Dieting myths - what's fact and what's fiction

Emma Brown | 30 Sep, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm constantly reading about what I should be eating, what I shouldn't be eating, what time I should eat etc. – it's easy to see why so many people get confused and give up the will to lose weight (enter your classic yo yo dieter!)

With this in mind we thought, what better way to help our members than to ask them what the most common or crazy things were that they'd heard about weight loss and fitness. Our expert Nutritionist, Janet Aylott, would then do her best to answer members questions and bust the myths!

There are 3 articles in the Resources section which will set you straight on what's fact, and what's fiction. Find out about the truth behind food myths, calorie claims and exercise and weight loss.

One of the most asked questions is "Is it true that we shouldn't eat after 6pm at night?" Simple answer? It doesn't make the blind bit of difference. Here's Janet's more detailed explanation:

There is no evidence at all to suggest that we shouldn't eat past 6pm and this is for any food including carbs and protein.

The important thing is that you stick within your calorie allowance over a 24 hour period which fits in with your own personal routine. So if you don't get in from work until 8pm and you then have to cook and eat, it won't make any difference to your weight loss plan as long as you haven't overeaten the rest of the day, or snacked (and not recorded!) whilst you're preparing your dinner.

You need to be aware of your triggers! So if you know that you're someone who always grazes in the evening, then you might want to impose a 'post 6pm' limit to break the habit. Alternatively save some 'evening snacking' calories for later on at night – whatever suits your own personal situation.

Although eating later in the evening shouldn't affect your weight loss, you should always think about the types of foods and drinks you're choosing and whether it will affect your sleep pattern etc.

It really does go to show that, providing you eat a healthy balanced diet, no food is banned and there are no strict time windows to eat your food in. My friends often ask me what the best weight loss tip is, each time I tell them without fail to follow a balanced, calorie controlled diet and to not avoid any food groups. Stick to your personal calorie allowance each day and you'll soon find that dieting doesn't have to be a torturous affair.

Nutritionist Emma Brown, MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.