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Douglas A. Taranow, DO, FACOS

New York, NY

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Posted November 26, 2013 in Health & Lifestyle

With all the diet crazes going around, it’s hard to know what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to losing weight. Many diet rules have been around for ages with no basis in fact, but countless people eat according to these myths every day. To avoid the frustration of dieting by these rules to no avail, here are several common diet myths debunked and reasonable alternatives to help you actually lose weight.

Reduced-Fat Snacks Will Help You Lose Weight

While excess amounts of fat are definitely not good for losing weight, most low-fat snack options have higher calorie and sugar contents than their originals. The consumption of too many calories, not fat, is a main cause of the extra weight so many Americans carry on their bodies. These reduced-fat snacks usually contain unhealthy ingredients, such as partially or fully hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, that should be avoided in the first place. However, reduced-fat dairy and meat products are the truth to this myth because they have reduced unhealthy fats as well as calories.

As an alternative to unhealthy fat-free or low-fat snacks, choose snacks that have healthy fats in them, such as nuts and avocados, because these fats are an important nutrient that your body needs to function properly.

Eating Before Bed Causes Calories to Turn to Fat

This widely accepted myth is definitely fiction because the time of night you eat doesn’t make a difference as to the way your body metabolizes food. If you eat right before going to bed, you may have restless sleep because your body is exerting energy to digest your food, but the food is still converted the same way as it would have been earlier in the day. Overall caloric intake and physical activity levels are the main components that determine weight, not the time of day you eat.

Many people likely believe this rule because late night snacking out of boredom can lead to unhealthy food choices, which does often lead to weight gain. If you’re not really hungry and just looking for something to do, try to find something fun and active to keep you occupied and your mind off food, and if you are truly hungry, go for a low-calorie snack.

A Carb-Free Diet Leads to a Healthy Weight

Many fad diets instruct their followers to cut carbohydrates or severely reduce their intake of this important source of energy. While dieters may experience weight loss at the beginning of eliminating carbohydrates from their diet, the second they return to eating them they generally gain all of the lost weight back. In addition, carbohydrates give us energy and help our bodies burn fat, so cutting this essential molecule from your diet can actually lead to weight gain.

Just like with fats, there are healthy and unhealthy forms of carbohydrates. Reducing your intake of unhealthy carbs (white bread and pastas, processed desserts, and sugary drinks) and eating more healthy carbs (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes) can give your body the nutrients it needs while helping you lose weight.

If you’ve tried healthy dieting and are still unable to lose stubborn areas of fat or if you’ve lost weight and are left with excess skin and fat deposits, Dr. Taranow can help you reach your body-image goal. Dr. Taranow is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and offers the tummy tuck procedure, liposuction, and other body contouring procedures to give his patients the appearances they desire. Please call (212) 772-­2100 or fill out our online contact form today for more information or to schedule your consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.