We all know a few hard-and-fast rules when it comes to eating right and staying in shape: Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Cut back on red meat, fast food, and sodas. Exercise regularly. But you may be surprised to learn that many of the so-called “facts” you swear by aren’t true at all! Here, Dr. Oz busts the top 4 dieting myths.
Dieting Myth 1: Eating Fat Makes You Fat
The name says it all: Fat makes you fat, right? Wrong! Eating a small amount of fat actually helps you feel fuller faster as it triggers satiety (or fullness) signals, causing you to eat less overall. Not only that, eating the right fats aids in the absorption of healthy vitamins. Seek out the polyunsaturated fats you’ll find in liquid oils, like canola and safflower oil. Unlike saturated fats, they won’t raise bad blood cholesterol levels and may even reduce the risk of a heart attack. To get your healthy fat fix, also look for omega-3 oils from fish, krill, seafood, algae, flaxseeds and/or walnuts, and olive oil, which is a source of both monounsaturated fats and omega-3s.
Dieting Myth 2: You Burn Fat Faster by Exercising on an Empty Stomach
Starving yourself before you exercise isn’t only ineffective, it may be harmful. A report published this year concluded that your body burns roughly the same amount of fat regardless of whether you eat before a workout, but you’re likely to lose strength-building muscles by exercising on an empty stomach. Not only that, without food to fuel your workout, exercise intensity and overall calorie burn are reduced. On the other hand, when you exercise with some food in your stomach, you’re burning fat instead of muscle, leaving you with more energy and a higher calorie burn. Be sure to eat 30 minutes before exercise, preferably a liquid-like yogurt or a protein shake so your body can make nutrients readily available for your workout.