Eating late at night won’t make you fat

Laura Williams

AS YOU return from Easter, balking at the thought of bearing all on the beach in a few weeks time after the year’s annual chocfest, make sure you don’t fall into one of the clichéd diet traps. Here are my favourite weight loss myths – debunked.

When you diet, your body goes into starvation mode
Your body does become more efficient at burning calories when you create a deficit and as a result weight-loss can sometimes slow, but not much. The fact is: if you’re consuming fewer calories, you will lose fat. Full stop.

Carbs are the enemy
Carbs contain just four calories a gram and are the food group most likely to keep you feeling fuller for longer. While protein and fat are essential too, it’s carbs that aid in everything from helping to maintain a good attention span to providing you with a good night’s sleep – definitely not the thing to be shunning. However, there are good carbs and bad carbs: fibre-rich foods like pulses, whole grains and fruit and veg are the good guys.

If you exercise regularly, you can eat what you like
While exercise has a very beneficial effect on the waistline (it burns lots of calories and raises your metabolic rate so you’re burning calories even when you’re not exercising), it’s certainly not a green card to eat what you like. To lose a pound of fat through exercise alone, you’d need to run 35 miles. It is better to restrict calorie intake and exercise.

Diets don't work
Diets work beautifully. Most diets involve calorie restriction in some form, even if they’re dressed up as low carb, and when a big enough deficit’s created, you will lose weight. What doesn’t work is resuming your old style of eating that forced you to diet in the first place – if you return to habits like big portion sizes, endless snacking, and high cal treats you’ll regain the weight.