5 Diet Myths Exposed: Start Losing Weight the Healthy Way!
66.3% of American adults age 20 years and over are overweight or obese.
This can be the year you finally drop those excess pounds, achieve a
strong, streamlined body, and give your health a huge boost with a
commitment to sensible eating.
But in order to reach your healthy weight and keep it there, you'll have to sidestep a lot of diet minefields. So many nutritional myths and faddish
ideas are out there, you could easily wind up sabotaging your weight loss
efforts and compromising your health, without even knowing it.
58% of consumers are actively trying to lose weight to improve either their
appearance, health or both, according to the Natural Marketing Institute's
Health & Wellness Trends Database.
MYTH #1: YOU HAVE TO GO ON A DIET TO LOSE WEIGHT.
REALITY: Most diets don't work. Instead of following the latest fashionable
weight loss program, you should develop healthy, fat-burning habits and
make them part of your daily life.
Atkins, Zone, Ornish...How do they stack up? A recent study tracked the
weight loss results of obese people who followed popular diet plans for one
year. In order to achieve a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI), most subjects
needed to lose 41.8 lbs. At the end of 12 months, those on the Atkins
low-carb plan lost 10.4 lbs; Zone moderate-carb dieters lost 3.5 lbs; and
Ornish low-fat dieters lost 4.9 lbs. With all three diets, most of the
participants started out as clinically obese...and ended up as clinically
obese, with only a very modest weight loss to show for their year-long
dieting efforts. On all three diets, the subjects experienced most of their
weight loss in the first two to six months, and then began regaining most
of their lost pounds.
GOOD HEALTH TIP:
It's easy to get discouraged about dieting when you keep trying the latest
trends... and failing. The best way to achieve permanent weight loss is to
incorporate reasonable, nutritious, and enjoyable changes into your life
that you can stick with over time.
Consumers employed several lifestyle changes to help manage their weight in
the past year.
Smaller portions at mealtime
Making slight lifestyle changes
Regular and consistent exercise
Eating smaller more frequent meals
Making drastic lifestyle changes
Working with dietitian/nutritionist
MYTH #2: DIET FOODS ARE A GREAT HELP FOR LOSING WEIGHT
REALITY: Many "low-fat" foods are surprisingly high in sugar content - and
calories. That's because manu-facturers often add sugar to compensate for
the diminished flavor and texture that results from removing fat.
GOOD HEALTH TIP:
Secrets of Sneaky Sugar: A sugar by any other name is still sugar. Your
"diet" food can contain added sugars in different guises you may not
recognize. Here are some names to look for on the ingredient list: brown
sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice
concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltose, malt
syrup, molasses, sucrose, syrup.
So what's a conscientious dieter to do? As always, the battle of the bulge
is ultimately won in the arena of calories. Carefully check food labels for
total calorie content...even when they're branded "diet" or "low-fat."
The Great Cookie Caper: Let's compare calories of a regular chocolate chip
cookie and a reduced-fat chocolate chip cookie. The regular cookie has 3
fat grams and 49 calories; the reduced-fat cookie has 2 fat grams and 45
calories. A 4-calorie difference is not going to get you into that bikini
by summer! On the other hand, some low-fat choices can significantly slash
your calorie intake. Don't want to give up cheddar cheese? One ounce of
regular cheddar cheese has 6 fat grams and 114 calories; the same-sized
low-fat portion has 1.2 grams of fat and an impressively reduced 49
When the weight loss aim is to improve their health, consumers seem to eat
a more balanced diet (e.g., less sugar, less carbs, etc.). In the past year
consumers limited their sugar, carbohydrate, and fat intake more often than
they used diet food/products to help manage their weight.
MYTH #3: YOU HAVE TO STARVE YOURSELF TO LOSE WEIGHT.
REALITY: Yes, you do have to limit your calories to shed pounds, but
there's no need to starve. You can cleverly choose foods that fill you up,
not out - and keep you satisfied and stoked with energy all day long.
What's your best bet for filling foods? Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables,
legumes and whole grains. Most Americans get only half of the recommended
daily intake of 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber, putting them at risk for
obesity and a host of serious health problems.
* 46% of consumers are choosing to eat fiber rich foods as part of their
weight management plan.10
* Consumers who eat fewer carbohydrates to lose weight also eat fiber rich
foods (66%) and participate in regular and consistent exercise (61%) to
achieve their optimum weight.
Fiber comes in two types, each with its own starring role to play in
protecting health and promoting weight management. Soluble fibers dissolve
in water, and are associated with regulating blood sugar levels and
lowering cholesterol. Insoluble fibers or roughage can't dissolve in water,
but can absorb water. This causes them to swell, making them good bulking
agents that improve gastrointestinal functions and speed up elimination. By
eating sufficient amounts from both fiber types, you'll enjoy their full
range of health benefits. Soluble fibers: apples, citrus fruits, pears,
carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, squash, legumes, lentils, barley, oats,
oat bran, oatmeal. Insoluble fibers: Cabbage, beets, Brussels sprouts,
turnips, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, whole wheat
bread, wheat cereal, wheat bran, rye.
GOOD HEALTH TIP:
Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate more whole grains into
your daily diet:
* Create a whole grain pilaf with a mixture of barley, wild rice, brown
rice, broth and spices. For a special touch, stir in toasted nuts or
chopped dried fruit.
* Try rolled oats or a crushed, unsweetened whole grain cereal as breading
for baked chicken, fish, veal cutlets or eggplant parmesan.
* Freeze leftover cooked brown rice, bulgur, or barley. Heat and serve it
later as a quick side dish.
Decode the Food Label to Find Whole Grains
* Choose foods that name one of the following whole-grain ingredients first
on the label's ingredient list: brown rice, bulgur, graham flour, oatmeal,
whole-grain corn, whole oats, whole rye, whole wheat, wild rice.
* Food labeled with the words "multi-grain," "stone-ground," "100% wheat,"
"cracked wheat," "seven-grain," or "bran" are usually not whole-grain
* Color is not an indication of a whole grain. Bread can be brown because
of molasses or other added ingredients. Read the ingredient list to see if
it is a whole grain.
MYTH #4: FAT MAKES YOU FAT
REALITY: Your body needs fat to function. Fat provides you with energy,
allows you to absorb key vitamins, and helps build cell walls and membranes
throughout the body. Don't deprive yourself of health-giving,
41% of consumers employed a low fat diet in the past year to manage their
weight. And consumers were heavily invested in the use of reduced fat
The trick is to consume the right kind of fat - and in the right amounts.
If you're like most Americans, you may be getting far too much of omega-6
fatty acids...and not nearly enough of omega-3 fatty acids.It's easy to
take in excess quantities of omega-6 fatty acids because the common
vegetable oils in the American diet - such as corn, safflower and
sunflowers oils - are packed with omega-6. So are meat, milk and eggs.
Unfortunately, when you consume large quantities of omega-6, you not only
gain weight, thanks to its high caloric content, you may also grow more
susceptible to inflammation and thickening of the blood.
Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are hard to come by. The reason
you're probably not getting enough of these health-giving powerhouses is
because many manufacturers remove them to keep products fresh. You can ramp
up your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids by nibbling on soybeans,
walnuts, flaxseed and alfalfa, and by adding cold water fish like salmon,
mackerel and sardines to your menu.
Here's a handy guide for getting a healthy balance of fat in your daily
diet: Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most
fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty
acids, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
GOOD HEALTH TIP:
Sip green tea, lose weight? The Chinese have long appreciated green tea for
its remarkable ability to promote digestion, improve mental faculties, and
regulate body temperature. Now an intriguing new study in Japan suggests
that green tea may also have a helpful role to play in losing weight. Over
a 12-week period, one group of men drank a bottle of tea containing 690 mg
of catechins (from green tea) every day, while the other group consumed tea
containing only 22 mg of catechins. The results showed that the men
drinking the tea with higher catechins had lower Body Mass Index (BMI),
body weight and waist circumference compared to the other group. So the
next time you pour a soothing cup of green tea, consider that each sip may
be helping your body break down fat, along with all its other benefits.
MYTH #5: SKIP BREAKFAST TO SLASH YOUR DAILY CALORIE INTAKE.
REALITY: While you may be tempted to miss your morning meal to save on
calories, studies show that skipping breakfast can sabotage your diet
efforts. A recent study examined the role that breakfast intake plays on
body mass index and studied the effect of different types of breakfasts.
After adjustments for sex, age and race, the results showed that people who
ate different types of cereal had a lower body mass index than those who
ate meat and eggs or those who skipped breakfast.
And, for girls, here's a fascinating look at the strong link between a
healthy weight and breakfast: a recent analysis of government data on
breakfast eating in teenagers (ages 12 to 16) showed that the thinnest
girls are the most likely to eat breakfast. On the opposite end of the
spectrum, the most overweight girls are the most likely to skip breakfast.
Of course, not all cereals are created equal. You won't lose weight by
heaping your bowl with sugary cereal, then drowning it in whole milk.
Choose a low-calorie, high fiber cereal and limit your portion size to
about 150 calories. Oatmeal is an excellent option for a satisfying,
high-fiber jumpstart to your day. And try skipping the fruit juice, and
eating the fruit instead. By eating a healthy, filling breakfast, you'll
stay more in control of your appetite and be less prone to overeating later
in the day.
GOOD HEALTH TIP:
Breakfast bonus: Eating small meals more frequently may help lower your
cholesterol. British researchers recently found that people who ate more
than six times a day had lower cholesterol (by about 5%) than those who ate
once or twice daily. The key is to eat small, healthy meals every three or
Who Skips Breakfast? People who are losing weight to improve their
appearance tend to skip meals more than those who are losing weight to
improve their health.
Frequent Weight Loss May Affect Immune Function
You already know that going on fad diets can be frustrating, unhealthy and
ineffective, because the weight you lose comes right back on, every time.
Now there's another reason to end the "yo-yo diet" syndrome - it may
compromise your immune system. Investigators studied a group of healthy,
overweight, post-menopausal women and discovered that the more often the
women had lost 10 pounds or more, the greater the suppression of their
See All LifeSource Vitamins Diet & Weight Loss Products,
Articles, and Studies:
TO SUM IT UP: 5 DIET MYTHS EXPOSED
1. Avoid fad diets and concentrate on making healthy lifestyle changes.
2. Check the labels of low-fat "diet" foods for sneaky added sugars and
high calorie content.
3. Stave off diet-destroying hunger pangs with filling high-fiber foods
like fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
4. Add salmon, mackerel, sardines and other cold water fish to your menu to
increase your intake of health-giving omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Every morning, eat a delicious, low-calorie, high-fiber breakfast such
oatmeal with fresh fruit.
nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library Report
1 nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library, Consumer Obesity
2 Natural Marketing Institute's Health & Wellness Trends Database,
3 Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone,
Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related RiskFactors Among
Overweight Premenopausal Women. JAMA. Mar2007;297:969-977.
4 Natural Marketing Institute's Health & Wellness Trends Database,
5 USDA: Dietary Guidelines. Chapter 7, Page 4
6 Mayo Clinic. Low-fat foods: Not always low calorie? Sept 2006.
7 Medline: Dietary Guidelines. Chapter 6, Page 4
8 Natural Marketing Institute's Health & Wellness Trends Database,
9 Alaimo K. Dietary intake: vitamins, minerals and fiber of persons age two
months and over in the United States: third National Health andNutrition
Examination Survey: phase 1, 1988-91. Advance Data. 1994;258:1-28.
10 Natural Marketing Institute's Health & Wellness Trends Database,
11 Natural Marketing Institute's Health & Wellness Trends Database,
12 nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library, Consumer Fiber Monograph. www.nhiondemand.com
13 USDA: Food Pyramid: Inside the Pyramid
14 USDA: Food Pyramid: Inside the Pyramid
15 nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library, Consumer Obesity
16 Natural Marketing Institute's Health & Wellness Trends Database,
17 nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library, Consumer Omega 3,
Consumer Omega 6, Consumer Fish Oil. www.nhiondemand.com
18 USDA: Dietary Guidelines. Chapter 6, Page 1
19 nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library, Green tea extract and the
effects on weight in men. www.nhiondemand.com
20 nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library, Breakfast's potential
influence on weight. www.nhiondemand.com
21 Shape Up America. Breakfast's Benefits - Weight Management Tool. 2008.
22 Shape Up America. Shape Up & Drop 10. 2006.
23 nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library, Frequency of eating and
24 Natural Marketing Institute's Health & Wellness Trends Database,
25 nhiondemand.com Health & Wellness Library, Frequent Weight Loss May
Affect Immune Function. www.nhiondemand.com
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