Many popular diets claim you can quickly lose weight if you just avoid eating certain foods. If only weight loss was that cut and dried.
As a dietitian, here are some of the most common weight loss misconceptions I hear from my patients:
Myth #1: You have to cut all carbs
It’s virtually impossible to cut all carbs from your diet. They are in so many foods we eat and provide important nutrients. Instead of thinking about cutting all carbs, think about picking healthier carbs in proper portion sizes. For example, a half-cup of cooked brown rice, one medium apple or a medium sweet potato.
Myth #2: Eating fat will make you fat
This common misconception can lead people to attempt to cut all fat from their diet. But the thing about fat is it helps you feel fuller for longer. Similar to choosing carbs, you can choose healthier fats. Opt for olive oil, avocados or nuts.
Myth #3: Going gluten-free is a good way to lose weight
There’s no reason to eliminate an entire food group from your diet – it’s not sustainable over time unless you need to do it for allergy purposes. Although some people believe taking gluten out of their diet will help them drop weight fast, there are healthier ways to achieve long-term weight loss.
Myth #4: Losing weight is as easy as calories in versus calories out
Although it seems like it should be this easy, there are other factors to consider. For example, some people have an underlying health condition that can limit their weight loss or even cause weight gain.
People are often shocked when I tell them they don’t need to eliminate anything – nothing is off the table and everything is okay in moderation. The truth is, we need to eat all of the food groups to get the nutrients we need to stay healthy.
I recommend my patients follow this simple approach: fill half of a plate with non-starchy veggies, a quarter of the plate with protein and the other quarter with starchy veggies or whole grains. Beyond that it’s really up to you – the main thing to remember is to look for foods that add nutritional value as well as things you enjoy. For example, if you love spinach, make a spinach salad topped with a piece of grilled salmon and a few avocado slices.
Although you should limit things like fried or processed foods, additional sauces or dressings and large portions, you don’t need to eliminate anything from your diet. Everything is okay to enjoy once in a while. Just make sure it’s kept in moderation.
Edward-Elmhurst Health can help you achieve your goal weight through Endeavor Health® Weight Management. The program offers both surgical and non-surgical options to help people achieve permanent weight loss – no more yo-yo dieting. Our bariatric surgeons, primary care physicians, dietitians and personal trainers work together to help you get started on your weight loss journey and achieve long-term success.