Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Lorraine Kearney: One of the biggest myths that I get from my clients is that I need to skip meals and starve in order to lose weight. It's not true. So, if you skip meals, it's gonna have such a negative effect on your body that when you do go to sit down and eat, you'll probably overconsume. Narrator: That's Lorraine Kearney, one of three dietitians we brought into our studios. My name is Ryan Turner. My name is Nikita Kapur. Narrator: To debunk 18 of the most common weight-loss myths. Kearney: The biggest myth that frustrates me the most is that all calories are created equally. A calorie is not just a calorie. It depends on the source of your calories, whether it's coming from caloric-dense foods or nutritional-dense foods. Caloric-dense foods would be more so our cookies, our cakes. We can have a cookie that's 100 calories, we'll eat it, it'll digest really fast, then it's gonna spike our blood sugar levels where, when we start to crash again, we're gonna crave more sugar for that energy pick-me-up. Narrator: And that can make you gain weight. Kearney: On the other hand, you can have a banana. Narrator: Which is an example of a nutritionally dense food. Kearney: I get the question a lot, do bananas make you fat? Bananas do not make you fat. Bananas, they're a great source of potassium, but for those 100 calories you're also gonna get the fiber and the nutrients that your body needs in that cellular level to make sure that you are healthy and that you're nourished. Narrator: And you definitely need to nourish your body if you're trying to lose weight. Kapur: When we are restricting calories, you are restricting the energy source of your body. You're also restricting the energy source of your brain. And if that's happening, then, you know, very primitive, protective mechanisms start to kick into place where your body senses that as a physiological threat and does start to shift your metabolic balance to burn less because it's getting less. It's kinda like a budget. Right? So, if you have a paycheck and you're running out of funds, you're going to conserve how much you pay till your next paycheck. Your body does the same. Your body will jump into this protective physiological, biological mechanism to reduce the amount of energy you're using, which is why it is hard for people to maintain weight. Narrator: And starving yourself can also shrink your muscles. Turner: You wanna make sure that you're not eating less than 70% of your overall calorie needs. If you do, that's where not only are you probably gonna feel extremely hungry and it's gonna take you off of any goals that you're setting, but you're probably gonna start compromising your muscle mass as well, and that's where weight loss is gonna be unhealthy. Narrator: But while the amount of calories you consume matters, the timing might not. Turner: Timing your meals is always a big question. Everyone comes to me and they kinda smirk and they think that I'm gonna give them a thumbs up when they say, "I don't eat after 6 o'clock or 7 o'clock." And I say, "Oh, all right, do you enjoy that?" And they say, "No." And I say, "Well then maybe eating after is OK." Because timing of day is not going to affect weight loss. Calories are what's going to affect weight loss or body-fat loss. So, if you eat a bunch of additional calories and you're in calorie surplus and those are coming late at night, then that's what's causing something like weight gain. Narrator: And what about eating first thing in the morning? Kearney: It depends on the body, and it depends on the person and their relationship with food. For a lot of people, me included, if I don't eat a meal, I usually feel very deprived, and it's like I want to make up for it later. If that happens, then that's when we can add in a lot of calories. Personally, I'm a huge advocate of breakfast. Our body runs on fuel, and food is our fuel. So if we have our breakfast, then we feel we have more sustained energy throughout the day. Narrator: And if you do choose to eat breakfast, feel free to go for that 2% yogurt. Turner: Now, fat is incredibly necessary. We should not be afraid of fat. We need fat in the diet. Fat's gonna be necessary for things like absorbing nutrients, like the fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A and D and E and K. And you also need to make sure that fat, specifically cholesterol, is what's gonna help produce things like your hormones, so things like estrogen and testosterone, growth hormones, so we need all those kind of things. Narrator: Not only is fat healthy, but fat-free foods are often loaded with sugar or salt. Kearney: So, if you have a wholesome product and you're removing the fat of it, it's gonna taste completely different. You probably wouldn't even like it. But what they're gonna do is replace that flavor with something else, and usually it's either sodium or sugar. So, with sugar, when we have, like, a yogurt that has the fruit at the bottom, they're gonna have way more sugars than if you had, like, a 2% Greek yogurt. Narrator: And, as it turns out, fat isn't the only nutrient you can keep in your diet and still lose weight. Kearney: One of the biggest myths I get about carbs is that you must omit them from your diet to lose weight, or my body doesn't digest them well and I have to omit them because I'd never lose weight unless I restrict myself. It's not true. Narrator: And it's just not sustainable. Kearney: It's almost impossible to have a no-carb diet. Fruits and vegetables are known as carbohydrates, and we must get those for their nutrients. Why carbs have a bad name? It's because of the simple carbs. The carbs that you see prepackaged that are the cookies, the cakes, the sodas, the potato chips. They're called simple carbs because the chemical structure of them is usually one to two glucose molecules put together. So, when you have, like, a small glucose molecule, it's easy for them to break away. But with our complex carbs, they are really long chains of carbon that usually are about 18-carbon long, and then, by the time that your body starts to break it down, it's gonna take a while, and that's exactly what we want because it helps balance our blood sugar and also that fiber keeps us full for longer and then also prevents us from snacking. So, eat your carbs. Definitely eat your carbs and eat your bread. Bread's delicious; it's one of my favorite things. Narrator: And she has a pro tip for finding bread with more complex carbs. Kearney: Read your ingredient list. With bread, a lot of those mass-produced breads that are in the bread aisle that are shelf-stable, they can last a month without getting mold on them. And when you look at the ingredient list, it's probably about 50 ingredients long. They're the ones we wanna avoid. When you're getting bread, get the fresh bread that comes from the local bakery, which is usually around the deli counter area inside of grocery stores. Those will have maybe four or five ingredients, it'll mold after two days, but you can preserve it by just putting it into the freezer and take it out as you need it. Narrator: And, speaking of bread, what about going gluten-free to lose weight? Kearney: Gluten-free for weight loss can be a huge marketing ploy. So, with gluten-free, there are a lot of people that do have an intolerance to gluten. Or they have celiac disease, which is where the body starts attacking itself and can deteriorate the body. Narrator: But there are also people without these conditions who are looking to... Kearney: Blame something like the gluten without checking the rest of their diet. If you are honest with yourself, recording your food, checking the ingredients, and then you eat the gluten and you feel the intolerance, then great. But a lot of people will choose to just jump in and be like, gluten's the enemy. Narrator: So, most of us don't need to cut out gluten or fat or carbs to lose weight. But there are some products better left on the shelf. Kearney: The diet sodas are terrible, with all the additives, preservatives in them, and the hidden sugars. A lot of the added sugars are the synthetic sugars that are supposed to be great because they don't release insulin, which then doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar levels. But, internally, if we don't stimulate the release of insulin, those sugars, the synthetic sugars, go to the liver, build up around the liver, hinder the functioning of the liver, and then can lead to nonalcoholic fatty disease. If I'm gonna have a soda, which I have once in a blue moon, it will be the real thing. Yes, there's more sugar in it, but it's something that I don't have on a regular basis. Narrator: Better yet, she says, drink water. Kearney: Jazz up your water. Add fruit to it, add some mint or cucumber, lemon. Yes, it'll take a little bit for your taste buds to reset, but you're getting so many nutrients from that water, and your body requires water for it to function optimally. Water is one of the six nutrients that the body needs. And when we're dehydrated, it also mimics the signs of hunger. So people turn to food a lot if they're dehydrated, not realizing that they're not hungry, it's just your body saying, "Give me some water, I'm thirsty." Narrator: And what about juice? Kearney: Oh, juice cleanses. [laughs] So, juice cleanses are, like, one of my pet peeves. If you're having a juice every once in a while, great.