Doctor explains popular diet myths

Andara Puchino

Dr. Joey Skelton, director of Brenner Families in Training at Brenner Children’s Hospital, joins us to break down common weight loss myths.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Dr. Joey Skelton, director of Brenner Families in Training at Brenner Children’s Hospital, joins us to break down common weight loss myths.

Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day- you must eat breakfast to lose weight and be healthy.

Breakfast is important, and research still shows that long-term breakfast eating is good for our health. But for weight loss, recent research shows it may not be as important as we thought. However, if you eat breakfast, do not stop eating breakfast to lose weight – just look to what are some healthier options, focusing on protein and fruit or vegetables. If you don’t eat breakfast, it is a good habit to develop, but likely not that important for weight loss.

You can lose weight by increasing exercise, even if you don’t change your diet.

Exercise is good for you – period. And if you want to stay at a healthy weight, it is Very important to get exercise. But when it comes to weight loss, changes in your eating habits are more important. You can lose weight with exercise, but your body eventually adapts to that, and the weight will come back. Changing what you eat will have the biggest impact. Exercise has many other important benefits to your body, and it can help you stay at a new weight, but alone is not enough to lose weight.  

Eating healthy is more expensive, so I’m better off skipping meals so I can save money and lose weight.

Healthy eating, at first, can be more expensive, particularly if you are eating out, or buying pre-made foods or partially-prepared meals. But in time, as you get better at cooking these foods, the cost can even out. It is cheaper than most meals eaten at restaurants, and way better for you. Once you learn smart shopping and proper storage so you don’t waste fresh produce, you end up saving money. You just have to develop your own smart-shopping skills.  Skipping meals is an overall bad idea for many reasons – your body hates that!

You have to eat every 3 hours or eat 5 small meals a day to lose weight.

For some people, eating frequent, small meals works well for them, but It’s not for everybody – some people can’t do that because of school and work, and other people may end up eating more food than they need with this plan. Different diets work for different people – the most important thing is to find the plan that works for you, and doesn’t make you miserable. The best start is to have an eating schedule that fits with your life and family, then make adjustments based on your hunger, your preference, and whatever allows you to plan your meals out.

Drinking water before meals helps you eat less and lose weight.

Nope! People used to think it would fill you up, so you would eat less, but that just isn’t true. Water will empty fairly quickly from your stomach, and water doesn’t include the other things that fill us up – calories from fat and protein.

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