20 Facts On Obesity #13

Weight loss and food myths revealed. Illustration by Edmund Dulac.Do you know these ten weight loss and food myths?

Food myths, misinformation and dieting fables are common place. There are many reasons for the massive amount of weight loss myths that circulate today. For an example, I've long recommended eating very little three hours prior to bedtime. Why? After all, a calorie is a calorie. Doesn't matter when you eat it. Conclusive scientific evidence proves this! So why should you NOT eat before bedtime?

First, most people that snack before bedtime usually don't snack on healthy food. Keep in mind about six handfuls of Fritos corn chips has approximately 720 calories. Second, eating heavily before bedtime can interfere with your quality of sleep. The quality of sleep, or lack thereof, has been proven to influence weight gain.

So science is correct, but misleading. Eating prior to bedtime does not cause you to gain more weight than eating the same calories at noon. A calorie is a calorie. However, this fact doesn't consider the real world. Science overlooks the relationship between night time snackers, poor sleep and obesity. A common trait many overweight people share is evening snacking. In my experience most folks who participate in late night snacks greatly underestimate the number of snack calories they consume nightly.

So we can all smile and say evening calories are no more fattening than daily calories and be correct. However, most overweight people snack at night. I have had many clients lose every pound they wanted by simply eliminating evening snacks.

It's this simple. One ounce of Lay's Classic Potato chips is approximately 15 chips, the recommended serving size. One hundred fifty calories per serving, about ten calories per chip. Give up your 15 chips per night snack and you lose 15 pounds in 12 months. If your nightly snack is two ounces of chips, then you lose 30 pounds in a years time. To suggest that evening snacking doesn't influence weight gain is a conclusion that can only be drawn by researchers and bean counters that don't work with the overweight in real world realities. Fifteen chips per night. I don't know about you but I never eat just 15 chips. Never! More like double or triple that amount. How about you?

More Weight Loss Myths

Many myths are the result of old, outdated information. Chocolate was at one time considered unhealthy. Today dark chocolate in moderation has proven to be a heart healthy food. Same for coffee. Once a dieting no-no, now proven to be one of the most beneficial beverages on the planet.

As technology and research improves, we may find what we think about nutrition today is not 100% correct. I disagree with much of the current proven facts about obesity. I believe restrictive diets are the wrong way to lose weight and a major cause of obesity. I also think we will never put the genie back in the bottle until we stop focusing on dieting and start focusing on living a naturally thin life.

I know what works for lasting weight loss. Pollyanna nutrition and weight loss foods aren't it. Many food myths are accepted as fact and interfere with lasting weight loss. Keep in mind, this is my opinion based on what I have seen and experienced.

10 Food Myths

#1 -- Don't eat before bedtime.

A calorie has the same effect if you eat it at bedtime or breakfast. Unfortunately, what we snack on before bedtime usually contains hundreds of empty calories. Unnecessary calories. If you participate in a nightly gorge fest and wake up tired every morning, could it be your poor quality sleep is due to the soda, chips, beer, pizza, chocolate and other snack foods you ate just before retiring? So many of my clients contributed their successful weight loss to eliminating bag snacks. I would be a fool to ignore it. Don't eat just prior to bedtime. If you do, keep it small. Or snack on something that's beneficial like fruit or moderate amounts of nuts like my Rocks & Stones Salad Snack.

#2 -- Eating several small meals a day is better than three large ones.

Technically it makes no difference. A calorie is a calorie and calories can't keep time. A scientifically proven fact. Yet the overwhelming majority of my clients who succeeded added breakfast, lunch and snacks to a diet that consisted of a fast food stop and dinner.

People who eat breakfast are proven to eat fewer calories per day than those that don't! A calorie may be a calorie, but if you consume a wholesome breakfast, odds are those calories will help you be less hungry throughout the day. Many folks have told me the benefits of eating throughout the day. If you eat the right kind of food you can eliminate hunger and cravings almost completely.

My doctor told me a combination of wholesome meals and snacks has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. This results in what many people call control. Hunger is physically satisfied eliminating the mental torture of cravings caused by spiking blood sugar levels.

#3 -- You have to change your diet to lose weight.

Not only nonsense, but believing this myth is a one way ticket to fat city. I've spoken to thousands of overweight people who have been honest enough to admit that correct nutrition was meaningless to them. Couldn't care less. One of the biggest mistakes current science makes is assuming overweight people want to eat healthier. When what they are really interested in is losing and keeping their weight off.

Think about it. If overweight people really cared about correct nutrition, why are they overweight? One big reason is we keep telling them a well balanced pollyanna nutrition diet is the only way to accomplish their weight loss goal. In reality, adopting proper nutrition to lose weight introduces one more obstacle to the equation. You do not need a diet make-over to lose weight. Have they worked for you so far? If not, why not?

Foolproof Weight Loss Solution is broken down into four phases. I call it the sequence of weight loss success.

  1. Lose weight with simple portion reduction.
  2. Maintain ideal weight.
  3. Improve the nutritional value of your diet.
  4. Live a naturally thin life.

It's much more effective to improve the nutritional value of your diet after you've reached ideal body weight when weight loss is no longer an issue. Lose it, then improve it. Attempting to do both simultaneously usually results in failure as you probably already know.

#4 -- Dairy products are unhealthy.

You have to ask how much and what type of dairy products before condemning the lot. Unless you're lactose intolerant, you benefit from dairy products. A primary source of calcium and vitamin D. We need the protein to develop muscle and give us energy. Our bones crumble without calcium. I recommend low fat milk (2%). Fat free yogurt and all natural cheese. I have not yet found an edible low fat cheese.

#5 -- "I have to starve myself to lose weight fast."

If you define fast weight loss as up to 2.5 pounds per week you're wrong. Fast weight loss can be achieved with a combination of improved metabolic efficiency, increased physical activity and a 15-25% calorie reduction in your current diet.

#6 -- Coffee will help you lose weight.

Depending on your level of physical activity, drinking two cups of coffee per day can increase calories burned by 150 per day. Dr. Tomas DePaulis, Vanderbuilt University says, "Overall research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful." Coffee is a good thing as long as you don't over do it like I do. Two or three cups max. Sour stomach, irritable, jittery -- you've had too much.

#7 -- Some foods, in specific combinations, burn calories.

I am not aware of any food that can burn fat or a combination of weight loss foods that burn calories. The confusion arises because some foods and a balanced diet will influence your metabolic efficiency. High fiber will not burn calories, but it encourages metabolic efficiency which does burn calories.

#8 -- To live a naturally thin life you have to eat weight loss food forever.

More nonsense. You need to stop dieting and start eating a healthy diet plan you enjoy and can live with in peace. And take my word for it, you don't have to eat like a goat to lose weight. This web site is designed especially for sensible people who enjoy eating and hate dieting.

So turn a deaf ear to those obsessed with pollyana nutrition. It's not a viable weight loss strategy. People obsessed with eating too well may suffer from othorexia nervosa. A preoccupation or obsession with eating too well! Dr. Steven Bratman states, "Eating for pleasure is part of life, any move to give that up should be seen as a very dramatic and radical change." I couldn't agree more.

#9 -- Red meat is dangerous.

Too much of anything, except love, can be dangerous. And even love can backfire. Red meat, pork, chicken and fish are all good. Buy lean cuts and prepare it well. Avoid frying red meat. Red meat is not a dangerous food. Some types of meat are significantly healthier than others. Buy lean and natural when you can. Imagine life without cheeseburgers? Not good...

#10 -- Weight loss is hard and difficult. Permanent weight loss is impossible.

Weight loss is easy and permanent weight loss is within reach of any healthy person who wishes to pursue its rewards. If weight loss has not been easy for you, you lose and regain, diets have been hard to stay on, then I recommend my book, Barb's Foolproof Weight Loss Solution. Of course I'm partial as the author, but I'm being genuine when I tell you it's the ultimate solution for the diet problem. Easy, simple and it works for a lifetime when followed. And following it can be as simple as giving your friend a bite of your candy bar.

Don't let food myths and weight loss misinformation confuse you. Weight loss is inevitable because your behavior, actions and choices are 100% in your control. Because you are in control, you control the results and outcome. If you don't control these things, who does? For more answers continue to review the 20 Facts On Obesity section of this website. It's here to help you determine what works, what doesn't and why. I hope you find it helpful.


Don't believe everything you read. It could be incomplete or incorrect. Food myths and dieting fables are everywhere. Don't be a victim. Evaluate why you have failed to lose weight in the past based on your own experience. Filter all future weight loss information through your past experience.