Diet Myth 6

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Diet Myth 6

Snacking effects weight gain.

A 2011 study of 257 women found that frequent snacking helps keep pounds away, while a study the following year suggests that removing all snack foods from your home can help you stay skinny. So, which is it?

The answer is both. And neither.

While it is possible that eating small meals and a few snacks could rev up your metabolism, weight loss really comes down to the number of calories you eat in a day and how sated you feel, D’Avila said.

“When we don’t eat, our bodies will conserve the calories so we don’t lose weight, but most people don’t consider their snacks as calories,” she said. “If you’re going over your daily caloric intake, you’re going to gain weight.”

Monitoring your snacks is not enough: One of the reasons we’re such a fat nation is that we consume too much food. Not a little too much. Ridiculously, embarrassingly too much.

The average American ate 530 more calories a day in 2000 than in 1970 – a 24.5% increase. The idea that cutting out your afternoon pastry or ordering your burger without the bun is going to be enough to slim down is missing the point. The average daily recommended calorie intake is 2,000 (though it varies per person). This means we are overeating, on average, an entire meal’s worth of calories.

So go ahead and snack. Or don’t. But unless you take stock of your entire caloric intake, you’re not doing your body any favours.

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