1. Cutting down tremendously on calories means that the pounds will drop off quicker.

This is not the case! If you consume too few calories you will actually send your body into a tailspin that can contribute to weight gain as opposed to weight loss. You will end up in a mode of starvation.If a message is sent to your brain that you do not have enough to eat and are starving, this will cause your metabolism to slow down a great deal. This does not facilitate weight loss at all.

According to weight loss experts, diets that are as low as 800 to 1,000 calories per day are dangerous, unhealthy and will lead to weight loss failure. If your body thinks it is suffering from a famine, then it immediately kicks into gear to protect you and will not make it easy to get rid of excess weight.

2. Being strict and depriving myself of foods is good.

If you choose a strict diet that severely limits the foods you eat, such as eliminating one or more food groups or mainly eating only one or two foods, this will bore you and you will lose interest in the diet before too long. The body likes variety and so do your taste buds. This is also unhealthy as your body needs a number of different vitamins, minerals and nutrients and it can only get these from a variety of food choices.  Don’t limit yourself to the point of ridiculousness. This is not an effective means of losing weight and it will not work.

3. Say goodbye to all foods that are not deemed as healthy.

This myth is an extension of number two. If you stop eating EVERY unhealthy food that you enjoy, you will be able to shed pounds easier and quicker. This is untrue. You will still remain motivated and on track if you allow yourself to eat an unhealthy favorite food once in awhile.

Moderation is the key to losing weight and to keeping it off in the long term. If you enjoy pizza or a burger from McDonald’s then partake of these pleasures now and again and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty. You are less likely to fall off the horse so to speak or to binge if you give yourself permission to enjoy “fun foods” when the mood strikes.

4. Eating foods late at night is more likely to pack on the pounds.

This is a common myth that is believed by many. The truth is that if you consume more calories on a daily basis then your body requires, the excess will be stored as fat. The opposite is also the case — if you take in fewer calories than you burn then you will shed pounds. For this reason, the time of day you eat does not really matter so much as how much you eat and how much you burn off through physical activity.

According to health experts, you should never go to bed hungry, as this will prevent you from having a sound sleep. You are fasting while you sleep after all. That is what breakfast the following morning- break the fast- is all about. Eating something small and light, such as a few crackers and
some cheese can actually contribute to a more restful night’s sleep.

5. Eating between meals is a dieting no-no.

It is healthier to eat six or seven small meals and/or snacks throughout the course of a day than to eat three meals and nothing else. If you choose a small healthy snack between meals it can actually do you good. The snack will contribute to strong metabolism and it will keep your blood sugar at a stable level. Snacking between meals in a healthy manner also acts as a way to discourage you from overeating at your next meal.

To feel fuller for a lengthier span of time, choose fiber-rich foods such as bran muffins, oatmeal, whole-wheat toast, mixed raw vegetables and sourdough pretzels. If you are not getting enough fat in your diet this can mean your energy levels will be low. To pump it up higher, snack on nuts such as almonds which are an excellent source of protein. Another healthy snack idea is to combine two snacks together. For example, smear some peanut butter on an apple. Keep in mind that the skin of the apple contains the largest percentage of fiber. Graham crackers and yogurt make for a very healthy snack as well.

Speaking of yogurt, this is a good dairy choice for those who are not so crazy about drinking milk. Yogurt will make you feel full and energized. Look for a brand that contains probiotics such as L. acidophilus which is a live bacterial culture that is instrumental in the maintenance of a healthy
digestive tract.

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