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“Lose weight with the new and improved vanilla ice cream diet!!” says the booming voice in the commercial. Several before and after photos later and “Yay!!!” You are convinced THIS is the diet for you, internally you cheer and clap with glee and rush to sign up….

Interested? Sorry! I just made that one up, there is no such diet (or is there? I could be wrong, I didn’t actually check). It does seem that every day there is another diet or diet tip out there, and it can be so confusing to know which are true and which are downright false.

Truth is, the nutritional needs of each person can vary a lot; yet we all keep looking for the one easy diet that fits all. If you’re having trouble losing weight, the problem may be with your approach, not your willpower. So, before you commit yourself to yet another boot camp, or to cutting all fat from your diet, let’s set the record about healthy eating straight, since there are so much crap about weight loss out there!

Lie #1: The Miracle Diet

The initial success of a diet can certainly make you believe in miracles, but fad crash diets do not promote long-term weight loss.  People are likely to quit extreme diets that promote quick weight loss because they are just too strict.

These diets are also difficult because they may be deficient in necessary nutrients. When your body craves nutrients, it will continue to seek out food even once calorie needs are met. Be aware of what your body craves, and you’ll be more satiated throughout the day.

Lie #2: Carbs Are The Enemy

Even though there are many stories about how a high-protein, low-carb diet produces weight loss, that doesn’t mean it is the healthiest choice FOR YOU. You may not feel good eating a diet high in meat and eggs. There may also be a lack of fibre-rich veggies and whole grains in this diet, which provide essential nutrients and antioxidants.

The side effects of not feeding your body properly include dizziness, weakness, nausea, fatigue and even depression. You need a wide variety of foods to fuel your body so be sure to enjoy a balanced diet.

Lie #3: Diet Soft Drinks Promote Weight Loss

Just because diet soft drinks have the word diet in them doesn’t mean they are any more healthy than regular ones! It turns out that people who drink diet drinks actually have larger waists than those who do not.

But if they are fat-free and zero-calorie, then what could be the problem? The artificial sweeteners used in these drinks makes your brain look for nutrients, but it finds none, triggering the brain to search for even more food. So much for losing weight!

Lie #4: Fat-Free Means No Limits

It’s a great marketing tool, but it really doesn’t help you lose weight. Your body needs healthy fats in moderation to survive so this isn’t a smart solution, and it won’t mean you’re cutting calories either. Foods that are marked low-fat or fat-free are often full of sugar or salt to make up for the loss of flavourful fat. They also tend to have more artificial ingredients than their full-fat cousins.

The concept of fat-free can be deceiving. Since it is less satisfying than the real thing, you are more likely to talk yourself into another serving, adding on additional unwanted calories.

Lie #5: If It’s Herbal, It’s Safe

You know that ephedra-style weight loss pills can be dangerous, but what about something from the herbal supplement section? Bad news: Just because something is labeled “herbal” or “all-natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. There is little regulation on herbal products and no requirement that they be proven effective. Products that are untested can have dangerous amounts of unhealthy and even toxic ingredients. Be very wary.

Lie #6: The Fear Of The Female Hulk

Lots of women shy away from lifting weights and eating lots of protein because they claim it will make them look like a man. The truth is that women just don’t have enough testosterone to grow muscles that will bust through their clothes. In fact, weightlifting is great for weight loss because it helps you burn calories and build lean – meaning not bulky! – muscle mass.

The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day, not just during exercise. You’ll also look and feel stronger, bonus!

Time after time, scientists recommend expending more calories than you consume and choosing healthier options, rather than looking for a magic pill or secret food that will melt the kilos away.

Diet is the biggest factor for effective and healthy fat loss, and if you can nail your eating habits, then you’ll never have to worry about your weight or listen to another lie again.

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