Myth 1: The only way to lose weight is to avoid carbs.
Fact: You can’t ditch carbohydrates if you hope to eat a healthy diet. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three eating patterns: the healthy U.S. style, the healthy Mediterranean style and the healthy vegetarian style.
“Carbohydrate-rich foods are the foundation of each of these healthy eating patterns,” notes Andrea Dunn, RD, LD, CDE.
Myth 2: It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you count calories.
Fact: “I hear this a lot, especially from adolescents,” says Jennifer Willoughby, RD, CSP, LD. “In reality, many commercial gluten-free items are higher in calories and carbs, and can lead to weight gain over time.”
Gluten-free foods are often lower in fiber, too, which leaves you feeling less satisfied and can lead to more overeating.
Gluten-free diets are medically necessary for anyone with celiac disease and can help with weight loss if done properly, using whole, non-processed foods. “However, they should not be used as a weight-loss strategy,” she says.
Myth 3: Going gluten-free is the solution to weight loss.
Fact: You may think that losing weight means skipping meals and snacks, and feeling hungry all day. But that just leads to irritability, frustration and, ultimately, going off your diet and quickly regaining weight.
“The first rule of dieting is: No skipping meals!” says Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD. “This just makes your body try to hold onto fuel more efficiently by slowing down your metabolism, and often triggers overeating (typically the wrong foods) later in the day.”
Keep hunger at bay to set yourself up for long-term success. You’ll be in a better mood, too.