Fact or Fiction: 10 Diet Myths Debunked

Sorting fact from fiction in the nutrition world isn’t often easy. On the same store shelf, we’re likely to see books and magazines touting the latest “lifestyle plans,” diet tricks, super foods and diet “dos and don’ts”—all with contradicting messages. And while some of these publications are well-intended and contain some valuable information, many present mostly fiction, disguised as fact. Fortunately, many qualified health professionals—me included—care more about public wellness than financial gain or fame.

The following myths are extremely common and worth debunking:

Myth #1: Carbs are criminal—captivating, but cruel.

Fact: Carbohydrates are the body’s and brain’s main nutrient source—the protagonist’s BFF. Severely restricting carbohydrates poses a slew of health risks, including constipation, depressive moods, nutrient deficiencies, fatigue and more.

Tip: Rather than avoid carbs, choose mostly healthy sources, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. (Moderate amounts of sweets or other treats is fine, and often beneficial.)

Myth #2: High-protein diets are weight-control magic wands.

Fact: High-protein diets are far from magical. They’ve been shown to increase the risk for kidney stones, gout, metabolic problems, long-term weight gain and cardiovascular disease. And while increasing your protein intake to 15 to 20 percent of your overall diet is important for building muscle, more than that hasn’t shown any benefits, according to the American Dietetic Association. There is one exception. A low-carb, high-protein diet (also called a ketogenic diet) has been shown to reduce seizures in some epileptic children.

Tip: Aim for meals containing a reasonable balance of complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fat. Particularly nutritious protein sources include fish, beans, lentils, yogurt and quinoa.

Myth #3: Gluten is a sadistic psychopath, harmful to everyone.

Fact: Gluten-free diets are essential for people with wheat allergies or celiac disease, which account for about 1 percent of the population. Avoiding gluten needlessly, on the other hand, which an estimated 23 percent of Americans are currently doing, can make way for nutrient deficiencies and weight gain.

Tip: Unless you have celiac disease, Tricia Thompson, registered dietitian and author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide, recommends emphasizing whole grains and fortified cereals. If you have do have celiac disease, she suggests a gluten-free diet rich in folate sources, like leafy greens and fortified foods, replacing grain products with quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth and taking a daily multivitamin.

Myth # 4: Unless you’re a vampire, night-time noshing triggers fat gain.

Fact: Eating more calories than you burn routinely causes weight gain, regardless of when you eat them. Eating near bedtime, particularly large amounts, can disrupt restful sleep, however. This can indirectly lead to weight gain, because sleep deficits can slow our metabolism and increase our appetites. Eating spicy and fatty foods at night can cause heartburn, if you’re susceptible.

Tip: For restful sleep, leave at least 2 to 3 hours between your last meal and bedtime. For many people, a balanced snack, containing carbs and protein, enhance sleep. Useful examples include oatmeal made with low-fat milk, yogurt and fruit, a whole grain turkey sandwich, mixed nuts and a soymilk/fruit smoothie.

Myth #5: Certain foods have mystical fat-burning powers.

Fact: No foods burn fat. Activity does.

Tip: For improved weight control, amp up your fruit and vegetable intake and emphasize fiber-rich foods, such as beans, lentils, sweet potatoes, raspberries and whole grains. When you eat fatty or sugary foods, keep your portions modest. To burn more, move more.

Myth #6: Not skimping on calories works like kryptonite to Superman; less is best.

Fact: Our lives shouldn’t feel like The Hunger Games. We couldn’t eat, sleep, think, breath or move without calories. Overeating and under-eating can be equally damaging, contributing to a reduced metabolism, brittle bones, excessive body fat and cardiovascular problems over time. What matters is what we gain from our calories (energy and nutrients) and that we consume appropriate amounts.

Tip: Treat yourself like Superman/woman. In order to “fly,” we need enough quality fuel (in the form of calories) to feel energized and function well. If we overdo it excessively or often, we’ll get weighed down. With too little fuel, we’re paralyzed. (That is kryptonite-like.) Instead of loathing, fearing or avoiding calories, emphasize whole foods and aim for variety. Eating balanced meals and snacks and listening to our bodies’ “I’m hungry” and “I’m full”-cues promotes portion control and wellness.

Myth #7: Potatoes are practically poison.

Fact: Potatoes are nutritious. (And French fries aren’t potatoes.) They provide valuable amounts of B-vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and fiber. They also provide tryptophan and complex carbs—promoters of feel-good brain chemicals and calmness. Skinless white potatoes have a high glycemic index, meaning they can cause blood sugar spikes. But even sugar-sensitive people, like people with diabetes, can enjoy spuds with ease by pairing them with other foods.

Tip: If you’re concerned about glycemic impact, eat potatoes—skin-on—as parts of balanced meals. Choose nutritious toppings and cooking methods most often and view fries as occasional treats (if you like ’em). Baked and sweet potatoes, seasoned with olive oil and herbs, are loads healthier than french fries or bacon, cheese and sour cream stuffed taters.

Myth #8: Fruits are so sugary, they belong in the Gingerbread House—not our stomaches.

Fact: The natural sugars in fruits vary big time from table sugar and other added sweeteners. Whole fruits promote blood sugar control—not the opposite. Fruit also provides valuable sources of water, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. (Sheesh!)

Tip: Incorporating fruits and/or vegetables into most of your meals is one of the healthiest moves most people can make. To meet your basic antioxidant needs, aim for at least 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables per day. But, the more the better. Research shows that eating 7-plus collective daily servings guards against heart disease, cancer and early death. So yes. Eat more produce. Please.

Myth #9: Swanky devils wear prada—and follow low-fat diets.

Fact: Our diets should contain moderate amounts of fat, or about 30 percent of our total calories. Our bodies rely on fat for tissue repair, energy and absorption of fat-soluble nutrients (vitamins A, D, E and K). Eating too little fat can cause brittle nails and hair, skin problems, mood swings, fatigue and nutrient deficiencies.

Tip: Incorporate moderate amounts of fat—mainly from healthy sources—into your meals and snacks. Since fat grams are denser than carbs and protein, small-ish portions suffice. Drizzle your veggies with olive oil, for example, or snack on 1/3 cup of mixed nuts or seeds. Other healthy sources include nut butters, fatty fish, canola oil and avocados.

Myth #10: Dietary supplements are so The Jetsons-esque.

Fact: As much fun as the futuristic cartoon made it look, no pill can fulfill a food, meal or day’s worth of nourishment in one fell swoop. Supplements are meant to supplement, not replace food. And taken improperly, they can cause a broad range of side effects and health risks. When we get our vitamins and minerals from foods, we get the whole healthy package, minus the risks associated with supplements.

Tip: Look to food first and supplement—with caution—when necessary.

So what do you think? Were any of your beliefs debunked? Any burning questions?

Leave a comment


  1. Great list, August, but I do wish you’d stop encouraging non-Celiacs to eat wheat.

    As soon as all of those millions realize what they’re doing isn’t working and move on to the next big thing, food makers will stop making gluten free products and then I’m stuck with dry as styrofoam rice bread and brown rice pasta.

    • Aw… I hear you there, Louise. One of the biggest perks of the gluten-free diet trend are those products you’re talking about. I personally feel that tasty, nutritious foods should be readily available to people with all kinds of allergies and intolerances.

      On a positive note, I heard from a dietitian pal who attended a Celiac conference that many wheat-free, non-cardboard foods are about to launch into the market. And considering the massive nature of the trend, I don’t foresee them dwindling anytime soon. (Fat-free and low-carb foods still run rampant… Those trends were so 90s/00s! ;))

      • tasty gluten free foods? I await them with bated breath!

      • There are some great GF foods out there, but I’ve found that (unfortunately) it’s trial and error as to which ones are good. I can’t stand brown rice pasta, but I have found a brand (Daniella’s) that is corn & rice, and tastes almost exactly like ‘regular’ pasta. Ditto on breads (Udi’s Millet & Chia is the closest I’ve found.)

        Probably the easiest thing is to avoid processed GF foods altogether if you can manage it. (Also, as a person not diagnosed with celiac, but with health improvements from going GF, it’s likely that there are others in my position with some level of gluten intolerance.)

  2. I love debunking. (Sounds like spelunking, but doesn’t offend my claustrophobic sensibilities.)

    Proud to say I knew these – my mom had Type 1 diabetes and researches everything (to death). My fear of ever having to jab myself with a needle full of insulin combined with a shared affinity for research means I read a lot about what we should be doing to take care of our bodies.

    Glad you mentioned caloric intake. I know a lot of women here that are doing the HCG diet and drop a lot of pounds really quickly. I’ve tried to explain in the kindest way possible that of course they are dropping pounds, since they are essentially starving themselves every day. (Seriously – 500 calories a day!)

    Thanks for keeping everyone informed on the facts of healthy living. 🙂

    • So happy to hear you stay healthy and informed, Amber. The HCG diet is definitely one of the most harmful out there. It opens partakers up to endless risks, from nutrient deficiencies and slow metabolism (potentially permanent) to weight gain and heart abnormalities. Very, very scary.

  3. Thanks so much for this fabulous post!
    The gluten/wheat free thing has been driving me nuts as of late! As a personal trainer, at least once each week I have a client telling about a ‘friend’ who stopped eating wheat and lost 20 lbs. Of course, if you stop eating wheat you also stop eating a lot of crap. Which one do you think makes the bigger difference (for 99% of us)? I have a blog post rattling around in my head about this one…

    • Great points. Many people who cut gluten also eliminate processed, low-nutrient food and become more aware of their food choices, which promotes portion control.

      Many people are also gaining weight by eating loads of gluten-free substitutes, such as GF chips and cereals by the belief that they’re healthier. For the small minority of people, GF living is essential. For most others, more trouble than it’s worth.

      Thanks for chiming in!

  4. Very good advice, August. It is irrational to blame the failure of one’s diet on any specific food group (ie: gluten). There has to be a more holistic approach to dieting.

    • I agree, though I understand why many are drawn to such tactics. People tend to want quick-fixes, and have mega-influences against them—the weight loss/dieting industry, the prevalence and ow-cost of fast and processed foods, to name a few.

      Eating a variety of whole foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish…) and getting regular physical activity is the tried and true approach. It may not seem exciting, but the results are. It’s SO empowering to eat and feel well, free of weight control stress.

  5. Nice list, August. Yes, I knew most of these. What happens with me and my friends is an issue you didn’t address: finding the right calorie balance to keep us in a healthy weight range. Any tips for that?

    • Million dollar question, Diane! 😉 If you are maintaining a healthy weight, you’re probably doing just fine. If you want to make a change, I’d suggest keeping a food journal for a week or 2 to bring light to your habits. Then, feedback from a dietary pro is wise.

      If you tend to surpass your ideal range, try filling your meal plates half-full of fruits and/or vegetables, 1/4 with lean protein and 1/4 with healthy carb. Then add a touch of fat. Balanced meals and fiber-rich foods promote appetite control. Staying well-hydrated, managing stress and exercising also help.

  6. Absolutely awesome advise August. Wife is a health-care professional & our kitchen is addicted to cook healthy meals. On top of that family is vegetarian!
    Not exactly fall in the list but it is somewhat related to diet. What’s your take on women resorting to smoking as a major dieting measure?

    • Smoking for weight control, and not quitting for fear of weight gain, are sadly common and life-threatening. I wish people valued their bodies and lives enough to nurture themselves, though I understand where the pain comes from. I’d rather see someone gain weight while quitting than not quit, or better yet—not start at all.

  7. Nice list. As you know, I lost a lot of weight on the Ideal Protein diet and have kept most of it off, but I’m struggling with a pesky 10 pounds. It seems any carb I put into my mouth goes right to the scale, and I worry I’m developing an unhealthy relationship with food because right now, I can’t even eat an apple (I’m back on the diet trying to lose the 10). So pretty much anything is cheating, and it can be vicious cycle.

    • You’re in an extremely common boat, Stacy. From my experience, personally and professionally, the more we fight those “last 10 pounds,” the more they stick. And dieting slows the metabolism, so the more we lose, the tougher it gets.

      When you go from low-carb to a healthy diet (about 50% of the diet should be carbs), you’ll probably gain water weight at first—namely because your body has to adjust to healthier habits. After that, your body will fall to a healthy place. (This may be your desired weight or not. Either way, you’ll feel and be healthier.)

      I really hope you’ll address those negative food attitudes—so important for physical and emotional health. Your awareness and concern are positive signs.

      • Thanks. I’m really not sure how to address them. I keep tell myself that once these 10 are off and I’m comfy in my clothes from last year, I’ll be able to maintain because I understand how it works better. Sometimes I do wonder if my body is just at the weight it needs to be, but my doc says I should lose 10 pounds so my BMI is at 30. Sigh.

  8. Keep twanging on these strings and maybe they will sink in! I really bothers me when people don’t THINK first before they jump on the newest diet bandwagon. Ask yourself: does it really make sense to demonize one type of food or specific nutrient over any other? As a species, we have survived and prospered over the years because we are omnivores. Oh, for a food culture (other than diet hysteria and fast food) in the USA.

  9. Kourtney Heintz

     /  April 30, 2012

    August, I love Myth 3 and 7. You have a terrific way of hooking me with the myth so that I want to hear the truth. Great job educating me without me even realizing it! 🙂

  10. I agree with you and if I ever need to lose weight I just cut down on portions not my choice of foods. Food = Fuel!
    Great post!

  11. Fahhbulous post August and I love how you pare each myth buster with a tip! Hubby and I have been doing a lot to change our eating habits. We are eating a lot more fruits and veggies and using them as snacks and treats. We still have a ways to go but each week we improve and discover new recipes and things to cook at home. Reading articles like yours helps me stay motivated and encouraged so thank you for that..
    Now…anyone know of a butter substitute that is healthy and TASTES like butter? LOL!!! That would rock my world…

    • Stay away from the butter substitutes 🙂 Real butter, in moderation, is healthier for you. MY opinion anyway.

    • I agree with Raelyn. I’ll pick real butter every time. But when I cook, I use Olive Oil spray. I save the butter for the actual food. 🙂

      • I third the motion for real butter. 😉 I also like butter varieties made with olive or canola oil. (Land ‘O Lakes makes a great one.) You get the benefits of whole foods, plus less saturated fat and more healthy fat and antioxidants than plain butter.

        So happy to hear that you and hubby are on a healthy, happy track, Natalie!

  12. Coleen Patrick

     /  April 30, 2012

    More great info August!
    I feel like I’m always coming to your food posts when I’m hungry!! 🙂

  13. Sorting food facts from fiction has always been a constant source of frustration for me. Every time I read an article and try to take the advice, I will find another article stating just the opposite. Now I look closer at who is the source and if there is a hidden agenda behind each new claim. Thank you for debunking the myths.

  14. Love the debunking! Thanks for including tips too. Brilliant post August.

  15. I love your hilarious ‘myths’! Thanks for mentioning the water intake fruits and veggies give our bodies. People always think they need to drink a gazillion gallons of water each day, but forget they can get loads of water from their diet. Each time I read one of your super fabulous posts, I think, ‘I know this!’ then I think, ‘So why aren’t you doing it?’ Busted. Today I will eat all my fruits and veggies!

  16. Great advice, August. I’m pleased I already follow many of these tips.

    My downfall is ice cream and frozen yogurt — I won’t even type my brand of choice or favorite vendor. I know my brain. It will knock the words around and whisper to me incessantly.

    When someone talks about needing more of a certain vitamin or mineral, my go-to source is Goggle, where I search for foods high in that nutrient.

    Most of the time, I practice that balanced plate advice: 50% fruits and veggies, 25% protein, 25% whole grain fiber. And, the more colors, the better.

    Now, if I just get my rear in gear and back into my heart and brain healthy cardio.

    • Shannon Esposito

       /  April 30, 2012

      Hm, I didn’t know that about leaving the skin on the potato. Interesting. I just bought this really cool devise that I can make curly fries with, so we’ve been eating sweet potato curly fries for munchies. It’s so hard to keep a balanced diet, but thanks for putting out the reminders for us like this!

  17. You made this so fun to read. Loved your choice of words “Jetsons-esque” LOL. I believe I’ve mentioned before that my family has to deal with the celiac disease. They have a lot more options available to them today than they did 15 years ago, especially if they are willing to wait for a mail order. Another great post August!

    • Such a blessing that great new options are available for people with CD. Neighbors of mine with the disease had trouble eating most anywhere when we were kids. Glad you dug the post!

  18. Thanks for educating without lecturing! I feel very fortunate that I have never had to deal with food allergies or to “diet” (good genes and a helpful dose of the grandmotherly advice, “moderation in all things”). But I see so many people caught up in the next latest and greatest thing–a tendency that extends far beyond dieting!

    • So glad this didn’t seem lecture-like! Never my plan. 🙂 And you’re right—the tendency to partake in diet trends typically goes far deeper than what we put on our plates.

  19. French fries aren’t potatoes??? 🙂

    I’m a little confused about the gluten. Celiac isn’t an issue with me, but I found out last year, after eliminating gluten for three months, that I feel better…not as sleepy all the time. Then I threw the towel in at a bonfire so I could have a hot dog on a bun (and I don’t even like hot dogs…I guess I just wanted a bread product that was real).

    Over the course of the next few months I started feeling exhausted again and cut gluten out once more. Same as before, it’s taking awhile, but after four weeks, I am starting to feel better.

    If I’m not Celiac, but gluten-containing foods make me tired, I’m not sure what I should do. Trust me, I would much rather be eating foods with gluten, but I just can’t deal with the fatigue anymore. Any advice? Thanks. 🙂

    • Great question, Kristy. When people eliminate gluten from their diets, they often eliminate processed foods and pay more attention to making healthy food choices. If cutting gluten led you to eat fewer pretzels, crackers and cake, then your improved wellness more likely stemmed from healthier choices — not gluten avoidance.

      If your overall eating habits did not change when you cut gluten (meaning you continued eating the same amounts of fruits, vegetables, other whole grains, etc.), you could have a gluten sensitivity or CD.

      Cutting gluten can also cause an intolerance, the same way cutting dairy can cause your body to tolerate lactose less and less. (Our bodies are pretty remarkable in the way they adapt.) I’d suggest keeping a food journal to see what kinds of choices you’re making now. If you decide to reintroduce gluten, do so gradually, starting with nutritious whole foods — a slice of Ezekial bread, for example, rather than hot dog buns. 😉 If you suspect a wheat allergy or CD, professional guidance is important.

  20. Wonderful tips, August. I’m glad that at my age, I’ve survived all of the fad diets, learned how to get healthy — and stay healthy — and am no longer driven to be model skinny. There’s something so uplifting about accepting yourself as you are and knowing that a healthy lifestyle increases one’s happiness and energy.

    Keep those great articles coming!

    • I couldn’t agree more, Sheila. Eating to fuel our bodies and aiming to enjoy a variety of foods is empowering. 🙂 Thanks for the support!

  21. Good information. But if French fries aren’t potatoes, what are they? And are potato chips potatos? You’re taking all the fun out of my new plan to eat a potato rich diet.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  22. Raani York

     /  April 30, 2012

    I love this list. Thank you. I knew most of the information. Since I don’t eath french fries ofthen I don’t have to care whether or not they’re potatoes.
    But maybe you’ll allow me one question: Why can I eath a truck load full of blueberries and I’ll be happy but raspberries aren’t as healthy? Or is that a myth?

    • I’d say that raspberries are equally nutritious. The key is getting a variety of healthy foods from each group. In terms of fruits and veggies, aim for various colors and types throughout each week. This helps ensure a broad range of nutrients, since each variety offers its own unique benefits.

  23. theproverbialwife

     /  April 30, 2012

    Once again a wonderful list of tips on how to eat healthy! My sister and I were just talking about some of these and how frustrating it is that people take them as fact.

  24. Another awesome list! Agree with them all and wish more people knew the facts.

  25. Great list August. I second your vote for baked sweet potatoes…they are my favorite!

  26. Good top ten, August. One of the big things with any conclusion about what’s good for human beings is that fact the the experiments are done in the face of so many uncontrolled variables. For example, red wine is supposed to be good for you, longer life, healthier, etc. but what if it is simply that people who drink red wine do so because they are more relaxed and less stressed to start with?

    Well, I’m feeling lots less stressed after that, so I’m going to have a glass


    • Fortunately, there are some studies that control those factors. Regarding the rest, we need to keep some perspective.

      What you mentioned is one reason multi-vitamins are tough to study; healthy people tend to take them. Only now are long-terms risks becoming apparent. And a las, far more study is needed. Now I need wine, too. 😉

  27. Great post!!

  28. A lot of this is in line with the nutritionist I heard on NPR not too long ago. Especially that bit about the gluten free diet. She said the same thing you did, and it goes to show you that just because something hits the diet/nutrition trend or media, doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

    I’m grateful for your nightime noshing reminder, which I know can impact sleep. That’s the one I want to work on cause often with my schedule I may not eat dinner until 8 at night. My favorite thing right now are the meal plans in SELF magazine that give a week of meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. Makes it easy to shop and have some simple healthy options. You should check em out online or grab the magazine at the library.

    • Awesome. I’ll check those meal plans out! Thanks, Jess!

      Nighttime meals are fine, if they are small and balanced. And we all fudge the lines sometimes. Um, no pun intended. 😉

  29. What a fantastic and information filled article. I was just challenged by my doc to lose 15lbs. used to be a breeze on a high protein, low carb diet, yet, I only kept it off for a half year or so. Changing and balancing my diet is what I have to do. There are no two ways about it. I am building the habit of steel-cut oats in the morning with blueberries and raspberries. Tuna or chicken with a veggie and a fruit at lunch. Dinners haven’t taking a real hit with the right disciplines though brown rice is one of my favs.
    I have a green star juicer that I would like to put back into action. Just read an article on how the pesticides in certain fruits and veggies can make juicing an unhealthy proposition. It suggested certain be bought organic. I need to research that whole organic produce thing to have confidence that I am approaching the juicing diet in a healthy manor.
    Thanks for sharing you hard earned insights Austin! I appreciate your work.

    • Sounds like you have lots of healthy habits in place. (I love steel-cut oatmeal. I make a big batch to last several days… :)) Keep up the great work!

  30. This is great, August 🙂 My husband (like me) is trying to lose weight, and he got a lecture from the doctor about not eating before bed and eating a bigger lunch, smaller dinner. He wanted my husband to have dinner no later than 6 pm and not eat again. We tried that, and Chris would wake up in the middle of the night unable to sleep because he was hungry. It wasn’t practical for us because it was destroying his sleep cycle. We’ve gone back to our 7 pm dinner time (which still leaves at least 3 hours before bed) and a light, healthy snack later, and were able to sleep soundly again.

    • The whole “breakfast like a king, lunch like a pauper” doesn’t work for everyone. Our circadian rhythms play a big role in our appetites and energy needs. Morning people, for example, tend to need larger dinners. Your 7pm dinners sound practical and spot-on. 🙂

  31. YES YES and yes!
    I eat fruit; I eat gluten; I eat carbs (just not so much “white carbs” with the exception of taters!); I eat fat, I eat a reasonable amount of protein, and I have a ‘treat’ every so often – I do watch my added sugar intake – and that’s “added sugar” not natural sugar, for I eat a lot of fruit.

    etc etc etc! I agree with all these points here . . .

  32. As a long term sufferer from gout, a form of arthritis, I have learned that a proper diet of commonly available foods can make a BIG difference. Check out some really helpful tips at http://www.20-informational-daily-tips.com.

  33. Karen McFarland

     /  May 1, 2012

    Well it’s a good thing that you’re writing this August. It never seems to amaze me how many people don’t know the first thing about eating healthy, balanced diets. Ever since I had my kids, at home, not in a hospital, my husband and I were aware of proper nutrients, organic farming, using natural olive oils instead of vegetable oil. using butter instead of the other crap that can’t be metabolized by our body. And now we’re into raw foods. Foods that our body can digest and use for fuel without poisoning us. It’s good to know the general dietary standards. But like you said, everyone has unique needs depending on their own body. It’s not a one diet fits all situation. And that’s why I like Homeopathy. It’s more individualized treatment than Alopathic medicine. 🙂

  34. Now that I’ve kicked my two-containers-of-Dannon-coffee-yogurt-for-lunch habit, I’m less susceptible to diet myths. For me, the key to losing weight is to move more. Love “Our lives shouldn’t feel like The Hunger Games.”

  35. lynnkelleyauthor

     /  May 2, 2012

    An excellent post, August. Between you and Ginger, I’ll get it straight. Good thing I love raw veggies and fruit, too, though I’m allergic to citrus fruits and strawberries, honeydew. As long as I can eat blueberries, cherries, apples and watermelon, I’ll be happy.

    One of my daughters has celiacs. Just a tiny bit of gluten affects her pretty bad. Now that she’s adjusting to gluten free meals, she’s gained weight and looks healthy. Thank God she found out she has this and knows what to do now. Thanks for all these food facts. Super helpful to me.

  36. For me, I can’t go to bed on an empty stomach or else I can’t sleep. So I usually end up snacking right before bed. Good to know it’s not a no-no 😉 Thanks for the amazing tips!

  37. Stacy S. Jensen

     /  May 3, 2012

    Great information. Our family is working to go GF at the recommendation of Hubby’s neurosurgeon. He suggested Paleo, but I’ve read several books on it and just don’t want to completely cut out grains, legumes and dairy. I’m reading my second book on Gluten. I’m checking out the resource you mention here too. We do not fall into the 1 percent you mention on the GF issue. When faced with the option of brain surgery vs. changing to a GF diet, we thought it worth trying.

  38. Fabulous post, August! What a great resource. I knew most of these were myths, but what I gained much from was your advice about each topic.

    One of the most interesting books about weight loss I ever scanned was the approach of learning what skinny people do. It’s not a guarantee, of course, but it was interesting to see that “naturally skinny” people do simple things like eat slowly so that their brain can get the message of “I’m full” before too many more bites are eaten and they don’t feel the need to finish everything on their plate. At my age (40+), I’m finding that the best thing I can do is exercise. I end up eating more, but I burn the calories, keep my body in shape, strengthen my heart muscle, and feel better.

    Great stuff!

  39. Thanks for sharing another great post. It’s hard to single out any one point for emphasis but I will say this, last year I lost 60 pounds by monitoring my calorie burn, eating a balanced diet and fewer calories than I burned. Really, it was that simple. I measured every calorie to the gram w/about 50% carbs and the balance split between proteins and fats high in omeg 3 fatty acids.

    Again, great post!

  40. I wish I could control myself from my 2 middle of the night snacks. If I can discipline myself with a big swig of skim milk instead that sometimes works.

    • Healthy, balanced bedtime snacks may help, too. Milk is a great choice, as it contains tryptophan and carbohydrates—a calming combo. 🙂

  41. I’ve noticed, that as long as I stop eating after 6pm, I can afford to eat chocolate, and other delicious sweets every day, and still stay in shape. That does not mean, of course, that I can eat deserts non-stop, – I found my balance in eating a little bit of something from my…what I call ‘Temptation List’ every day – this keeps my mind at rest, and I don’t feel deprived. Also, it keeps me motivated to work out three times a week. But every one is different, of course.

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