6 Dieting Myths to Stop Believing Right Now

Dieting is hard enough without also having to navigate the veritable minefield of misinformation on the subject. You're cutting calories and going to the gym - but should you also avoid eggs? Or are they okay again?

We understand the confusion. That's why we've compiled this list of seven of the most widely believed dieting myths modern medicine has cracked wide open. One or two might hurt your feelings, but most of them will leave you free to enjoy your food while losing weight at the same time.

MYTH 1. Chicken Breast is Healthier than Dark Meat

If you love dark meat, being steered away from it by white meat puritans probably broke your heart. Sure, white meat is lean and packed with protein, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (usda.gov) dark meat is only slightly higher in calories, is also high in protein and is higher in iron and zinc than its paler counterpart. That means you can enjoy both white and dark meat on your weight loss journey.

MYTH 2. Throw Out the Chicken Skin

While we're on the subject of chicken, have you noticed that every recipe in dieting cookbooks involving chicken calls for "skinless?" That's because most of the fat in poultry is found in the skin. However, according to the Harvard School of Public Health (hsph.harvard.edu) the fat in chicken skin is primarily healthy, unsaturated fat. So as long as you're eating it in moderation, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

MYTH 3. Honey is a Healthy Alternative to Sugar

It's hard to give up sugar. That's why so many people look for alternate sources when they're trying to lose weight. And what could be more harmless than something made by adorable bees? Yet, according to Healthline (healthline.com) honey has as many calories and is as full of sugar as, well, table sugar. So, for that matter, is maple syrup and agave nectar. The best way to approach sugar when trying to lose weight - or to be healthier - is to lessen your intake of it altogether. Sorry, guys.

MYTH 4. Fat will Make You Fat

At least this will make you feel better. Fat will not necessarily make you fat. That's because not all fat is created equal. According to Harvard University (health.harvard.edu), healthy fats like mono- and polyunsaturated fats (found in nuts, seeds, avocados and fish) are good for you and necessary for your diet. Shelf-stable fats like saturated and trans fats are the fats that are dangerous for your health and will cause you to gain weight.

MYTH 5. Smaller Plates will Help You with Portion Control

Remember when everyone used to believe you could trick your stomach into thinking it was full by using a small plate and filling it to the brim? Turns out your stomach may not be so gullible. A new study conducted by researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev published by the peer-reviewed Appetite (sciencedirect.com) discovered that your eyes aren't fooled by optical illusions when hunger is involved. If you're hungry, you're hungry. Instead of trying to trick yourself, fill your plate with plenty of fiber-rich vegetables, leafy greens and protein-dense foods.

MYTH 7. Eggs are Bad for You

You were wondering if we were going to get to that, weren't you? It's been a long-debated topic: is or is not the egg good for you? And we're happy to announce that the egg is, indeed, good for you. The entire egg, in fact, not just the white. According to the Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org), while the egg white is certainly light on the caloric content (approximately 17 calories in one large egg), it's the egg yolk that boasts the bulk of the nutrition, packing protein, calcium, iron, zinc and folate, just to name a few.

The more you know about what's good for you and what isn't, the better equipped you are at handling this crazy thing called dieting. Because it really isn't about "dieting" at all. It's about changing your approach to eating so that you're living your best and happiest life.

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