Trying to pick the right diet can be a difficult decision. There are many popular diets to choose from, and while each one may be effective for others, it does not necessarily mean it is the right diet for you.
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Everyone has different nutritional needs. There are also different diets to consider depending on your goals.
For example, a diet to lose weight is significantly different from a diet to bulk up and gain muscle.
Unfortunately, there is also a good deal of misinformation or confusion about diets. Some myths are based on a kernel of truth, while others are based on older statistics that are no longer relevant.
Listed below are four surprising myths about dieting.
Myth 1: Cutting Calories is Key
Many diets focus only on cutting calories. While it is good to remove some calories from your diet, not all calories are bad.
As with many nutrients, there are both good and bad variants. All food contains calories, which your body needs for energy.
Everything you do throughout the day requires your body to burn calories for energy; even sleeping requires energy! If you try to cut out all calories, you will only make yourself tired and run-down.
This is an especially bad decision if you are also trying to lose weight by exercising.
Another difference between calories is how quickly your body burns the energy. Typically, calories from meats and fruits are more filling than calories from simple sugars, like candy.
The key to a successful diet is often to cut out unhealthy calories while adding healthier variants to your meals.
Myth 2: Supplements Are Essential
Many diets suggest taking supplements such as vitamins and minerals. While these can help with a diet, they do not technically help with weight loss.
Instead, vitamins and minerals are frequently used to provide healthy nutrients you may be lacking after changing the foods you eat.
On their own, they still have health benefits, but won’t necessarily help you lose weight.
Myth 3: Healthy Foods Are Expensive
Another common myth is that healthy foods are overpriced. While there are many brands that advertise themselves as healthy to increase the price, there are plenty of affordable ingredients.
A great way to eat healthier is to make your own food at home, which tends to be less expensive in comparison to buying pre-cooked meals or eating out at restaurants.
If you are on a tight budget, look for fruits and vegetables, as well as beans and lentils.
Myth 4: Diets Involve Cutting Out Meals
While there are some diets that involve cutting out meals, this is not a requirement. In fact, it can be counterproductive.
Some diets ultimately lead to eating less if you replace unhealthy foods with more filling variants.
Instead of trying to cut snacks entirely, replace your unhealthy treats with healthier options, such as substituting chips for carrot sticks.
Trying to cut meals can make you more hungry, which increases the chance of breaking your diet when you get a food craving.