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Common "Food" Myths
Myth: I shouldn't eat any fat.
Fact: Fat serves many important functions, such as storing energy, transporting certain vitamins and providing flavor and texture to foods. When it comes to weight loss, calories are the bottom line. Reduced-fat foods often have reduced calories compared to their full-fat counterparts. But, be sure to check the label, as some reduced-fat or fat-free foods have added sugar to maintain their flavor, which increases the calories. When it comes to health, moderate fat intake (20-35% of your calories) is recommended, mostly from unsaturated sources.
Myth: Certain foods can help burn fat.
Fact: There are no foods with magic fat-burning ingredients. Some foods with caffeine temporarily speed up your metabolism, but probably not enough to lead to weight loss.
Myth: Cutting out starches is the best way to lose weight.
Fact: A very low carbohydrate menu is not a healthy way to lose weight! It may stress your kidneys and cause headaches, dehydration and bad breath. It can also make you feel tired, weak, dizzy and nauseated. Although initial weight loss may be rapid, studies show that loss is mostly water and, over time, the total weight lost is no greater than with a more moderate plan. It is also difficult to follow such a restrictive diet over the long-term. Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, beans and other starches are not only rich in carbohydrates, they also provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. Eliminating these foods may reduce nutrients that are important to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and certain cancers. By following a nutrient-balanced menu like Jenny Craig's, you may both lose weight and reduce disease risk.
Myth: Eating after 8:00 p.m. leads to weight gain.
Fact: Your body burns food the same way no matter what time it is. What matters is: what you eat, how much you eat and how active you are. No matter when you eat, excess calories will be stored as fat. If you are eating high calorie/high fat foods while watching late night television, you may gain weight because of your food choices, not due to the time of day. Also, snacking while doing other things like watching television can easily lead to overeating, because distractions may cause you to lose track of how much you are eating.
Myth: I can only lose weight if I eat less than 1000 calories per day.
Fact: Consuming too few calories can send your body into "starvation mode." Your metabolism slows down, putting your body into a state of survival in which it conserves more of the calories you eat, making it more difficult for you to lose weight.