Special Report

28 Weight Loss Myths That Pack on Pounds

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26. Starving is a good way to lose weight

The body’s only energy source is the food a person consumes. When deprived of that, the body will go to great lengths to preserve energy, according to Hirshberg. At the beginning of a deprivation people may lose some weight — water, muscle, and even fat — but after a few weeks they will gain even more back, she added. “That’s the harm people often miss — undereating is not sustainable.”

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27. Skipping meals is a good idea

Like starving, skipping meals is not a good way to lose weight in the long-term. At first, blood sugar levels drop, making you feel tired. Then you lose water weight and muscle. Fat is stored because the body goes into a “crisis” mode, thinking it needs to preserve as much energy as possible, Hirshberg noted. Hormones that control hunger and satiety are released, setting you up for overeating later.

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28. All fat is bad

Not all fat is created equal, and the body needs the healthy kind — essential fatty acids — as its name suggests. You can only get these from foods such as fish, nuts, avocado, eggs, chia seeds, olive oil, and some fortified foods. Omega-3s are essential for building healthy cells. “Most people are happy to eat these foods when I explain how good they are for them,” Hirshberg said.

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