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5 Weight Loss Myths

Why those pounds might be sticking around

Myth #4: Avoid fat at all costs.

According to the Harvard study, Mozaffarian says, "fat content per se has little relation to which foods or beverages were associated with weight gain." That doesn’t mean you can eat all the fat you want, of course. Even if calorie control is all that really matters for shedding pounds, we aren’t mere machines: We have to consider our overall health, and the excessive intake of certain fats may increase your risk of important risk factors for heart disease. The NIH advocates a heart-healthy diet, low in saturated fat and trans-fatty acids but high in dietary fiber – whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables.

Myth #5: If you just deprive yourself for a few weeks/months, you can shed the extra pounds and get back to normal life.

This doesn’t work. People who avoid beloved foods nearly always return to their old habits once "The Diet" is over. Loria suggests that rather than choosing a specific diet, people do best by "changing their eating habits so it becomes part of their lifestyle." Think smaller serving sizes in general, and — for your health’s sake — a balanced diet high in fiber, and low in saturated fats and processed food. One way to develop healthy new habits is by keeping a food diary — even without actually calculating calories consumed, Loria says, so you’re more aware of what you’re eating. The key to keeping the weight off, she adds, "is to make the changes that you think you can maintain for the rest of your life."

You may also like: How healthy is your weight? >>

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