It's hard to keep track of all the weight loss myths circulating out there. Remembering what, how and when to eat can throw even the most levelheaded mama off her game! Luckily, we've tracked down a couple of the most popular myths you've probably heard and thoroughly debunked them! Keep reading to learn more.
1. Fat makes you fat. This common misconception has people reaching for fat-free alternatives that contain extra sugar. As long as they contain healthy fats, fatty foods are a great way to stave off hunger and lose weight! Try to add nutritious fats like nuts, salmon, eggs, and avocados to your diet. They are packed with nutrients that will actually help you reach your goals.
2. Snacking makes you gain weight. Not if you're doing it right! We definitely don't recommend reaching for a candy bar every time you feel a hunger pang, but snacking every couple hours will boost your energy levels and keep you from overeating during your big meals. Healthier options like nuts, fruits and veggies, jerky, and yogurt go a long way in keeping you full and focused.
3. All calories are created equally. When it comes to counting calories, we are all about quantity over quality. But science shows that we've got it all wrong; quality is essential for weight loss! Different foods create diverse reactions within our bodies. For instance, when you eat a brownie, your body treats those empty, processed calories differently than if you were to eat an apple. Calorie counting is great when you're concerned with portion control, but remember that what you eat is just as important as how much.
4. Carbs are the enemy. Sure, foods that are packed with refined sugar should definitely be avoided. Not all carbs are composed of simple sugars, though. Studies have revealed that there is no connection between weight gain and "good" carbohydrates. Experts recommend consuming healthy carbs, such as whole grains, brown rice, fruits, veggies and legumes, as part of a healthy diet.
>> Recipe: Skinny Chicken Fried Rice
5. There's no such thing as too much protein: Yes, some studies do suggest that adding more protein to your diet than the recommended daily amount may help you lose weight, and to a certain extent that is definitely true. However, it's also true that you can have too much of a good thing! When we eat tons of protein, we tend to skimp out on important fats and carbohydrates. Make sure that you're balancing your meals before you reach for another helping of chicken!
6. Exercise on an empty stomach. A study found in the Strength and Conditioning Journal revealed that exercising on an empty stomach could actually result in muscle loss. If you're still hesitant to consume a full-on meal before your workouts, try grabbing a quick snack like a banana or a cup of yogurt before you hit the gym.
7. Weekends are not for weight loss. As much as we'd like this to be true, you can't slack on your diet and exercise for two straight days just because it's the weekend. All the progress you've made during the week isn't set in stone, so if you indulge in one too many appetizers, cocktails or desserts, chances are that weight will find its way back onto your hips, thighs, and buttocks.
8. Give up your favorite foods. When it comes to dieting, we often get caught up in which foods are "forbidden." Experts say that junk foods are just fine... in moderation. Don't go chowing down on pizza, soda, French fries and an ice cream sundae all in the same day. Indulge once in a while, but be sure to pace yourself and try to share with your friends and family.
9. Skip your morning meal. "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is not the myth here! According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a high-protein, healthy breakfast is absolutely essential to weight loss. It staves off unhealthy cravings and keeps you on track during the day.
10. Don't eat meat. We totally understand if you prefer the vegetarian lifestyle, but don't deprive yourself of meat just because you think it will help you shed those last few pounds! Lean meats are a great source of protein, and lean beef is packed with essential nutrients like vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. Click here to learn what to look for when buying meat!