Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Myths About Dieting - Debunking Time

So Time Magazine listed the top 10 myths about dieting - and "debunked" them.  I'm going to attempt to go up against the big boys and debunk their debunking. Or at least double check their logic.

Wish me luck!

So here's the list of claims they've made. But are they really true, hmmm.

TIME claims - There Are No Negative-Calorie Foods

Doug says FALSE

Ok. So I agree there are no foods with literally minus calories, obviously. But, there are foods that have so few calories that you burn as much energy whilst eating them as they provide (or less if you eat whilst on a running machine.)  The foods - Celery, Cucumber, Spinach, Cauliflower - to name but a few.

The magazine assumes the only energy burned when eating these super-diet foods is the incremental energy needed to move you jaw and digest in your stomach. Ironically, Time Magazine ignores Time.   It takes Time to eat your food, and in that Time you burn calories. Around 1 calorie per minute. So with a leisurely meal you can easily achieve negative calories. Find out more about negative calories and lazy diets here.

TIME claims - Calorie-Free Soft Drinks May Make You Fat

Doug says FALSE

Calorie free drinks are zero calorie. At the very least the juries out on this, but the research so far has simply indicated that people drinking calorie free drinks don't lose weight. That doesn't mean the drink isn't effective, it means that people who aren't monitoring calories supplement the calories they don't get from their Diet Coke by eating a Mars bar.

Simple equation - don't eat the Mars bar. In other words, watch your calorie intake and don't replace one set of calories with another.

I suspect this comes from the same place as people who do 30 minutes on the treadmill and then "reward" themselves with a big dinner.  If you want to lose weight, go on the treadmill or drink a diet drink (much easier), but don't have the extra replacement calories.

TIME claims You Can Lose More in Cold Weather

Doug says FALSEish

More than what? The article claims that the rumours that people add weight because of cold weather are false.

Luckily, this claim refutes itself.  It blames weight being added over winter on lower activity levels because its cold, dark, wet and miserable.  Duh! That is what happens during cold weather.

The cold weather directly causes lower activity for the average person. This is causal, not correlated. Its cold, so I'll stay indoors for example.

So, whilst its true that you "can" lose more in cold weather, you will have to work harder than you normal lifecycle would allow

TIME says You Can Eat After 8 P.M.

Doug says FALSE

When your body is looking to fuel itself, it looks to your digestive system first. If it finds sugars, carbs, fat, it burns them over time. If it doesn't find this energy, it starts to burn body fat.

In the evening and over night, you body is burning calories at its lowest rate. If you eat a big meal after 8pm, its highly likely that by the time you wake up for breakfast, your body is still happily getting its energy from your meal the night before.

If you last ate a small amount of carbs/sugar/fat at lunch time, it is significantly less likely that your body still has access to this easy energy over night.  And so, fat burn begins.

Its easy to test this. Weigh yourself in the morning after a big meal the night before, and the next day avoid the big meal and weigh yourself. If you are lighter, there's less food in that belly.

So again, you "can" eat, but you've got a better chance to burn fat if you don't.

TIME says Moderately Overweight Kids Shouldn't Be Put on Restrictive Diets

Doug says MAYBE

Kids need activity, healthy food and control of calories. So this one all depends on what you classify as a restrictive diet.

If your kids are eating high fat, high carb meals, and they are more than 10 lbs overweight, putting in some ground rules will help. No takeaways, No Sweets/Crisps/Chips and LowWhite Carbs, and more trips to the park. Is that a restrictive diet - well it has restrictions. Is it likely to drop the weight of your chubby child - yes. Is it unhealthy? Hell no.

So that's five out of 10 well and truly batted away.  The other five are listed below.  I'll have a go at sticking the knife into these tomorrow!

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