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Five Dieting Myths

You've probably heard that certain foods can help you burn calories or that snacking when on a diet is always a bad idea.

It turns out these are just myths.

Dr. Mallika Marshall dropped by The Saturday Early Show to help dispel five common weight loss misconceptions.

Myth No. 1: You must always voice fast food. Gone are the days when all you could get a fast food restaurant was a burger and fries. Fortunately, fast food chains now offer a variety of healthier options like salads, chicken sandwiches and fruit. So instead of ordering a burger, try one of those. If you order chicken, make sure it's grilled and not fried. If you get a salad, ask for the dressing on the side and avoid creamy ones that are loaded with calories. And instead of getting a shake or a soda, get a diet soda or a bottle of water.

Myth No. 2: Some foods make you burn calories. It would be great if there were foods that speed up your metabolism. Sadly, there is no such thing. There are, of course, foods that are good for you, like most fruits and vegetables, but none of these will make you lose weight. However, if you are on a weight-loss regimen. you may consider eating foods that are high in water and fiber because they stay in your system longer, fill you up, and keep you from overindulging at your next meal, which can help you lose weight.

Myth No. 3: If you consistently eat and exercise, you'll never gain weight. Exercise can certainly help you lose weight, but if you take in more calories than you burn off, you will gain weight. There is just no getting around it. And you also need to be aware that your metabolism slows down as you age, so you will probably have to work out more as you age to burn off those calories. One thing you may try, though. is lifting weights which will cause your muscles to continue to burn calories even after you finish exercising.

Myth No. 4: You can never snack. No, you can still snack. In fact, snacking is a good thing. Eating multiple small meals throughout the day is better than eating two or three huge meals a day. It helps maintain your metabolism and prevent binging. This does not mean you should be eating a bag of potato chips or box of cookies. Snack responsibly. Try a piece of fruit some cut-up vegetables or a handful of nuts. Low-fat cheese and yogurt are also a good choice.

Myth No. 5: All carbohydrates are bad when you are dieting. Not all carbohydrates are the same. What you want to avoid is processed carbohydrates which are found in products like sugar, white bread, pasta, white rice. But don't let anyone tell you that you should avoid all carbohydrates because certain carbs are really good for you, such as those found in vegetables, many fruits, beans, whole grain breads and cereals.

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