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10 Diet Rules Meant to be Broken

Some food 'dos and don'ts are best ignored, experts say.

10 Food Rules to Ignore continued...

"If one buddy fails and the other doesn't, it clearly upsets the balance, and could cause tension and embarrassment," she says. Ultimately, Aronowitz says, weight loss is a personal journey. If you find it's easier with a friend, remember to compete only against yourself -- not each other.

4. Dietary fat keeps you feeling full longer, so you'll eat less.

This was a well-accepted food rule for many years. But Somers says new research has challenged this logic. It has shown that while fat does take longer to digest, "it's actually the least satiating of any food group -- so no, it will not help you control you appetite," Somers says. The foods likely to stave off hunger the longest are protein foods, followed by carbohydrates, then fats, she says.

5. When you blow your diet, you might as well wait until the next day to get back on track.

Nothing could be farther from the truth, Heller tells WebMD.

"Every meal matters, so if you ate that big old piece of birthday cake at lunch, get right back on track with your next meal," she says. "You don't have to have a full day of healthy eating in order for it to count."

6. Refusing food at a party or when visiting is rude.

"If you had diabetes, or a severe food allergy to something, you wouldn't think twice about turning down a food you weren't sure of -- and you should feel that same sense of priority in turning down a food that you know will blow your diet," says Heller.

7. Skipping a meal every now and then will help you lose.

"Skipping a meal means you will be so hungry at the next meal that you are likely to overeat," says Somer. Not only that, skipping meals can actually help lead to a slowdown of your metabolism, meaning you'll burn fewer calories, says Aronowitz.

8. Bread is fattening, nuts are fattening, pasta is fattening.

"It's not what you eat that contributes to weight gain," says Heller. "It's how much you eat that matters most."

Whole-wheat bread, for example, is a great source of nutrients, and it won't make you gain weight more than any other food with the same number of calories.

9. All calories are equal.

While it's true that 1,400 calories is 1,400 calories no matter how you slice the cheesecake, experts say certain foods have a greater ability to fill you up before they fill you out. These tend to be fiber-rich, water-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Further, Heller says, you'll get more nutrients from, say, a 100-calorie apple than from a 100-calorie portion of white bread.

"All calories are equal if all you're doing is counting calories to lose weight," Heller says. "But if you care about how you are losing weight, or controlling your hunger, or the health of your body, then no, all calories are not of equal value."

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