These 3 Diet Myths Need to Disappear from Your Brain

Trust us: These are sabotaging your weight-loss goals.

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First, let’s just state the obvious: Losing weight (and keeping it off) is hard. And all the misinformation online, or in your mom friends text chain, about what to eat, what not to eat, and what time to eat it, makes it like, a million times harder (as if exercising regularly, eating nutritiously, and not giving into temptation wasn’t enough).

Here, get the truth about three diet advice myths that need to just disappear already—so you can toss them out, reboot, and finally achieve weight loss success. (You should totally give these slim-down tricks a try too.)

Myth: Cut all carbs to lose weight.

Your eyes and ears do not deceive you! You can and should eat carbs if you’re trying to lose weight (yay!)—as long as they’re the right ones (oh?). Carbohydrates come in two forms: complex and simple. Complex—found in whole-wheat bread, fruit, and beans, to name a few sources—are the good guys, because they’re packed with fiber, which helps slow digestion and keep you full. What’s more, they haven’t been stripped of other key nutrients that keep your body healthy. Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand—which can be found in, say, cookies, pasta, and white bread—are stripped of most of that good stuff, and move through your body faster, which means you’ll probably be hungry again soon after you eat them. Here’s more on how to pick the healthiest kind of bread.

Myth: Skipping breakfast is bad for your weight.

There’s no scientific proof that ditching brekkie will pack on the pounds, per se. But eating when you’re not hungry just because someone told you to? Now that just might. If your body is asking for it, eating a nutritious morning meal can help you control hunger so you’re not famished and eat double at lunch time. The takeaway: Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry—whether it’s morning, noon or night.

Myth: “Low-fat”or “sugar-free” on the label means you can eat more.

If this were true, we’d all probably be at our goal weight. Unfortunately, just because something is fat free or sugar free doesn’t mean it’s calorie free. Before digging into those fat-free devil’s food cake cookies, check the label to make sure you’re eating one serving, not five. In some cases, it may be a better bet to indulge in a small portion of your regular fat- and sugar-filled favorites. We bet you’ll enjoy it more than the lighter versions and the small sample could leave you much more satisfied (and unlikely to keep noshing).

Before you take the next step in your weight-loss journey, remember this: Diet fads and hacks will come and go (so choose what to believe wisely), but torching more calories than you take in will always be a slim-down formula that sticks. And if you have a weight loss setback—don’t fret. These four habits will get your diet back on track!

Ready for more? Here are three common metabolism myths that you need to stop believing ASAP.