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As if dieting wasn't hard enough. Even if you have the will power to stick to a diet plan, you may come across much misinformation that could prevent your diet from being truly effective.
Here are nine common myths that could derail your diet plans.
Myth: A big breakfast will keep you from eating too much later in the day.Slide 2 of 19
Myth: A big breakfast will keep you from eating too much later in the day.
It's a bad idea to skip breakfast because you're more likely to reach for extra morning snacks but this doesn't mean a big breakfast is good idea either. A big breakfast does not keep you from being hungrier later in the day. Worse yet, it can pile on too much extra calories.
A German study of 280 obese and 100 normal-weight people, published this month in the Nutrition Journal, found that eating a big breakfast can tack on an extra 400 calories. Yet we typically don't balance out this morning calorie infusion by eating less later breakfast calories had little or no effect on the number of calories consumed during the rest of the day, the researchers found.Slide 3 of 19
Myth: Eating small portions, or "grazing," throughout the day will help increase metabolism.Slide 4 of 19
Myth: Eating small portions, or "grazing," throughout the day will help increase metabolism.
Modifying your food intake in this way won't increase your metabolism. Though some people might find that eating smaller, frequent meals and snacks helps to control their appetite, making it easier to lose weight, others may experience the opposite effect.
"Some people tend to graze on high-fat, high-calorie foods, which would actually make them gain weight," said Sara Stanner, a registered public health nutritionist and a member of the British Nutrition Foundation.
But "if you are sitting down for a meal, you are more likely to have lower energy foods such as vegetables sides and salads," Stanner said. "In general, studies show that if you are trying to lose weight, the best approach is three planned meals and a couple of healthy snacks."Slide 5 of 19
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Myth: Low-fat or fat-free food will have significantly fewer calories.
Just because a food is labeled as being low in fat does not necessarily mean it's low in calories because fat can be replaced by other nutrients that provide calories, such as protein, starch and sugar.
For example, according to a food guide published by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a small, low-fat blueberry muffin has 131 calories, while a regular blueberry muffin of the same size has 138 calories.
Eating low-fat foods will not automatically lead to weight loss, Stanner told MyHealthNewsDaily. This is especially true if you end up eating larger portions of low-fat foods.Slide 7 of 19
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