5 Diet and Nutrition Myths That Can Lead to Weight Gain

Load up on protein to lose weight. Fruit is just another carb that can lead to weight gain. No snacking before bed. It’s time to put these scary diet and nutrition myths to bed once and for all! Read on to discover 5 common weight loss myths that are completely false!

Eating After 8PM Can Pack On The Pounds

According to Rania Batayneh, MPH, a certified nutritionist and owner of Essential Nutrition for You, your metabolism has no idea what time of day it is. There’s no need to get all your calories in before a certain time, and you won’t put on weight if you eat after a particular hour. Batayneh says,  “Calories are calories, no matter when you eat them, but what does matter is what and how much of it you eat. Late-night snacking gets a bad rap because often the foods that are consumed late at night are calorie-dense foods (chips, ice cream, pizza, and other junk food) and may be in excess calories to your daily caloric needs, which translates to weight gain.”

Cut Calories with Diet Drinks

Many people assume that substituting a zero calorie, diet soda for sugary drinks is a healthier option that also cuts calories, however, studies show that these drinks actually increase your cravings for sweets. Artificial sweeteners tend to deceive our bodies into thinking that we can have more sweets since we’re not taking in actual calories (or carbohydrates) from diet soda. Batayneh explains, Artificial sweeteners tend to trigger your appetite—making you want more and more sugar—but without actually satisfying a desire for sweets like normal sugar does…Diet soda-drinkers may end up eating tons of sugary and fatty snacks in order to satisfy their cravings.”

A University Of Texas study showed that people who drink 2 or more diet sodas a day tend to have a larger waist circumference compared to individuals who did not regularly drink diet sodas. If you love fizzy drinks, try out sparkling water, or a spritz of lemon in seltzer!

Cut Carbs to Lose Weight

Diets like keto and Atkins  have been praised for their ability to help people lose dramatic amounts of weight in a short amount of time. These kinds of diets may lead you to believe that carbs are the enemy of your waistline, but our bodies need carbohydrates for energy! Batayneh explains, “Eliminating carbohydrates not only reduces whole grains, B vitamins, and a good source of fiber, but it also reduces your body’s feel-good capacity (it’s no wonder that most comfort foods are carbohydrate based)”.

It’s also important to note that removing certain food groups will lead to craving them more. You may even find yourself eating an entire order of french fries when you deprive yourself of carbs. “Starches and carbs are actually an important tool in weight management…They provide belly-filling fiber, complex carbohydrates to keep your engine running all day, and they stimulate the production of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that regulates mood,” says Batayneh.

Going Vegan Can Help You Lose Weight

“While various research shows that vegetarians and vegans, on average, consume fewer calories and less fat than omnivores (a 2009 Oxford study found that vegetarians weigh 3 to 20 percent less than their meat-eating counterparts, and a National Cancer Institute study found that subjects who consumed four ounces or more of red meat weekly were 30 percent more likely to die of any cause than those who ate less), these numbers may be misleading,” explains Batayneh.

Going vegan solely to lose weight can fail for many reasons. Unless, you’re hypervigilant about your vitamin and nutrition intake, you may miss out on many essential vitamins, nutrients, and proteins, to help you sustain your energy, which will also help to keep your metabolism from becoming sluggish. If you’re new to veganism, it’s important to avoid processed vegan foods like vegan cookies, granola bars and veggie chips which can lead to weight gain.

If you’re trying to lose weight with a vegan diet Batayneh recommends, “Aim to get about 10 to 20 percent of your calories from protein (or about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight), replacing animal protein with healthy plant proteins, like those found in beans, legumes…nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy, and soy products…And, whether you are vegan or not, eating more green, leafy vegetables is great for your health and your waistline”.

Protein Shakes Help You Lose Weight

There’s a reason why many bodybuilders love protein shakes when they’re trying to gain weight. Protein shakes can quickly add calories to your diet if you regularly include them as part of your dietary intake. The trick to losing weight with protein shakes is to look for a protein shake that is low in sugar, with very little ingredients. If you stick to a protein shake that is low in sugar, low in calories, with a small amount of ingredients, you can also add fruit and milk, and you can look forward to seeing the scale move down.

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