Weight loss myths: 3 dieting methods fact checked

This Morning: Dr Zoe discusses carbohydrates in your diet

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When it comes to weight loss advice, there’s so much information out there it can be difficult to sort the facts from the fiction. The bottom line is, everyone is different and what works well for one person may not work well for another. Here are three of the worst pieces of dieting advice, and the facts you need for successful weight loss.

The most effective diet is always going to be the one you find easiest to stick to – if you don’t like the taste of fish, a pescatarian diet is never going to work for you, for example.

Overly restrictive diets, or ones where you don’t enjoy what you’re eating, will result in you having intense cravings for unhealthy foods and breaking your diet.

A diet you enjoy, which allows you to have occasional treats, is likely to be more successful and more sustainable in the long run.

So, if you’ve decided to try losing some weight, make sure you know which weight loss tips are tried and tested, and which are best to be avoided.

An intense exercise regime is the best way to lose weight

Without a doubt, if you go through an intense period of exercising you will shed a few pounds as your body burns so much energy.

However, this isn’t the best way to lose weight and keep it off.

Smaller changes you can stick to over a long period of time is better than attempting to lose weight dramatically and quickly.

The NHS recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week – this could be fast walking, jogging, cycling or gym sessions.

Walking every day is a good way to get your overall exercise up, without having to commit to intense daily workouts.

Carbohydrates make you gain weight

Any diet recommending you to cut out an entire food group – such as carbohydrates – completely should be viewed with suspicion.

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet, and if you choose the right ones, they’ll give you the energy to keep moving and also provide you with essential nutrients like fibre.

Wholegrains like brown bread and brown rice are a better choice than processed carbohydrates if weight loss is your goal – just be careful not to add too much butter or any other calorific toppings.

If you’re struggling with creating a balanced diet, think about speaking to a nutritionist who could help you create personalised meal plans with the right amount of calories, carbohydrates, fats and protein.

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Cutting out snacks and skipping meals will help you lose weight

Starving yourself and ignoring your body when it’s telling you to eat is a very unhealthy and dangerous approach to losing weight.

When it comes to snacking between meals, many people need a little something to keep them going throughout the day.

This is good for your energy levels, particularly if you’re exercising more, and will keep your metabolism working hard.

Just make sure the snack you choose is high in protein and healthy fat, like nuts, yoghurt or a protein bar, rather than reaching for something sugary or high in saturated fats.

Over time, starving your body can have the opposite effect and slow down your metabolism, as well as put you at risk of developing eating disorders.

Don’t forget: food is much more than a calories in/calories out equation, even when your goal is weight loss.

You also need to eat a balanced diet to get all the precious nutrients that your body needs for vital processes, including keeping your immune system fighting fit.

Make sure you drink plenty of water too. Sometimes your body can mistake thirst cues for hunger, causing you to overeat.

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