Wellness: Weight Control
Ignore These Diet âRulesâ
Some rules were meant to be broken, including any that promote unhealthy or unsuccessful modes of weight loss.
If youâve been trying to lose extra pounds without success, you may want to take a look at the diet rules youâve taken to heart. If youâre eating according to outdated or untrue dietary commandments, all your efforts could be in vain.
To turn things around, note these eight so-called diet rules and change your ways if youâve been following the wrong path.
Bailing out too early
Myth: If I eat one high-calorie food, I might as well give up and abandon my diet.
Fact: An occasional splurge wonât derail a healthy eating plan, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) says. By keeping an eye on the big pictureâthat it takes an extra 3,500 calories to gain a poundâyouâll realize eating one 300-calorie piece of cake or bowl of ice cream isnât enough to hurt your waistline.
All or nothing
Myth: To maintain a healthful weight, I can never have another doughnut, piece of cherry pie, or bowl of ice cream.
Fact: If you budget your calories, thereâs room in almost every diet plan for indulgent treats. For example, if you want to splurge on a piece of birthday cake someone brought to work, eat a lighter lunch.
At the end of the day or week, itâs the total calories you consume that determine if youâll lose, gain, or maintain weight, not what you eat at one particular meal, the AND says.
Fat is better
Myth: High-fat foods keep you feeling full longer, so youâre more likely to eat less.
Fact: Research shows fat takes longer to digest but isnât likely to satisfy hunger, the AND says. Instead, the foods more likely to make you feel full are complex carbohydrates, including high-fiber vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, such as brown rice.
Toss the bread basket
Myth: Bread and pasta are fattening and should be avoided.
Fact: Eaten in reasonable portions, these foods are no more fattening than any other food with the same number of calories.
Clean it up
Myth: You should eat everything on your plate.
Fact: Being a member of the clean-plate club wonât win you any gold stars or help feed hungry children in another part of the world. If you have any guilt feelings about leaving food on your plate, take some proactive steps to deal with hunger, such as making a regular donation to a worthy charity.
Go low-carb wild
Myth: I can eat as many low-carb foods as I like and not gain weight.
Fact: Weight gain isnât about carbs, itâs about calories, the AND says. The low-carb diet craze has led many Americans to believe if they eat low-carb foods, calories donât matter. The fact is, many low-carb foods, such as cheese and meat, are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain.
Losing with low-fat
Myth: Low-fat foodsâin any amountâwill help me lose weight.
Fact: Whether you eat too much high-fat food or too much low-fat food, youâll still gain weight if you consume more calories than you need daily.
Fewer choices is better
Myth: The more restrictive the diet, the more weight Iâll lose.
Fact: Studies show restrictive diets are likely to be abandoned, the AND says. For long-term success, find an eating plan you can live with and that can become the ânew normalâ for you, not a diet youâll go on and off.
And donât forget to add a helping of exercise to your day. Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days is an essential part of any weight-loss plan.