You can find a lot of articles on the Internet about myths and stereotypes about diets. At the same time, users often leave comments under them that this or that method works for them, despite all the claims. Not to mention those who work the night shift or play at TonyBet at 2 a.m.
We decided to figure out why this happens and whether there are myths that actually work.
Don’t Eat After 6 p.m.
It’s supposed to “give dinner to the enemy,” which means not eating anything after 6 p.m. This is one of the oldest diet myths. The last 10-15 years “walks” and its light version – ostensibly after 6 you can not eat only carbohydrates, but allowed protein and vegetables.
In reality, only the daily calorie balance is important. To lose weight, it should be negative, about 10-15% less than the norm needed to maintain the current weight. When this condition is met, it doesn’t matter what time of day you eat. Especially since not all people live by the “standard” schedule, going to bed around 10 p.m.
Even if you ate only protein all day and ate a lot of carbohydrates in the evening, but did not go beyond the estimated number of calories, you will continue to lose weight.
The evening meal will simply be used to restore the resources spent during the day, primarily glycogen. But during the day, the body will exist at the expense of calories from glycogen and fat depots accumulated during the night.
Why it might work: If you don’t count calories, but you limit yourself to food for a certain period of time, you can create a deficit without even realizing it. In that case, this method will really work. But it’s often easier to count the right calories, to distribute meals properly during the day and not to suffer from hunger. Moreover, there is a risk that even if you refuse to eat dinner, you will eat so much in the morning and at lunch that you will still overdo the caloric intake. In this case, there will be no weight loss.
After all, if you feel good about giving up one meal, you can use this technique to create a calorie deficit and therefore lose weight. It’s unnecessary to skip dinner, it can be any meal. You can also try the method of interval fasting 16-8, when you fast for 16 hours a day, and for 8 hours you can eat what you want. If you don’t like such restrictions, just watch your calorie count and eat at any time.
A Diet Should Include a Split Meal
The essence of the myth: when losing weight it’s important to eat often, it speeds up the metabolism and contributes to a faster weight loss. It’s usually recommended to eat at least 5-6 times a day and up to 8-10 times.
In reality, for the same number of calories, it makes no difference whether you eat 2 meals a day or conventionally 6-8. Again, it’s all about the daily deficit. If you have one, you lose weight; if you eat within your norm, you lose weight; if you exceed your norm, you gain weight.
As for metabolism, this is also a fallacy. The thermic effect of food is proportional to the calories eaten and will also be unchanged over the day as a whole.
Why it might work: Several factors come into play here. To many people who lose weight, it’s easier to eat more often, at least a little at a time, so you don’t feel hungry when there are long breaks between meals. If you really eat a little and not a high-calorie food (that is, you meet the calorie target), you will successfully lose weight.
A strict daily schedule is better, when all meals are evenly distributed and time-bound. In this case, the production of hunger hormones is normalized, you simply do not want to eat more than necessary, and don’t go beyond your limit of calories. Most people would be optimal with three main meals and 1-2 snacks.
Overall, it’s necessary to start from your preferences and daily routine. If it’s convenient for you to have 5 or 6 meals a day, you are welcome to do so. If you maintain a balance of calories, the frequency of meals doesn’t matter. If, however, you exceed the norm, and split meals will not save you from gaining weight.
You Need to Eliminate Sweets, Fat, Flour, and Other Unhealthy Foods
The essence of the myth: often dieters are advised to completely eliminate a number of products or entire categories. The most common ones to be “put under the knife” are:
- Sweets and everything containing sugar in particular and simple carbs in general.
- Flour, pastries.
- Dairy products.
- Fatty foods.
In reality, restricting your diet too much, not including your favorite foods on the menu, and eating monotonous fasting foods is likely to lead to a breakdown. Many forbidden categories can actually be included in limited amounts. So that these foods fit within the calorie norm. Perhaps the only things that need to be completely eliminated, including not only on the diet, are alcohol and trans fats.
On the contrary, dairy products and fruit should be included in the diet when losing weight – they will not inhibit weight loss by themselves (and also from “dairy” do not get drunk). But they contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Just don’t forget to count calories.
Why it might work: Again, it’s all about daily balance. By eliminating many high-calorie foods, you thus create a deficit. But not everyone will be able to endure such a diet, especially if it’s a long one.
Don’t be afraid to indulge yourself occasionally with your favorite sweets or other “harmful” food. But if you tolerate their exclusion well, and also easily make a tasty and varied menu of healthy foods – you can completely remove them.