Skip to content

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

9 Lies You Tell Yourself About Food and Dieting

Font Size
A
A
A
By Stephanie Booth
WebMD Feature

Think diets are pure torture? Convinced that eating healthy means depriving yourself? Experts explain how your beliefs about losing weight could be holding you back.

1. “I know how much I’m eating.”

An extra bite here, a snack in the car there …“It’s surprising how often people don’t know exactly what they’re eating,” says Terese Weinstein Katz, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in diet issues. Instead of trusting your gut, start tracking daily calories in a food journal (or on your smartphone). In one study, women who kept a food journal lost up to 6 pounds more than those who didn’t.

2. “I can’t eat anything good when I’m dieting.”

“Diets shouldn’t be ‘all or nothing,’” says nutritionist Carolyn Brown, RD. Researchers have found that being too rigid about what you eat leads to food cravings, which can hamper weight loss. “Allow yourself to have a treat meal or dessert once a week, and don’t think of it as cheating,” Brown says. Occasionally indulging yourself will help you stay on track.

3. “Skipping meals will help me lose weight faster.”

“Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do,” Brown says. Once hunger kicks in -- and it will -- “you’ll overeat, and probably not something healthy.” Missing a meal also puts the brakes on your metabolism. To keep your blood sugar stable and hunger cravings to a minimum, Brown recommends eating breakfast within 2 hours of waking up, then having a healthy snack (like guacamole and carrots, or a small handful of trail mix) or meal every 3-4 hours.

4. “If I’m not hard on myself, I won’t lose weight.”

Instead of berating yourself for choosing chocolate cake instead of an apple, show yourself compassion. “We’re more likely to change when we’re kind to ourselves,” Katz says. “Staying sympathetic makes it easier to examine how we can prevent those same setbacks from happening again.”

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections