Chances are “lose weight” is at the very top of your New Year’s Resolution list. If it is, you’re not alone; shedding pounds is the number one health concern in the US.
Don’t let these common diet myths sabotage your efforts this year:
Just eat as little as possible. The less you eat, the faster you’ll lose.
This myth is not only wrong, it’s downright dangerous. Super-low calorie diets (900 or fewer calories a day) may result in rapid temporary weight loss, but they put the body under tremendous stress and are a direct invitation to a host of health problems.
The negative effects of starvation diets are both serious and far-reaching; consuming too few calories, especially over an extended period of time, can lead to depression, anemia, low blood pressure, gallstones, brittle bones, and heart rhythm abnormalities.
And to top it all off, eating too few calories can actually make it much harder to lose weight. Clinical studies have repeatedly shown that the body responds to a starvation diet by going into survival mode, which means the metabolism slows down to conserve fuel. The slower the metabolism, the slower your body burns the calories you consume.
Most experts agree that 1000 – 1200 calories is an absolute minimum for healthy, successful weight loss.
There are certain foods or food combinations that will actually burn calories.
Wrong again. There are no foods that make you burn extra calories, and there are no magic food combinations that will automatically put your metabolism into hyperdrive. It all comes down to consuming fewer calories than you expend, while eating enough to keep your body healthy.
Try not to drink liquids when you’re dieting and you’ll lose faster.
This is another myth that’s both dangerous and dead wrong. The body needs lots of liquids every day, and not getting enough can lead to serious medical problems like dehydration and reduced kidney function.
Drinking lots of water is very important when you’re dieting. Not only can it take the edge off hunger and help you bypass the urge to snack, it can be an important factor in burning calories efficiently. A well-hydrated body is more energetic, healthier, and more apt to have a metabolism running at optimum.
You can’t do it on your own.
Ultimately, losing weight is a matter of personal responsibility and self accountability. Though external support can be extremely helpful, it’s not a must and it’s definitely not a guarantee of success. Losing weight all comes down to managing yourself, and that’s something no one can do for you.