Here’s the real scoop on 3 circulating diet myths…
1. Bananas are fattening
FALSE. One medium banana provides only 105 calories — you’d have to eat at least 6 bananas to equal one New York slice of pizza! Bananas are also a good source of fiber (3 grams), magnesium (32 mg), potassium (422 mg) and B6 (0.4 mg). And since foods low in sodium and rich in potassium and magnesium can help manage normal blood pressure, incorporating bananas into an overall healthy diet may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. What’s more, this nutrient-packed, fat-free fruit is a great source of vitamin B6, which helps boost your immune system and assists in the formation of red blood cells. Enjoy them plain, sliced into cereal, mixed with nonfat yogurt or cottage cheese, tossed into a fruit salad to add a starchy consistency — or peel and freeze for a yummy low-calorie frozen dessert. Obviously, watch out for banana “chips,” which have added fat and sugar and are loaded with calories.
2. Certain foods can help you lose belly fat
FALSE. Contrary to what some diet books and articles preach, certain foods cannot magically melt away the fat off your belly (or any other part of your body). Where fat tends to settle is typically all in your genetics. The good news is when you eat an appropriate amount of calories for weight loss (meaning less than you burn), you’ll eventually lose weight “all over” your body, including your personal problem areas (like your belly, if that’s where you have it). And if you add regular exercise while watching what you eat, you’ll burn even more calories and tone, tighten, and strengthen the muscles underneath the fat — so when it comes off, you’ll look even leaner.
3. The more you sweat during exercise, the more weight you lose
FALSE. While it’s true that exercise helps you lose weight by burning more calories, in order to lose one pound of real fat weight during your workout, you’d need to burn 3,500 calories. Thus, heavy sweating only indicates how much “temporary” water weight you’ve lost. The fluid will quickly be replaced as you drink water to rehydrate your muscles and body.