13 December 2008

1. Fad diets work for permanent weight loss.
Fad diets are not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Fad Diet is diet that promotes a restricted eating-plan or certain liquid foods lacking sufficient food value is termed as Fad Diet. The fad diets are very low in calories so they cause quite fast weight loss. However, quick weight loss may not be healthy and - in most cases - is not fat loss. It is actually water-loss which is quickly regained when the dieter resumes normal eating.

Fad diets may be unhealthy because they may not provide all of the nutrients your body needs. Also, losing weight at a very rapid rate (more than 3 pounds a week after the first few weeks) may increase your risk for developing gallstones (clusters of solid material in the gallbladder that can be painful). Diets that provide less than 800 calories per day also could result in heart rhythm abnormalities, which can be fatal.

2. High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets are a healthy way to lose weight.
Low carb and high protein/fat is getting most of your daily calories from high-protein foods like meat, eggs, and cheese. You may be eating too much fat and cholesterol, which may raise heart disease risk. You may be eating too few fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which may lead to constipation due to lack of dietary fiber.

Eating fewer than 130 grams of carbohydrate a day can lead to the buildup of ketones in your blood. This will make your body produce high levels of uric acid, which is a risk factor for gout (a painful swelling of the joints) and kidney stones. Ketosis may be especially risky for pregnant women and people with diabetes or kidney disease.

See Does Low Carbohydrate Diets Produce Long-Term Results? for more information.

3. Cholesterol is bad for you.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is made mostly by the liver. It can be bad for us, because it forms deposits that line and clog our arteries. Clogged arteries contribute to heart disease. But we all need some blood cholesterol because it's used to build cells and make vital hormones and there's good and bad cholesterol.

Saturated fats found in food like meat, cheese, cream, butter and processed pastries tend to raise low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as 'bad' cholesterol, which delivers cholesterol to the arteries. 'High density lipoprotein (HDL), or 'good' cholesterol, transports cholesterol away from the arteries, back to the liver.' So choose unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.

4. Low-fat foods help you lose weight.
'Low-fat' or 'fat-free' doesn't necessarily mean low calorie or calorie-free. Check the calorie content of foods, especially cakes, biscuits, crisps, ice creams and ready meals. Extra sugars and thickeners are often added to boost flavour and texture, so calorie content may be only a bit less, or similar to standard products.

Foods labelled low-fat should contain no more than 3g fat per 100g. Watching the quantity is important. People tend to have half-fat spread but then use twice as much. And things like fruit pastilles may be low in fat, but are high in sugar which turns to fat. With low fat foods, look to see where else the calories might come from.

5. Too much protein can damage your kidneys.
There is no study that has been performed that has reached this conclusion. However, we do know that on people with kidney problems, too much protein is contraindicated. Otherwise, in healthy humans, a medium to high protein diet (not more than 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight) is not damaging to the kidneys. Do ensure that sufficient water is consumed in order to help the kidneys process the protein.

6. A protein shake based diet is the best way to lose fat.
Wrong again. Protein shakes are a useful tool to allow for the consumption of a meal when you are on the go. On a diet that requires five to six meals, you can have two to three protein shakes respectively at the most. Do not let anyone fool you into thinking that a protein product is better than any real food meal as this is never the case. Bodybuilders emphasize the intake of real food for faster results.

7. Starches are fattening and should be limited when trying to lose weight.
Many foods high in starch, are low in fat and calories (bread, rice, pasta, cereals, beans, fruits, and some vegetables (like potatoes and yams)). Even they low in fat but if you eat them in large portion or when covered with high-fat toppings like butter, sour cream, or mayonnaise they will become high in fat.

Eating 6 to 11 servings a day, depending on your calorie needs, from the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group—even when trying to lose weight. Pay attention to your serving sizes—one serving is equal to 1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of pasta, rice, or cooked cereal. Try to avoid high-fat toppings and choose whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, bran cereal). Try starchy foods that are high in dietary fiber too, like beans, peas, and vegetables.

8. Drinking a lot of water can help me lose weight.
Drinking water in and of itself will not lead to weight loss. Of course, water is key to a healthy lifestyle and drinking enough has many benefits, but when people lose weight due to drinking water, it's most likely because they're substituting it for high-calorie juices and sodas.

9. Too much water makes you gain water weight.
The more water you drink, the more you will eliminate, thus making water retention a non-issue. Make sure you drink your bodyweight in pounds times 0.66. This gives you the approximate amount in ounces of water that you need to consume per day.

10. Natural or herbal weight loss products are safe and effective.
A weight loss product that claims to be "natural" or "herbal" is not necessarily safe. These products are not usually scientifically tested to prove that they are safe or that they work. For example, herbal products containing ephedra have caused serious health problems and even death. Newer products that claim to be ephedra-free are not necessarily danger-free, because they may contain ingredients similar to ephedra.
See Herbalife - Weight Loss Product for more information
See Back to Nature For Eight Loss- Herbal Products for more information.
See Herb for losing weight: beneficial or harmful? for more information.

11. A slow metabolism prevents weight loss.
Studies have shown that resting metabolism - the number of calories used by the body at rest increases as people become fatter. In other words, the larger you are, the more calories you need to keep your body going and the higher your metabolism. Clare Grace, research dietitian at the Queen Mary University of London, says: 'Weight gain occurs when the number of calories eaten is greater than the number used up by the body. 'Unfortunately, people are becoming increasingly sedentary, burning off less and less calories, and it seems likely this is a crucial factor in the increasing numbers struggling to control their weight.

12. Low-fat milk has less calcium than full-fat milk.
Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk actually have more calcium because the calcium is in the watery part, not the creamy part.

If you're trying to lose weight and cut fat from your diet, skimmed milk is your best bet because it is lower in fat and has 10mg more calcium per 200ml milk than full fat. Semi-skimmed is best for maintaining a healthy lifestyle if you're not dieting. Full-fat milk is best for children and adults who are underweight.

See Calcium Helps Weight Loss for more information.

13. Vegetarians can't build muscle.
Vegetarians can be as muscular as meat eaters by getting their protein from vegetable sources such as cheese, nuts, pulses and grains. You need protein to build muscle, but too much can lead to long-term side effects. The body can only store a certain amount of protein, so too much can damage the kidney. The Department of Health recommends that 50 per cent of energy should come from carbohydrates, 35 per cent from fat and the remaining 15 per cent from protein.

14. You always gain weight when you stop smoking.
Some people gain weight when they stop smoking, some lose weight and some stay the same. While nicotine does increase the body's metabolism, its effect is small. It's far healthier to be an overweight non-smoker than not bother giving up because you think you'll put on weight.

Chewing sugar-free gum or snacking on vegetable strips kept in the fridge is a good idea because you can have these instead of reaching for the biscuit tin. And something like a satsuma keeps your hands occupied until the craving goes away.

15. Many people believe bananas are fattening.
Bananas are low in fat and are packed with potassium.
There is only 0.5g fat and 95 calories in a banana.

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