Trying to shed pounds for bathing-suit season? Be careful how you go about losing the weight. Here are five common misconceptions I often hear.
1. Avoid All Fruit
Fruit contains about 60 calories per serving and a ton of vitamins, minerals, fiber and special plant chemicals that help fight disease. The sources of added sugar (like sodas, chocolate bars) typically contain hundreds of calories and not many nutrients. Of course, you need to balance out fruit with other foods, but any healthy diet plan should include several servings of fruit each day.
2. Avoid All Dairy
Dairy is another food group often banned from diets because folks claim it's tough to digest. Dairy products contain key nutrients, including protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, magnesium and several B-vitamins. Milk is also one of the best sources of vitamin D, a vitamin that many people don't get enough of.
3. Go Sugar- and Fat-Free
If you think dieting means sabotaging flavor, you're sorely mistaken. Typically foods that are manufactured to be free of sugar and fat are tasteless. Even worse, they are often misconceived to be calorie-free, which is often not the case. This can lead to a false sense of eating less than you actually are.
4. More Is Better
One of the most common examples is green tea. Studies show that green tea can help speed up your metabolism ... slightly. This doesn't mean you should drink bottomless cups of green tea. If you want to reap the benefits, drink 1 to 2 cups of green tea per day. More can be harmful.
5. The "One Food" Diet
Do you think one food will help melt away fat forever? Whether you're talking about cabbage, chocolate, cookies, grapefruit or anything else, relying on one food to lose those love handles isn't healthy or effective in the long run.
Courtesy Toby Amidor on foodnetwork.com
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.