When it comes weight loss, it seems like everyone has a miracle trick, a no-fail plan, or a waist-changing secret you’ve gotta try. Problem is, few of them actually work. We dug up some common myths you should avoid, so you can build a better body—the healthy way.
1. Adopt a gluten-free diet
If you have a gluten intolerance, that’s one thing. But if you’re just cutting the protein for weight loss, you may end up disappointed in the results. After all, gluten-free foods can be high in calories, too. Hellooo, g-free brownies.
2. Skip meals
Skipping meals may actually increase belly fat, according a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. The researchers suggest spreading your calorie consumption throughout the day to keep your insulin steady.
3. Cut out all “unhealthy” foods
While it’s smart to limit unhealthy foods, taking it to the extreme by eliminating entire food groups is a bad idea: (a.) you’re more likely to feel deprived, making your diet unsustainable, and (b.) taking healthy eating to the extreme is an eating disorder known as orthorexia.
4. Drink lots and lots of juice
Go ahead and drink your favorite green juice for breakfast or as a snack, but remember that an all-liquid diet plan can deprive your body of crucial nutrients—and muscle definition.
5. Cook all of your meals
It’s true that cooking your meals gives you more control over the ingredients, but remember: You need a diet you can sustain.
6. Only indulge on “cheat days”
“A cheat meal is preferable to a cheat day because people tend to eat a week’s worth of calories in a day when they are given such carte blanche,” Jennifer Cohen, a celebrity trainer and author of Strong Is the New Skinny told us. Treat yourself sporadically and you’ll be less likely to snap.
7. Eat low-fat versions of foods
Don’t let organic-looking packaging or healthy-sounding labels keep you from reading the nutrition panel and ingredient list. Many times these products are still loaded with sugar.
8. Follow popular diet meal plans
If it sounds too good to be true (or so bad that you couldn’t keep it up), you need a more realistic weight-loss plan.