6 Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked With The Worst Diet Fads

6 Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked With The Worst Diet Fads

Counting calories has been a popular diet method for many years to help people lose weight. These days, there are many apps dedicated to food journals and keeping track of your calories throughout the day. Some people plan out their workouts and meals ahead of time to make sure they’re burning more calories than they’re taking in. Others fly by the seat of their skinny jeans and plan meal by meal throughout the day while pencilling in the occasional trip to the gym. The best part of calorie counting is knowing how many calories you burned after some heart-pumping workouts. However, there are a few calorie-burning myths that might have you heading back to that food journal to make some difficult adjustments. Here are 6 calorie-burning myths that we have debunked.

Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

1. Six small meals vs. Three square meals:

While most of us were raised with the notion that we should eat three square meals each day, many people now believe that it’s better to eat smaller portions more frequently in order to help keep your metabolism working. But does constantly snacking really burn more calories? A recent study found no differences in weight loss among dieters who ate three or six times a day. However, researchers did note that eating more frequently may help keep between-meal hunger pains at bay. You should settle on an eating plan that keeps you satisfied and full so you’re less likely to binge due to hunger. 6 calorie-burning myths that we have debunked.

Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

2. Working out in cold weather burns more calories:

Don’t you think the northern states would be littered with runners and walkers in the dead of winter if this were true? It’s more like half true. Because shivering from cold temperatures revs up calorie burn, you will torch more as your body works harder to heat itself up. However, this calorie-burning myth is up for debate as in hot weather you will surely sweat more while exercising. When the temperature plummets, be smart and bundle up because the minuscule bump in calorie burn isn’t worth increasing your risk of getting sick. 6 calorie-burning myths that we have debunked.

Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

3. Foods with negative calories:

Some foods that take more energy to digest than they contain are known as negative calorie foods. However, the calories you need for digestion won’t ever exceed the number of calories any type of food contains. This calorie-burning myth is only semi-true in that there are zero calorie foods, but no actual negative calorie foods. However, non-starchy, low-calorie veggies can still help you lose weight since their fibre and water content will keep you feeling full for longer. 6 calorie-burning myths that we have debunked.

4. Cardio on an empty stomach:

This is a calorie-burning myth believed by many people and needs to be debunked. If you exercise on an empty stomach, you will actually burn more muscle than fat, and you will most likely not have the energy to really get in a good workout. Exercising on an empty stomach vs. a full one comes down to personal preference and how you feel during your fitness routine. You may burn more calories from fat if you exercise after a snack, but it ultimately doesn’t matter because if you burn more fat during a workout, your body physiologically adjusts to burning less fat post-exercise. The bottom line is that to eat or not to eat before a workout is a personal preference, but having some food in your stomach will give you energy to power through and give it your all. 6 calorie-burning myths that we have debunked.

Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

5. To lose weight you have to burn 250 calories per workout:

Losing weight isn’t about the set number of calories you burn, but rather the calories expedited versus the calories you take in through food. What you do over the course of a week has a greater impact than focusing on the day-to-day. This means if you’re not feeling well one day and skip a workout; it won’t make a big difference in the long run. Focusing on the calories you burn compared to the calories you eat is the best way to lose weight.

Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

6. All calories are created equal:

Don’t we wish! This calorie-burning myth would mean that 100 calories of chocolate cake are the same as 100 calories of carrots- which is clearly untrue. Your body burns nearly 50% more calories after eating a meal packed with whole foods versus an equivalent meal made of processed fare. Your health as well as your weight loss depends on the nutritional value of foods you eat, not just the amount of calories in them.


Worst Diet Fads Ever

In the world we live in today, everybody wants to see results and they want to see them fast. We email rather than use snail mail and most of us rather send a quick text then spend the time to make a phone call. Dieting is not much different. Food and workout plans are marketed to us with the phrase, “lose x amount of pounds in x amount of days.” And we get frustrated when we don’t see the expected results. The truth is, changes to your body are not going to be visible overnight and no form of dieting is really going to quicken the process if you don’t exercise and vice versa.

6 Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked With The Worst Diet Fads

What will help you look and feel better, though, is paying attention to what you consume and the amounts you consume. I’m not suggesting cutting anything out like carbs or red meat. In fact, these foods are important for your body to properly function. Instead, pay attention to what type of red meat or carbs you eat and how much. There is a reason the food pyramid has been around so long (granted it has undergone some changes, but the concept behind it remains true) and certain diets like the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet have come and gone. Let’s look at the five worst diet fads.

1) Master Cleanse/The Lemon Detox

I can tell you first hand after witnessing two of my friends (who have iron stomachs) attempt this diet for a college video project that it is NOT a good idea. After just two days of this diet—only consuming a concoction of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper six times a day—they were both violently ill and could attest to the name. Unless you are looking for a colon cleanse to beat all colon cleanses, this is not for you. They definitely weren’t kidding when they named the diet the Master Cleanse. To back up my statement, a 2011 study done in Australia voted the Master Cleanse the world’s worst diet fad with 80-per cent of the 50-some participating nutritionists denouncing it. Not to mention all that lemon juice on your teeth can be cause for a great disaster, and the dehydration you experience can be devastating.

2)The Hollywood Diet and 3) The “Skinny” Vegan Diet

In both cases, the dieter is required to either fast or eat a very, very low-calorie diet. Sure, for a day or two fastings is okay—for religious purposes that is—but any length longer than that can be counterproductive if not potentially harmful. Consuming too few calories will send your body into survival mode and your metabolism will drop, burning fewer calories than usual. Your body will begin to burn stored energy, but be careful of what you may lose. Instead of those few extra pounds of fat you may be hoping to shed, your body will most likely burn up energy in the form of muscle, liquid and some fat.

When you stop fasting or eating a low-calorie diet, your metabolism will not bounce back up, but instead, continue to burn very few calories. You may be thinking you can avoid the metabolism drop by working out during your fast, but the truth is, without eating, you will not have the energy to work out. What’s worse? The weight you gain post-fast or low-calorie diet won’t be in water weight or muscle tissue, it will more than likely be in fat. So really, what’s the point?

4) The Fat-Free Diet

Many claim that they can still eat what they want as long as it is fat-free, but do you know how products become fat-free? Producers load them with extra sugar and empty calories to replace the fat. And just because it is fat-free doesn’t exactly mean it is healthy. Take for example fat-free mayonnaise. Why not just skip the mayonnaise all together and save yourself the extra sugars and calories. Instead, if you must have dressing on your sandwich, find a substitute that has nutritional value like cottage cheese and use that instead.

5) The Cabbage Soup Diet

So you can only eat fruit, vegetables and cabbage soup for seven days. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Maybe not for the time being while you participate in the diet. You may even lose some weight, but shortly after the diet ends, BAM! The weight comes right back, if not with an extra pound or two. Why? Because the majority of the weight you lose during the cabbage soup diet is the liquid weight.


And while you are on the diet, the foods you eat do not contain any fat-soluble vitamins forcing your body to pull calcium and vitamins from your bones and other cells. That doesn’t sound healthy to you does it? Not to mention the myriad of side effects that can come along with a diet like this or the aforementioned diets including mood swings, chronic yeast infections, premature wrinkling, lifeless hair, chronic fatigue, lowered interest in sex, and eczema—to name a few.

So while a fad diet may seem like the quickest way to drop a few pounds to fit into that bathing suit for vacation or your wedding dress for the big day, you can actually be doing your body more harm than good. And isn’t the point of dieting to feel healthier and better about yourself? So before jumping on any diet train, do the research first and check for any harmful side effects. Remember, any diet that is a very low-calorie diet, involves fasting or promises a large amount of weight loss quickly may come with harsh side effects—including post-weight gain.

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