Myth: You Have to Cut Out Certain Foods to Lose Weight
Fact: Studies show that low-carbohydrate eating plans like the trendy ketogenic diet can help people lose weight in the short-term, but there’s no strong evidence of the long-term effectiveness or practicality of low-carb eating for weight loss.
“If you abruptly cut out carbohydrates (or any source of calories) from your diet, thereby reducing your total calorie intake, you very well may lose weight in the short term,” says Andy De Santis, RD, a dietitian based in Toronto, Canada.
“This has nothing to do with the carbohydrates themselves. In fact, it’s quite likely the sources of carbohydrates that people are cutting out are items like chips and baked goods, which actually contribute more calories from fat than from carbohydrates, ” he explains.
Another trendy choice: gluten-free diets. While people with celiac disease and gluten intolerances have reason to avoid foods with gluten, there’s no evidence that doing so is helpful for those who don’t.
“People who follow a gluten-free diet for weight-loss purposes may start eating the variety of gluten-free products lining supermarket shelves, which are often full of more sugar and fat to help mimic the flavor and texture of products containing gluten and can even have more calories,” says Amer.
To lose weight — and keep it off — it’s important to eat meals that have a healthy balance of carbs (40 percent), protein (30 percent), and fat (30 percent) in the proper amounts. If counting calories aren’t your thing, then using portion containers can take the guesswork (and math) out of the process.