Here are eight food rules you can ignore:
1) “Eating at night will pile on the pounds”. Putting on fat has more to do with the total calories and quality of food you consume over a 24-hour period or over a week. The time of day you eat calories doesn’t matter as much as what you eat and how much compared to your activity levels.
2) “Eat five meals per day at regular times”. The best approach is to eat when you’re hungry, not when the clock says it’s time to eat. Everyone’s metabolism is different and there is no golden rule to stick to. If you are not active then eating five meals per day is a mistake, as it will elevate insulin levels that can cause a fat storing state instead of a fat burning state.
3) “Dietary fat keeps you feeling full longer, so you’ll eat less”. This rule came to existence due to the fact that fat takes longer to digest, but it will not help you control your appetite. Foods containing protein are more likely to fight off hunger the longest.
4) “When you blow your diet, you might as well wait until the next day to get back on track”. Nothing could be farther from the truth — try to get right back on track with your next meal.
5) “Refusing food at a party or when visiting is rude”. This olden-day way of thinking should have no place in the modern era. It is now socially acceptable to turn down food you know is not healthy or will hinder your weight-loss goals. People are more likely to compliment you on your will power.
6) “Skipping a meal every now and then will help you lose”. Skipping a meal means you will be even hungrier at the next meal, where you are likely to then overeat. This can also affect your metabolism by causing it to slow down.
7) “Fat is fattening”. Fat is an essential part of your diet and contains essential vitamins and nutrients our bodies require to maintain health. Furthermore, certain good fats actually turn off the fat-storing genes and turn on the fat-burning ones.
8) “All calories are equal”. Fortunately, experts have proved this false. We need to take the focus off calories and place it firmly on nutrient density. Different foods affect the body in very different ways depending what nutrients, or lack of, are consumed with those calories.
In the end, nutrition experts say, many of the food and dieting rules we hold dear are meant to be broken. There is really only one rule that we should all try to uphold. That is to always eat “real food” and therefore stay away from processed foodstuffs. Your body will generally automatically regulate your weight in a healthy range if not clogged up with toxins and chemicals.