These Big Fat Diet Lies May Be Sabotaging Your Ability to Lose Weight

You’ve read every trick in the book in order to lose weight. While some are tried and true tactics, others are unreliable myths. Here are a handful of dieting myths to avoid if you want to see successful weight loss.

You should cut out carbohydrates

man slicing bran bread on a cutting board

Your body needs carbs for energy. |

Most people think that cutting out carbs is the key to weight loss. However, it’s important to understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to dieting. Men’s Health suggests that it’s better to adjust your carb intake based on your activity rather than eliminate carbs altogether. Plus, there are two main types of carbs — simple and complex. Avoid simple carbs, like white pasta and white bread, and opt for complex carbs, like whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread.

You should be doing more juice cleanses

healthy green juice

Your liver and kidneys are responsible for detoxing your system. |

Juice cleanses are not giving you an amazing detox, regardless of what you hear. The liver and kidneys are the body’s own detoxification system, and they do just fine on their own. Juice cleanses tend to be extremely sugary and lack essential nutrients like fiber and protein. After two days on a juice cleanse, your body begins to take protein from your muscles, causing muscle loss. Plus, so much water in your system leads to diarrhea, which can cause dehydration.

Fewer calories are better

Woman eating pizza

No matter what, you should still consume 1,200 calories a day. | m-imagephotography/iStock/Getty Images

No matter how much weight you want to lose, make sure you’re consuming at least 1,200 calories per day. Anything less than that can slow down your metabolism, since your body enters “survival” mode if it thinks you’re starving. Your brain tells your body to conserve energy, which makes eating so few calories counterproductive. 1,200 calories will keep your body functioning normally without your brain stepping in. Only consume fewer than 1,200 calories if your doctor is monitoring your nutrition habits.

Gluten is bad for you

Gluten Free loaf of bread

Most people are not allergic to gluten. | chameleonseye/iStock/Getty Images

For some people, such as those with Celiac disease, eliminating gluten is essential to your health. However, if this is not you, it can actually do more harm than good. Gluten-free foods are often filled with extra fats and sugars to make the products more palatable. They lack essential dietary fiber and other micronutrients, too. You’d need to eat more in order to make up for the nutrients that gluten-free foods lack. Plus, your wallet will take a big hit. Most gluten free products are more expensive, and ordering gluten free at a restaurant will usually run you about five dollars extra.

You need to lose weight slowly

female feet on a weighing scale

Gradual weight loss is key. |

It’s easy to think that fast weight loss is bad for you. While losing weight slowly is okay, you don’t need to lose only half a pound per week. It’s okay to lose three pounds one week and half a pound another — there is no set-in-stone pattern you should follow. A 2014 study out of Australia suggests that a rapid weight-loss regimen actually shows more success than a slower one. One theory is that a quicker weight-loss plan is more tolerable than one that lasts a long time.

Water will satisfy your hunger

young woman drinking water

Water will not keep you full. |

You might think that if you have more water in your stomach, you will eat less food. Women’s Health says this is not the case. Since water doesn’t trigger the same sensors in your brain that food does, you will probably eat just as many calories. Plus, if you substitute water for a meal, you’re skipping a meal and will likely overeat later on. It’s important to incorporate water-rich foods like vegetables, but don’t use water as a substitute.

Always skip dessert

Warm chocolate lava cake sprinkled with powdered sugar

It is okay to have dessert. | viennetta/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It’s true that sugary desserts won’t help you lose weight, but they might help you stick to a weight loss plan. While you shouldn’t dedicate an entire day to cheating on your diet, occasionally satisfying your sweet tooth craving with some dessert or enjoying a night out to dinner with friends can actually help you maintain weight loss. Since you’re not completely depriving your body, you won’t constantly crave certain foods and eventually crash. It’s important to make sure at least eight out of every 10 meals are healthy.

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