Weight Loss

The 5 Biggest Diet Myths Exposed

The dos and don’ts of dieting have become somewhat of a minefield. Especially if you are stepping away from a more structured ‘plan’ like Exante 800.

There’s so much advice and “facts” out there we don’t know what to believe!

Here at Exante, we investigate the top 5 diet myths and expose the truth behind the hear’say!

Remove all carbs

The Atkins diet forced us all to swear off carbs in the pursuit of our dream bodies. They became ‘The Untouchables’.

Carbs have since become one of the first things dieters cut out in a hope to lose weight.

Whilst following a low-carb diet is a great way to lose weight, the key to long-term weight loss is balance.

Too much (or too little) of a good thing is never good, so a diet that encourages unlimited meat basted in butter should ring alarm bells (think of your kidneys for one)!

Wholesome unprocessed carbohydrates are an important fuel, for brain function, for exercise and they also provide excellent levels micronutrients. Take Sweet Potatoes with their high levels of vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and, due to their orange colour, are high in carotenoids or how about Quinoa which is high in vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, potassium, riboflavin plus minerals manganese, phosphorus, copper, zinc, magnesium and folate and protein, yet its still a carbohydrate.

These are micros that simply can’t be ignored. So keeping some carbs might not be a bad idea after all.

Eating after 8 will make you gain weight

The truth is, there is no cut-off point for calorie burning.

Your body will be burning calories whether its 3pm or 3am so from a biological perspective there is no such reason why eating after a certain time will make you automatically gain weight.

That being said, we are typically less active in the evenings and therefore will burn fewer calories, but that in itself won’t automatically lead to weight gain.

What CAN lead to weight gain, however, are the emotional connections we have to food and times. We’ve all been guilty of it; struggling to resist a dessert after dinner or collapsing on the sofa and ordering a 9pm large Dominoes.

If you do find yourself falling weak at the knees for “midnight munchies”, get brushing those teeth. The minty taste will definitely hamper any desire to eat any treats!

I am overweight so therefore I have a slow metabolism

It’s something we come across regularly during conversations with perspective dieters, the idea that being overweight means you must have a slow metabolism hindering your weight loss.

As with anything, there will be anomalies, and those with medical conditions that impact on metabolisms; however the individuals would know this and would be advised by their medical professional accordingly.

However, numerous studies involving thousands of people worldwide have failed to find evidence to support the widely held belief that overweight people must have slower metabolic rates.

In fact, the opposite appears true: overweight people may actually have a higher metabolism than their leaner counterparts, reflecting the energy requirements of maintaining a larger body size.

Unfortunately, all too often it’s excessive consumption of calories which leads to weight gain (sedentary jobs can be a real diet killer too)! To combat this, we must really be aware of the quantities we are putting into our body.

Lifting weights will make me bulky

Whilst on a full very low calorie diet like exante, it’s not recommend to participate in any sort of strenuous exercise beyond a 20 minute light workout or walk, however if you are losing weight or trying to maintain a weight loss through other means then this is a key piece advice.

Incorporating strength training into your workout routine is the way forward, and you will not get bulky.

Those “bulky” weightlifters you see in the gym or magazines, will tell you how much effort it actually takes to add the muscle mass. The answer? A LOT.

Lifting can instead provide the following benefits:

  • Increased Metabolism
  • Decreased Body Fat
  • Wearing a smaller clothes size
  • A pert bottom
  • Strong legs
  • Defined arms
  • No bulk

So whether it is dumb bells or baked bean cans, kettlebells or bottles of water, lets put some weight behind our workouts.

Lifestyle changes can only happen on a Monday

Okay, so this isn’t quite an official health myth but we do see it floating around quite a lot.

We’ve all been there. Sunday comes, you have it all set that Monday will your day but then Monday happens and you rush out of the house without breakfast, and grab a croissant (or worse, a KitKat chunky) from the canteen between meetings and before you know it you think oh well start as I mean to go on … and Monday soon becomes a dreaded “write off”.

Making a change is all in the mindset and there really is no better time than now to begin your weight loss journey.

No matter how terrible you may think breakfast, lunch or your snacks have been you don’t have to wait till next Monday to make a change.

Make it now and in 3 months time, you’re going to thank yourself for throwing away your “Diet Starts Monday” mentality.

Sophie Angell

Sophie Angell

Writer and expert

Lover of running and baking. Not necessarily in that order.