other in one large meal — the meal skippers exhibit elevated fasting glucose levels and delayed insulin response, which could contribute to diabetes over time.

If that isn’t persuasive enough, studies also show a link between skipping breakfast and obesity.

Dr. Dirk recommends…

A better way to approach weight loss is to consume smaller meals throughout the day, instead of hitting your body with a giant dose of calories after hours of hunger.

Myth No. 5: Low-fat or fat-free means fewer calories.

While a low-fat or fat-free version of a food can be lower in calories than a full-fat version, that’s not always the case.

Low-fat and fat-free foods often undergo processing to remove fat. In order to maintain the taste and texture of the food, manufacturers often add ingredients, such as flour, salt, starch or sugar. That means that some low-fat or fat-free food products can have more calories than a full-fat product.

Dr. Dirk recommends…

Always read the nutrition label to check the calories contained in a serving size.

There are a lot of lingering diet myths online. Always be sure to do your research and talk to a doctor to find out whether your nutrition choices are backed up by facts. You may be surprised at what you learn.