Return to Articles of Interest


Dieting Myths

Unrealistic Goals: You will sabotage all your good efforts if you compare yourself to the models or movie stars. Don't set yourself up for failure.

Not Setting Goals: A good way to throw the whole diet experience up in the air is the failure to set goals and a time table. Make short term realistic goals (ten pounds in one week is an unrealistic goal). Make your goals ones that will eventually get you to your final destination on your weight loss journey.

Low Self-Esteem: It is a fact that men and women with low self-esteem were more likely to be overweight, smoke, and consume more alcohol (according to a report by the University of Wisconsin-Madison).

Diet Supplements: Many over-the-counter diet supplements, if used wrong, can cause dizziness and other side effects. Also, prescription weight loss supplements are dangerous.

Putting Yourself First: Believing that spending time on yourself is too self-indulgent only leads you on the road to failure. Taking the time to become the best you can be allows you to give to others and feel good about doing it.

Fear of Judgment: Some dieters wouldn't leave their homes because they were so ashamed of their weight gain. They created a situation where the world revolved around them while they would sit home, consoling themselves with ice cream, chips, etc.

Food Fakes: Frozen Yogurt: Has less calcium and as much sugar as regular yogurt, without the benefits of active cultures. Sports Drinks: These highly acidic beverages contain lots of calories and can harm tooth enamel. Fat-Free Pretzels: Don't bother - pretzels are already low in fat. Low Fat Cookies: You'll end up eating too many, because the truth is they just don't satisfy.

Fasting: Most dieters report that fasting only caused lightheadedness and deep feelings of deprivation.

Margarine is Better Than Butter: The truth is that margarine is manmade and has absolutely no nutritional benefits. Butter is natural and has anti-cancer and anti-viral properties. The early research says butter may even help in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease whereas some margarine has been linked with causing cancer. The fat content is the same in both. The only benefit margarine seems to have is it contains no cholesterol where butter has about 12 grams per tablespoon so use it sparingly.

Grilled Vegetables Are Lower in Calories: Usually restaurants grill their vegetables in so much oil that the vegetables just soak it up. This makes the grilled veggie dish into one of the heaviest entrees on the menu!

Forgetting Calories: Many dieters are so busy believing that it's fat grams that count that they don't pay attention to the calorie count of what they are eating. It's a combination of the two that will get you to your goal.

Believing Setbacks Are Fatal: There will be less frustration on your weight loss journey if you learn to accept that setbacks are a part of being human. If you look at setbacks as learning tools, it will help you achieve your goal weight. Those that are able to achieve their goal analyze what went wrong, correct the problem and then use it to motivate them to continue on their journey.

Low Fat Foods Are Low in Sugar: Just because a food is low in fat does not mean it is necessarily low in sugar. Read your labels!

Standing Up to Eat Will Burn More Calories: Eating standing up will cause you to overeat. You should never eat standing up unless absolutely necessary.

Exercising Is Dangerous During a Menstrual Cycle: Actually, the opposite is true. It has been found that women who exercise during this time find that it helps to alleviate cramps.

Bananas Are Fattening: Bananas are a wonderful source of potassium and contain valuable protein and contain only 85 calories. They are more filling than some of the other fruits and are great for alleviating constipation.

Using Food to Rebuild Energy: Eating regularly is one of the best ways to keep energy high and fuel metabolic processes. But...choosing junk food as a quick fix will cause brain sugar to rise suddenly and then crash. It's a temporary fix that only lasts about an hour. Fruit is absorbed more slowly into the body and will provide an even energy boost without the highs and lows of sugary snacks.

Believing It's Glandular: There are very few instances where weight problems are caused by the glands.

Bad Habits: A good solution to eliminate the bad habits you have formed is to list all the bad habits and replace them with good ones.

Losing Five Pounds is No Big Deal: Take a five pound bag of sugar and carry it around for an hour or two - then you will really appreciate those minor milestones in your weight loss journey. Your health is greatly improved with every bit of weight you lose.

Limiting Cereals and Breads: The fact is that there is no one food that's bad for you - portion control is the key.

Natural Vitamins Are Better: Scientists find that some "natural" vitamin sources contain higher levels of contaminants than more carefully refined ingredients used in the manufacturing process.

Refusing to Grow Up: Food cravings can be reminders of our childhood. Comfort foods are usually the foods Mom gave you when you came home from school and you had a "bad" day, etc. Most of these foods still feel good today. Researchers have found that it isn't just taste, but the chemical reaction to the brain that makes these foods so appealing.

Vitamins Give You Energy: The energy you get is from the nutrients in the foods you eat NOT in the vitamins you take. It is important to choose foods which will provide the most power. When you are dieting taking vitamin supplements is not a bad idea since you are cutting back on what you eat.

Brown Sugar is Better Than White: Brown sugar is no better than white sugar nutrionally speaking. There is a little bit of molasses in brown sugar though, that white does not have.

Form Doesn't Matter When Exercising: You can put unnecessary stress on your joints if you are doing your weight training and cardiovascular workouts wrong.

Overdoing and Rushing Your Program: You could cause yourself serious health damage (short and long term) if you try to do it all at once. You will also burn out a lot faster.

The Diet Shot: Some alternative diet doctors are administering injections of adrenal cortex extract. The highly controversial extract is taken from the adrenal glands of cattle, sheep, and other animals. The concept is that the injection will help ease a dieter's salt cravings and regulate their blood pressure. There is no research proving these benefits, and there have been bacterial infections involved. The FDA has issued alerts and warnings of serious, life-threatening injuries associated with such shots.

Subliminal Tapes: Success levels with the subliminal tapes are questionable.

Be Wary of Mr. Muffin Man: While some muffins are fairy healthy, like oat bran, others contain as many as 450 calories. Look for low fat muffins and muffins that are rich in fiber. Always check the calorie content - a lot of the low fat ones have as many calories as the regular muffins because of all the added sugar.

Earrings to Control Cravings: There are many "magnetic wellness" products, including earrings, that allegedly controls appetite and cravings. They supposedly work on the same premise as acupuncture. The dieters who tried this method stated that the only thing that stopped them from eating was the pain associated with wearing the earrings.

Microwaves Destroy Vitamins: The opposite is true. Less vitamins are destroyed this way than in traditional ovens. Microwaves pass through your food without any harmful effects.

Spot Exercise Can Reduce Fatty Areas: Spot exercising has no effect on fat but can tighten muscle.

Fiber Tablets: The fiber tablets do not provide the variety of fiber that you get with natural fiber. The liquid fiber supplements are better than the tablets. The best yet is choosing a breakfast cereal (such as Kelloggs Bran Flakes) that has at least six grams of fiber per serving.

Exercising in Special Sweats and Rubber Aids Fat Elimination: It only appears that way because you are losing water through perspiration. The body will still hang on to the fat and the weight will come right back.

Eliminate Eggs: Eggs have always been good for you. Having eggs a couple times a week is a very good source of protein with few calories. Fix your omelets with lots of vegetables.

Saunas Can Help Shed Pounds: The only weight you lose sitting in a sauna is water weight - once you drink more water the weight will come right back. It does feel good to sit in a sauna now and then though!

Alcohol and Diets Don't Mix: There are low calorie choices in alcohol. Champagne and wine spritzers are at the top of the list. Stay away from the eggnog and you should have no problem fitting in that occasional drink.

Non Fat Foods Are Healthiest: This myth has kept us from enjoying many foods. Fat in food not only curbs hunger, but it helps keep insulin levels steady.

Caffeinated Beverages Can Energize: These drinks actually have a dehydrating effect that can drain your energy. Coffee, tea and soda are stimulants that bring you up quickly and then let you crash. You should always chase any caffeinated beverage with an equal amount of ice water. Same goes with any alcoholic beverage.

Fasting Eliminates Toxins: Scientists refute any evidence that fasting eliminates toxins of any variety. Your body naturally eliminates unwanted substances through the usual waste processes.

Too Little Calories: Eat enough calories to fuel your body, but not so many that they get stored as fat. Skip "empty" calories with no nutritional value.

Bright Colors: "Hot" colors, including red, orange, and yellow, stimulate your mood and your appetite. That is not good news if you are trying to lose weight. That is why McDonalds (yellow arches) and other fast food chains use these colors to their advantage. Decorate your dining area in soft tones.

Skipping Breakfast: After sleeping your body has been on an 8-12 hour fast and it needs fuel. If you don't eat breakfast you will make up for it later.

Boredom: Variety in your food, workouts and your life will keep you from getting bored. It is easy to go off your diet if you are bored.

Energy Bars: These are only to be used in emergency situations, not meal replacements. They provide little satisfaction and are loaded with calories.