Lorraine Kearney: One ofthe biggest myths that I getfrom my clients is thatI need to skip meals andstarve in order to lose weight. It’s not true. So, if you skip meals,it’s gonna have such anegative effect on your bodythat when you do go tosit down and eat,you’ll probably overconsume. Narrator: That’s Lorraine Kearney,one of three dietitians webrought into our studios. My name is Ryan Turner. My name is Nikita Kapur. Narrator: To debunk 18 ofthe most commonweight-loss myths. Kearney: The biggest myththat frustrates me the mostis that all calories arecreated equally. A calorie is not just a calorie. It depends on the sourceof your calories,whether it’s comingfrom caloric-dense foodsor nutritional-dense foods. Caloric-dense foodswould be more so our cookies, our cakes. We can have a cookiethat’s 100 calories,we’ll eat it,it’ll digest really fast,then it’s gonna spikeour blood sugar levelswhere, when we startto crash again,we’re gonna cravemore sugarfor that energy pick-me-up. Narrator: And that canmake you gain weight. Kearney: On the other hand,you can have a banana. Narrator: Whichis an exampleof a nutritionallydense food. Kearney: I get the question a lot, do bananas make you fat?Bananas do notmake you fat. Bananas, they’re a greatsource of potassium,but for those 100 caloriesyou’re also gonna get thefiber and the nutrientsthat your body needsin that cellular levelto make sure thatyou are healthyand that you’re nourished. Narrator: And you definitelyneed to nourish your bodyif you’re trying tolose weight. Kapur: When we arerestricting calories,you are restricting theenergy source of your body. You’re also restricting theenergy source of your brain. And if that’s happening,then, you know,very primitive,protective mechanismsstart to kick into placewhere your bodysenses that asa physiological threatand does start to shiftyour metabolic balanceto burn less becauseit’s getting less. It’s kinda like a budget. Right?So, if you have a paycheck and you’re runningout of funds,you’re going to conservehow much you paytill your next paycheck. Your body does the same. Your body will jumpinto this protectivephysiological,biological mechanismto reduce the amountof energy you’re using,which is why it is hard forpeople to maintain weight. Narrator: And starvingyourselfcan also shrinkyour muscles. Turner: You wannamake sure that you’re not eating lessthan 70% of youroverall calorie needs. If you do, that’swhere not onlyare you probably gonnafeel extremely hungryand it’s gonna take you offof any goals thatyou’re setting,but you’re probablygonna start compromisingyour muscle mass as well,and that’s where weightloss is gonna be unhealthy. Narrator: But while theamount of caloriesyou consume matters,the timing might not. Turner: Timing your mealsis always a big question. Everyone comes to meand they kinda smirkand they think that I’mgonna give them a thumbs upwhen they say, “I don’t eatafter 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock. “And I say, “Oh, allright, do you enjoy that?”And they say, “No. “And I say, “Well thenmaybe eating after is OK. “Because timing of day is not going toaffect weight loss. Calories are what’sgoing to affectweight loss or body-fat loss. So, if you eat a bunchof additional caloriesand you’re in calorie surplusand those are cominglate at night,then that’s what’s causingsomething like weight gain. Narrator: And whatabout eatingfirst thing in the morning?Kearney: It depends on thebody, and it depends onthe person and theirrelationship with food. For a lot of people,me included,if I don’t eat a meal, Iusually feel very deprived,and it’s like I want tomake up for it later. If that happens,then that’s when we canadd in a lot of calories. Personally, I’m a hugeadvocate of breakfast. Our body runs on fuel,and food is our fuel. So if we have our breakfast,then we feel we havemore sustained energythroughout the day. Narrator: And if you dochoose to eat breakfast,feel free to go forthat 2% yogurt. Turner: Now, fat isincredibly necessary. We should not beafraid of fat. We need fat in the diet. Fat’s gonna benecessary for thingslike absorbing nutrients,like the fat-soluble nutrientslike vitamin A andD and E and K. And you also need tomake sure that fat,specifically cholesterol,is what’s gonna help producethings like your hormones,so things like estrogen andtestosterone,growth hormones,so we need all thosekind of things. Narrator: Not only isfat healthy,but fat-free foods are oftenloaded with sugar or salt. Kearney: So, if youhave a wholesome productand you’re removingthe fat of it,it’s gonna tastecompletely different. You probably wouldn’teven like it. But what they’re gonnado is replace that flavorwith something else,and usually it’s eithersodium or sugar. So, with sugar,when we have, like, a yogurtthat has the fruitat the bottom,they’re gonna haveway more sugarsthan if you had, like,a 2% Greek yogurt. Narrator: And, as itturns out,fat isn’t the only nutrientyou can keep in your dietand still lose weight. Kearney: One of the biggestmyths I get about carbsis that you must omit themfrom your diet to lose weight,or my body doesn’tdigest themwell and I have to omit thembecause I’d neverlose weightunless I restrict myself. It’s not true. Narrator: And it’s justnot sustainable. Kearney: It’s almost impossible to have a no-carb diet. Fruits and vegetables areknown as carbohydrates,and we must get thosefor their nutrients. Why carbs havea bad name?It’s because ofthe simple carbs. The carbs that you seeprepackaged that are the cookies,the cakes, the sodas,the potato chips. They’re calledsimple carbsbecause the chemicalstructure of themis usually one to two glucosemolecules put together. So, when you have, like,a small glucose molecule,it’s easy for themto break away. But with our complex carbs,they are really longchains of carbonthat usually are about18-carbon long,and then, by the timethat your bodystarts to break it down,it’s gonna take a while, andthat’s exactly what we wantbecause it helps balanceour blood sugarand also that fiberkeeps us full for longerand then also preventsus from snacking. So, eat your carbs. Definitely eat yourcarbs and eat your bread. Bread’s delicious; it’sone of my favorite things. Narrator: And she hasa pro tipfor finding bread withmore complex carbs. Kearney: Read youringredient list. With bread, a lot of thosemass-produced breadsthat are in the bread aislethat are shelf-stable,they can last a monthwithout gettingmold on them. And when you lookat the ingredient list,it’s probably about50 ingredients long. They’re the oneswe wanna avoid. When you’re getting bread,get the fresh bread thatcomes from the local bakery,which is usually aroundthe deli counter areainside of grocery stores. Those will have maybefour or five ingredients,it’ll mold after two days,but you can preserve itby just putting itinto the freezerand take it outas you need it. Narrator: And,speaking of bread,what about goinggluten-free to lose weight?Kearney: Gluten-freefor weight losscan be a hugemarketing ploy. So, with gluten-free,there are a lot of peoplethat do have anintolerance to gluten. Or they have celiac disease,which is where the bodystarts attacking itselfand can deterioratethe body. Narrator: But there arealso peoplewithout these conditionswho are looking to. . . Kearney: Blame somethinglike the glutenwithout checking therest of their diet. If you are honestwith yourself,recording your food,checking the ingredients,and then you eat the glutenand you feel theintolerance, then great. But a lot of people willchoose to just jump inand be like, gluten’sthe enemy. Narrator: So, most of usdon’t need to cut out glutenor fat or carbs tolose weight. But there are some productsbetter left on the shelf. Kearney: The diet sodasare terrible,with all the additives,preservatives in them,and the hidden sugars. A lot of the added sugarsare the synthetic sugarsthat are supposedto be greatbecause they don’trelease insulin,which then doesn’t cause aspike in blood sugar levels. But, internally,if we don’t stimulatethe release of insulin,those sugars, the syntheticsugars, go to the liver,build up around the liver,hinder the functioningof the liver,and then can lead tononalcoholic fatty disease. If I’m gonna have a soda,which I have oncein a blue moon,it will be the real thing. Yes, there’s more sugar in it,but it’s something that Idon’t have on a regular basis. Narrator: Better yet,she says, drink water. Kearney: Jazz upyour water. Add fruit to it, add somemint or cucumber, lemon. Yes, it’ll take a little bitfor your taste buds to reset,but you’re getting so manynutrients from that water,and your bodyrequires waterfor it to functionoptimally. Water is one ofthe six nutrientsthat the body needs. And when we’redehydrated,it also mimics thesigns of hunger. So people turn to food alot if they’re dehydrated,not realizing thatthey’re not hungry,it’s just your body saying,”Give me some water,I’m thirsty. “Narrator: And whatabout juice?Kearney: Oh, juicecleanses. So, juice cleanses are,like, one of my pet peeves. If you’re having a juiceevery once in a while, great. You’re still getting theantioxidants out of it,you’re still gettingthe nutrients,but you’reremoving that fiber. And fiber is key for thebody to support gut health. With a lot of juice cleanses,they’re hella expensive,and we have this beliefthat they’re gonna bebetter for our bodiesor it’s a cleansingeffect of our body. Realistically, what’shappening is that,when you have thosejuice cleansesthat are mostly comingfrom, like, fruit sugarsand then thevegetable sugars,it’s a high, high amountof fructose in the body. When the body consumesexcess fructose,it has a spasming effectof the GI tractthat can lend tothe cleansing effect. So that when weare actually havinga reaction to the highamounts of fructosein the body,people think it’s thecleansing effectbecause the marketingploys haveled us to believe that way. But it’s not. You would be bettercleansing your bodyby actually eating theapple, eating the spinach,and eating all the other fruitsthat are in that cleanse. That would be better for youbecause fiber is ournatural detox. What it does is it goesthrough the body,picks up, like, excessfat, metabolic waste,and help cleanse it out. Narrator: But juice cleansesaren’t the only diet fadsthat don’t often work. Turner: Intermittentfasting is probablya question I get all the time. It’s. . . we can kinda putit in that myth category. Narrator: Now, it canrestrict caloriesand, at least temporarily,help you lose weight. Turner: If you’re only allowedto eat food for eight hours,that just gives someonea lot of structure,and that can be very,very helpful. You can only get so manycalories in your mouthin that time. On the flip side,someone can get a lot ofcalories in their mouthduring that time as well. So, someone can, and I’veseen many people do it,they’ve gained weightthrough intermittent fasting. So it’s not just gonnabe this quick fix;there’s nothing magical to it. Narrator: And the same goesfor many popular diets. Kapur: So, one of thecommon diets right nowthat is gaining popularityis the ketogenic diet. So, a lot of peoplewho are doing thatare just eliminatingcarbohydrates,which is why that’shard to sustain,because your body doesneed carbohydratesfor a reason. To be honest, there’snot a lot of researchthat’s saying that that issomething that is helpful. There’s maybe a lot ofresearch in mice models,but that hasn’t been transcribedinto human studies. Narrator: And while peoplehave lost weight on keto,it’s often notwithout side effects. Kapur: They’re eliminatingwhole grains and legumes,certain fruitsand vegetables,and really increasingtheir fat intake,which, althoughfats are important,excess of anynutrient can causemetabolic changesin your bodythat will impact yourcardiovascular health,your physical health,your metabolic health. So, an examplewould be patientsthat we’re seeing inthe clinical settingare following ketogenicdiets, are seeing weight loss,however, are coming withhigher cholesterol markers,they’re coming withhigher LDL markers,they’re coming with moreirritable bowel symptoms,they’re coming with moregastrointestinal discomfort. Narrator: The truth isthere’s no one toolthat will make youmagically lose weight. Kapur: I think the mostprevalent conceptaround health thesedays is biohacking,which is this idea thatyou can defeat biology,you can work around yourgenetic predispositions,your metabolic parameters,and that is actually not true. And the reason forthat is becauseyou cannot defeat biology,you cannot hack hunger,you cannot hack accessto healthcare,you cannot hack motivation. And this idea that, again,if those results are there,you’re going to be ableto feel more satisfiedis also not true. So, this biohacking works onthis concept and this beliefthat, you know, you can workyour way and fix your body,and that prescribes tothe social constructthat it is up to youto change that. Narrator: And that’s alsowhy most diets don’t work. Kapur: They’re hardto sustain,they’re hard to maintain,so the results arevery temporary,which is why we go back to something, trying something new. It’s important to focuson behaviorsrather than outcomes. Kearney: Where you shouldstart is record your food. A simple food logto lose weightis really just beinghonest with yourself,identifying your foodsand the hidden ingredientsthat could becontributing to excessof hundreds and hundredsof calories per day. Take olive oil. Olive oil is great. But when we cook with it,we usually free-pourit into a pan. Each tablespoon of oliveoil has 128 calories. Now, if you’re pouring in,like, 6, 7, 8 tablespoonswith your vegetables,you’re getting almost 1,000calories that you don’t need. Narrator: So, pro tip forcooking with olive oil:Kearney: Put it in, waittill your pan is hot,once it’s hot, add 1 to 2tablespoons of olive oil,and then add inyour vegetables. When the pan is hot enough,it will disperse easierand then you’ll use less. Also, once you putthe vegetables in,some water and moisture willcome from those vegetablesand will add to theliquid in the pan,so you actually don’tneed to add excess in. Narrator: And ifyou are beingmindful of what you eat,that whole idea of cheating?Kearney isn’t a fan. Kearney: I don’t thinkthere is any cheat meals. I don’t like the word cheat. I think it gives it this,it gives us this, like,higher power,like, oh, this is really badand I can’t believe I did this,I completely felloff the wagon. No, remove that. Because then you’regonna want it more,you’re gonna feel evenmore guilty about it. If you go out andyou’re socializingand you’re trying out one ofNew York’s best restaurantsthat’s filled with creamand butter, enjoy it. Just try to get asalad to start. And filling up on salad is agreat way to cut the calories,and then, have, like,one of the appetizersthat are not in linewith your health goalswith your table and share,’cause sharing is caring. Narrator: And there’smore good news. Kearney: You can stilllose weightwhile drinkingoccasional alcohol,if you’re sticking tothe cleaner foods. And by omitting all the foodsthat you tend toenjoy in the past,by omitting alcohol, tryingto increase your exercise,and then doing this, like,detox fad all in one go,it’s overwhelming, and it’ssetting you up for failure. So doing it in stagesand being more realisticabout what youcan change now,and then work towards it. What I usually recommendto my clients istake care of your food now. You’ll understandhow your bodyfeels when it’s nourished,understand how yourgut health is supposedto be supported,and then we’llfocus on alcoholand working inthe exercise. Narrator: But the thing is,no matter how muchwe care about it,weight definitelyisn’t everything. Kapur: I think one ofthe biggest mythsaround weightloss and weightis that overweightequals unhealthy,normal weight equals healthy,as defined by theBMI category. BMI is a very inaccuratemeasure of healthbecause it is just lookingat your height and weightwithout taking into accountwhat your metabolicfactors and parameters are,what is your physiologicalhealth, your physical health,your sleep, yourmental health,your relationship to food. And I think it’svery importantto factor those thingsif we really wanna definesomeone as healthy. And if we’re not gonna lookat it more holistically,I think what that does isit marginalizes peoplein bigger bodies. Narrator: Plus, noteveryone can lose weight,even if they’re puttingin the same effort. Kapur: That’s a verycommon myth,that everybody should have,has the same abilityto lose weight,and if everybody eatsthe same way,they’re gonna lookthe same way,which is very untrue,and that’s incorrect. And the reason for that isI think it’s importantto understand thatsomeone’s weight is a factorof so many different things. It is so complex. All the way from yourgenetic predispositions,your family history, yourpast medical history,your relationship to foodas you were growing up,because not everybodyhas access to food. Because health is aboutinclusion, access,connection, joy,physiological well-being,and we have to take thosefactors into account.