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Maybe you have a high school reunion coming up. Maybe you just haven’t been feeling your best. No matter your reasons for wanting to drop a few pounds, read this first and know that not every weight-loss “rule” is true.

weight loss rate

Myth: Everyone loses weight at the same rate

Sometimes slow and steady wins the race, but not necessarily when it comes to dieting. Every body is different. For example, the more weight you have to lose, the faster you'll initially lose it. The opposite is true as well: Someone starting out with a lower body-fat percentage is going to shed pounds at a slower rate because they've got less to lose. 

weight loss late night1

Myth: Don’t eat after 7 p.m.

The truth: It doesn’t matter what time you take your last bite as long as your overall calorie intake is stable. (Think about thin people all over the world who eat dinner at 10 p.m.) The problem is that late-night snacks aren’t typically healthy. Stick to light treats, like fruit or popcorn.

weight loss skip

Myth: Skipping meals helps you lose weight

The truth: Sure, breezing over lunch seems like an easy enough trick. But skipping meals is a big no-no if your main goal is to lose weight. Limiting yourself makes you feel sluggish and also more prone to consume larger quantities than you normally would at your next meal.

RELATED: 7 Myths About Sleep That Are Total B.S.

weight loss big meal

Myth: Six small meals are better than three big ones

The truth: The thinking goes that multiple small meals boost your metabolism. But studies have shown that there’s no real difference in weight loss between those who ate the same calories in three versus six meals. Again, just keep your daily calories in check.

weight loss carbs

Myth: Avoid carbs at all costs

The truth: In a post-Atkins world, carbs should absolutely be part of a balanced diet. The key is to choose good ones (like brown rice, fruits and vegetables) over refined and processed versions (like white bread, cookies and chips).

weight loss fats

myth: All fat is bad fat

Please get this out of your head. Yes, some fats can bulk you up (namely dairy-related), but others are essential. Take olive oil, which is a monounsaturated fat (the good kind) and has been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol in addition to reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke.

weight loss gluten

MYTH: GLUTEN AND DAIRY ARE THE DEVIL

The truth: Unless you have a diagnosed health condition, these have no correlation to weight loss. Depriving yourself of goods with gluten or dairy means missing out on great sources of calcium, protein and those good carbs we mentioned earlier.

weight loss cardio

Myth: Cardio is the only way to shed pounds

The truth: Strength training won’t make you a bodybuilder, OK? Lifting weights helps you build muscle, which burns more fat and calories. So, yes, cardio is important, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pepper in a few weights sessions every now and then.

weight loss water

Myth: Drinking water is a quick fix

The truth: Someone with an unhealthy diet and nonexistent exercise regimen isn’t going to lose weight just because he or she drinks a lot of water. You should still hydrate constantly, since water keeps you fuller, and we often mistake thirst for hunger. But don’t make it your main weight-loss strategy.

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