5 diet myths that are stopping you from losing weight

Can't seem to shed those last few kilos? You might need to switch up the way you think about your diet.

If you've had success in the past or have reached a plateau with your weight loss, it might be time to think about ditching your diet altogether.

Aussie nutritionist and athour of Eat, Drink & Still Shrink, Michele Chevalley Hedge wants us to shift our mindset and stop following fad diets.

"The sheer amount of nutritional advice out there is overwhelming, but contrary to what you may have heard, diets don’t work and are often little more than white witchcraft. I urge you to ditch the vegan, paleo, fruitarian, keto, breathtarian or whatever the latest crazy diet is, for a more joyful life," she says.

Here, she busts the weight loss myths that may be standing in the way of your best body yet.

Myth #1: You have to eat like a bird

Michele warns that restrictive fad diets will not lead to a lifetime of healthy habits. Instead, "they lead to a feeling of denial, deprivation and anger," she says. 

Instead, cutting down on the processed foods and adopting more of an overall lifestyle change is the way to go. Radical meal plans aren't sustainable long-term, as Michele states, "You don't need to be a behavioural psychologist to see how many people go on a restrictive diet and lose three kilos only to regain five!"

Myth #2: Exercise cancels out bad choices

By this, you shouldn't be rationalising the way you exercise based on what you put in your mouth. If you think you'll do more exercise to offset the bad food or big night you had, Michele suggests that this approach won't help you to shift the kilos.

"You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet," she tells. "Learn to eat well and feel satisfied and nourished and you will not have to do this."

Myth #3: Counting calories is always the way to go

You may think putting a calorie limit on what you're eating will help you to curb snacking, but this approach may not work for everyone. Especially if you use your calories to consume alcohol or sugary treats.

"Being overweight is not about how much you eat, it's about what you eat," says Michele. "If you focus on quality not calories, then the quality takes care of itself."

Myth #4: You don't need to prepare or plan

Trying to keep on track with your diet is made easy when you meal prep. Without knowing where your next meal is coming from, or being stuck without snacks on hand when yu get hungry can lead to falling off the diet wagon.

"If we do not plan our meals we can find ourselves in a situation where we get grumpy, our blood sugar drops, and brain fog sets in," explains Michele.

"We reach for the fastest grab-and-go food possible that is often not nutrient-dense and/or packed with hidden sugars."

Myth #5: Going low fat or no fat

Choosing skim instead of full-fat may seem like it's a better option for you, but Michele advises against cutting out any of the food groups - especially fat.

There are plenty of people who believe that fat is the enemy, but good fat is an important part of a well-balanced diet. "Fats will not make us fat, but they will keep us feeling satiated and full, says Michele.

For more of Michele's tips, her book,  Eat Drink & Still Shrink is on sale now.

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