Let’s set the record straight on a few diet misconceptions.
1. Skip Breakfast, Lose Weight: People who
skip breakfast may cut back on calories at first, but
once they start eating later in the day, they don’t
stop and end up consuming more food and calories
between noon and bedtime than do people who took
time to eat a nutritious breakfast.
2. Don’t Snack: Contrary to many dieter’s
beliefs, snacking is a dieter’s friend. People who
don’t snack or who let more than four or five hours
go between meals are more likely to overeat later
in the day, and store fat more easily than do people
who nibble regularly. Spreading your food intake
evenly throughout the day doesn’t mean adding
more food to your current diet. It means taking what
you already eat and distributing it more evenly. For
example, save half the turkey sandwich from lunch
for a mid-afternoon snack.
3. Salad is Diet Food: Crispy greens, crunchy
carrots, and luscious winter pears are a weightwatcher’s
dream. However, salad dressing is the
number one source of fat in women’s diets, which
attests to the confusion over what is really a healthful
salad and what is a fat-laden disaster. Skip the
crispy chicken, cheese, croutons, and mayo, too.
4. Calories Don’t Count When You Eat Standing
Up: Unconscious nibbling is a dieter’s bane.
You’re better off deciding what you want to eat, then
putting a serving on a plate. That way you get the
full range of information on how much you’re eating
and are less likely to overdo it. That means no nibbling
from the container, at the serving platter, while
cooking, or off the kids’ or your spouse’s plates!
5. A Portion is My Customary Serving: An
official serving for a muffin is about 1-1/2 ounces.
Most commercial muffins weigh closer to 6 ounces,
or four servings of grain. A recommended serving of
meat is 3 ounces, but a typical serving, say a deli
turkey sandwich contains up to 16 ounces of meat,
or 5+ servings! Use a scale and measuring cups
to learn correct portions.
6. Margarine Contains Less Fat Than Butter:
Whether it’s olive oil, margarine or butter, all fats
contain 40 calories per teaspoon. Some of the “diet”
margarines are whipped with water, which cuts the
fat and lowers the calories.
7. Dieting Is the Best Way to Lose Weight: As
long as “diet” implies a short-term effort, it’s doomed
to fail. A life-long commitment to low-fat foods and
regular physical activity is the only solution to weight
8. Potatoes and Breads Are Fattening: Just
the opposite, carbohydrate-rich foods should be the
mainstay of all diets. But, avoid their high-fat friends,
butter, cream cheese, and sour cream.
9. Chicken Has Less Fat Than Beef: Yes and no.
A skinless chicken thigh contains more than twice
as much fat as an equal serving of an eye of round
roast. Skinless chicken breast is a low-fat alternative
to beef, as long as it is prepared without fat.
10. If You Are Thinking About Food, You Must
be Hungry: Thirst, boredom, fatigue, anxiety and
avoidance of unpleasant tasks (to name only a few)
are often mistaken for hunger. Try drinking a large
glass of water, taking a nap or going for a walk before
heading for the refrigerator.
By Elizabeth Somer
From the Nutrition-Alert Newsletter
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