Guts & hopes busted by weight-loss myths


Stick to facts not folklore with slimming plans

CHOICE says too many weight loss tips pedaled by pundits are hindering rather than helping slimmers, and many may have no benefit at all.

The consumer group's nutritionists say problematic misconceptions are resulting in people putting faith in 'magic' pills, not getting enough nutrients or trying to lose weight using techniques with no evidence of effectiveness.

"Miracle diets and advertisements for quick fixes sell books and fill magazines, especially this time of year. Many of these weight loss tips are short-term fixes that won’t do you much good in the long run," says Ingrid Just, CHOICE spokesperson.

Common weight loss myths or misconceptions include:

1. Eating a big meal at night causes weight gain

Bottom line: It's what you eat and how much that matters, not when.

2. Carbohydrates are fattening

Bottom line: Carbohydrates are important in a balanced diet: fruit, vegetables and wholegrain are nutritious sources.

3. Fat is bad

Bottom line: Cutting down on saturated and trans fats, and including small amounts of good fats, provides valuable nutrients, satiety and enjoyment of food.

4. Celery has 'negative calories' because it requires more energy to digest than it contains

Bottom line: There are no magic weight loss foods or drinks.

5. Cut out all treats: they are just empty calories

Bottom line: Occasionally eating small amounts of your favorite treats gives you an important psychological advantage in weight control.

"People are being bombarded by unsubstantiated weight loss tips and tactics that make big promises. It's become very difficult to know what to believe," says Ms Just.

"As boring as it sounds, to lose weight you need a combination of healthy eating - including the occasional treat - varied physical activity and regular sleep."

For more information about these myths and to get the facts about weight loss go to www.choice.com.au/weightlossmyths.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ingrid Just, CHOICE Spokesperson - 0430 172 669

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