When it comes to dieting and weight loss, there is a lot of information out there. It can be confusing and overwhelming to try and differentiate between fact and fiction, especially when the information often conflicts with itself. The truth is, there are many paths on the weight loss journey, and not all of them are created equal. Here are some common weight loss myths to watch out for, followed by the facts that will help you on your own path toward a healthy body weight.
Myth: Snacking will ruin your diet
Reality: It’s not the snacking itself that gives it a bad reputation, it’s the choices we make when deciding what to snack on. Vending machines, for example, are full of unhealthy options that will curb your appetite, but offer little in the way of nutrition. When snacking, it’s important to stay away from refined sugars and simple carbohydrates. Choosing foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, or low-fat dairy products will help you stave off hunger, while keeping calorie consumption to a minimum. As an added bonus, fruits, vegetables, and nuts give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep you energized throughout the day. One of the foundations of the Medifast diet is providing you with six small meals each day. You never feel hungry and you aren’t tempted to binge on unhealthy snacks.
Myth: Carbs are bad for you
Reality: Like all myths, this one has some truth to it. All carbs are not created equal. The carbs you want to avoid are the ones that are high in sugar and refined, white flour. Chips, crackers, and cookies are all examples of refined carbohydrates that should be avoided. Healthy, complex carbohydrates like beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables digest slowly and will provide you with important nutrients. Your body uses carbohydrates as fuel when you exercise; helping you burn fat and calories. So, keep the carbs, just pay attention to which ones you’re consuming.
Myth: Some people can eat anything and still remain thin
Reality: To keep your weight steady, you need to burn roughly the same amount of calories that you consume each day. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. People who can maintain healthy weights while eating just about anything are simply burning those calories fast enough to keep the weight off. There are many factors that come into play here — age, genetics, medicine, and lifestyle choices, to name a few. Why not speak with a certified Medifast weight control counselor about your unique situation? Your counselor will help you develop a plan that will help you lose weight while eating delicious and healthy meals.
Myth: Becoming a vegetarian will help you lose weight
Reality: Again, there is some truth to this statement. Many people who choose a vegetarian diet eat fewer calories than non-vegetarians. Vegetarianism has also been associated with lower blood pressure, lower levels of obesity, and a reduced risk of heart disease. Vegetarians, like everyone else, can make healthy or poor diet choices that have a huge impact on their health. Many carb and sugar-rich snacks are vegetarian, making them an easy choice for hungry dieters.
If you do choose to follow a vegetarian diet, be sure to create an eating plan that allows you to get all the nutrients you need. Common nutrients that might be lacking in a vegetarian diet are calcium, iron, protein, and Vitamin B12. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli are packed with nutrients. Soy products like tofu, tempeh, and miso are good sources of protein and Vitamin B12. For extra iron, add cashews, lentils, and chickpeas to your meal plan.
The Medifast diet is tailored to your individual situation. Our counselors will help you figure out how best to begin and maintain your weight loss plan. It’s important to remember that maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle isn’t only about losing weight. Shedding pounds is just an added benefit of your total health package. By investing in healthy eating and developing an active lifestyle, you will lose weight, gain energy, and improve your overall health.