We’ve all been there. You’ve cut out junk food, stopped the snacking and spend every spare minute in the gym, but you still aren’t seeing any results on the scales. Sound familiar? We’ve spoken to Dr. Michelle Braude, Doctor & Nutritionist and founder of The Food Effect about some of the common dieting myths she encounters regularly in her clinic and on social media, and how these could be preventing individuals from reaching their desired, healthy weight.
1. Myth: Skipping meals will help with weight loss
You might think you’re being virtuous by skipping meals or even going from lunch to dinner without snacking at all, but allowing yourself to get too hungry is not conducive to weight loss explains Michelle. Why? Because when you’re ravenous two things happen. Firstly, anything and everything looks and tastes delicious. Secondly, it takes much more food to feel satisfied. As a result, you end up eventually eating a lot more, and not necessarily making particularly healthy choices.
Having small, nutritious snacks between meals can help to avoid this, by keeping your blood sugar stable and your metabolism going strong.
Michelle recommends always carrying healthy snacks with you if you know you’re going to be out and about for a long time, or working long hours.
Snacks should be around 200 calories or less, and a combination of fibre, healthy fats and protein. Good examples of healthy snacks are a portion of nuts, seeds and dried fruit – an apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter, or wholegrain crackers with hummus.
2. Myth: Everyone should go gluten-free
Unless you have coeliac disease or an intolerance to gluten, there is no advantage to going gluten-free, explains Michelle. Any weight loss that occurs from going on a gluten-free diet is likely to be because you’ve cut the cake, bread and biscuits from your diet, and that you’re eating fewer calories than usual – not because you’ve cut out gluten.
Eliminating food groups unnecessarily can lead to nutritional deficiencies, and subsequent health problems. If weight loss is your goal, it’s much better to focus on your portion sizes instead.