6 Weight-Loss Myths That Can Actually Make You Gain Weight

It seems like we can’t go a day without hearing the latest weight loss trick or the newest way to diet. With all this information, eating healthy can get complicated if you’re trying to follow so many rules and pay attention to every little thing you are eating.

Most of us now know that the key to getting in shape is adapting overall healthy habits, but there is still some bad weight loss advice that has stuck around despite its inability to prove any results.

Sometimes, what you think might make a difference in the way you look and feel can actually have the opposite result. So if you’re trying to lose weight, avoid these six weight loss tips that can actually end up backfiring on you.

1. Skipping Meals

“One of the most commonly believed dieting tips is that skipping meals will help one lose weight,” says Cheryl Forberg, RD, nutritionist for The Biggest Loser.

“In fact, studies have proven it to be the opposite: skipping meals promotes weight gain. When we skip a meal, by the time we eat, we’re so hungry we consume too much, too fast and choose the wrong foods.”

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2. Eating Fat-Free

Fat has long gotten a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss. “Fat gets a bad rap because it is high in calories, and some fats — such as saturated fats found in meat and whole-milk dairy products, and trans fat found in many processed and fried foods — can increase artery-blocking LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol,” says Forberg.

“But it’s important to understand that ‘good’ fats go hand in hand with a healthy diet.” Healthy monounsaturated fats found in foods like olive oil, avocado, and nuts can help increase your good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol, as well as keep you full and satiated.

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3. Cutting Out Carbs

Although low carbohydrate diets are popular, healthy carbohydrate sources are an important part of a balanced diet. Research shows that carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates and resistant starches, can actually help you lose weight. Instead of ditching carbs all together, opt for vegetables and whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal and ditch refined carbs such as white pasta and white rice.

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4. Counting Calories

“It can be tempting when we want to lose weight to slash calories,” says clinical nutritionist Tara Coleman. “Or, if we have started seeing weight loss and want to see more, we keep eating less and less.

Unfortunately being in too much of a caloric deficit can not only cause us to have uncontrollable cravings for carbs and sugar, but it can also change the way out body is metabolizing food and cause us to hold onto fat.”

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5. Working Out Late At Night

“People often stay up late, sometimes to exercise,” says Robert Ziltzer, MD, FACP, FAAP. “Unfortunately, skipping sleep will actually decrease the amount of calories you burn. You’re actually better off getting the extra sleep and skipping the exercise.”

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6. Staying Away From Dessert

Some people believe if you want to lose weight, you have to cut out all unhealthy food for good. Turns out, depriving yourself can actually lead to more cravings, which can cause you to overeat later.

One study showed that eating a little bit of a desired food every morning can help reduce cravings longterm, while another found that eating just one bite of a food you are craving is just as satisfying as eating the whole thing.

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