Diet Myths: An Infographic

Diet Myths: An Infographic November 4, 2013
Diet Myths That Are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss

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  • Joline Atkins

    hCG is a reliable, fast option. How about we focus on reliable, long-term, life-style changes???

  • SPM
  • Joline Atkins

    Thank you.

  • david carlson

    no evidence HCG works. This poster is an ad for a company peddling a product

  • Kishy

    hCG and a 500 calorie diet will make you lose, for sure! Well, leave out the hCG and you’ll still lose on a 500 calorie a day diet. Some people say hCG helps with the headache and weakness symptoms; others find that it does not. And when it comes down to it, after they lose weight on a VLC diet, most people return to their former eating habits because nothing inside them changed.

  • Stacie Anne

    As a dietitian by profession, hCG makes my skin crawl. There is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes loosing weight the healthy way. You don’t “go on a diet”, everyone has a diet. You just make modification to help achieve goals…just like any other type of discipline.

  • Kevin Brintnall

    hCG: Here’s one cautionary link regarding hCG:

  • Michael DeLong

    “Calorie burn of most exercises is insignificant.” That is simply not true. This chart from the Mayo Clinic ( shows exercises that burn anywhere from 200 to 800 calories in an hour. Burn 500 calories a day for a week (a long, brisk walk every day), and you will lose one pound of real weight. Exercise is not only significant, it is essential for losing weight and for good health.

  • Susan_G1

    A lot of the above is wrong, and some of it is actually harmful. It is certainly not good or helpful diet advice.

    Why would you post such advice on your site? As an MD, I am bound to first do no harm. What is a NT scholar bound to do?

    I’m really sorry this is so assertive. I would have sent this to you privately if you still listed your email address in your posts.

  • Would you be up for giving at least one solid line of reasoning? I am inclined to believe you from the anecdotal evidence I have, but it’d be nice to have scientific/medical evidence from an MD. 🙂

  • Cog2803

    Interesting – my comment that was critical of those being critical was deleted or removed. It seems then that only one POV is permissible here, is that correct?

  • Susan_G1

    Sure. Let’s start with the item at the top. “Myth: exercise = wt. loss” Let’s take a sedentary male, 41-45 yo. His average daily caloric need (maintenance) is 2,200 cal/day (that is generous). Let’s say for now, he just eats maintenance level. Presume he exercises a little every day, that is, takes the stairs, walks his dog dog briskly for 1 mile, gets up from his desk once in a while and walks around the office. That alone burns at least 150 cal/day, which will result in a net loss of 10 pounds in one year (more if he’s heavy to begin with). He notices this and decides he’s going to add an exercise regimen that is half cardio, half strength (muscle) building. Let’s say, he goes with a light-mod level aimed at burning 1000 extra cal/week (in addition to what he is already doing). that will give him a net loss of at least 20 pounds per year on an easily doable routine, and, here’s the good part: muscle burns more calories, even at rest, than any other tissue, so he will be burning more calories even in his sleep. He will also: help his (probable) osteoarthritis, decrease depression, lower his blood pressure, and feel an increased sense of well being (above decreased depression), sleep better, and decrease his risk of a cardiac event. If he goes for a mod- intensive level, 50/50 cardio/muscle he will lose much more and increase his benefits. If he makes minor adjustments in his calorie intake, he will do even better. Just cutting the calories from his diet will result in a weight loss as well, but it is not accompanied by any of the benefits of exercise, including the increased metabolism and increased strength. Furthermore, diets based on reduced calories alone are rarely effective over the long term.

    Exercise is so, so important.

    This addressed solely myth number one. It doesn’t address the contradiction of no. 2 (a 500 cal/day diet) with no. 4 (eating healthily). The worst item is the hCG diet. That one is simply dangerous on many levels. Yes, you’ll lose weight, but you’ll also lose muscle mass (a killer for diets), and it will all come back when you stop unless you possess a superhuman self-control, for you will have learned nothing to help you keep the weight off. And this does not address shooting up human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone present in high levels in pregnancy, illegal without a prescription, and (luckily) not absorbed gastrointestinally (including under the tongue). The 500 cal/day can result in fatigue, depression, bone mass loss, serious muscle mass loss, gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, and electrolyte imbalance necessary for proper muscle and nerve function. And I haven’t even really gotten into it.

  • scotmcknight

    No one deleted anything …

  • RJS4DQ

    I deleted it – but not because of disagreement with a point of view.

  • kenny Johnson

    I lost about 100 lbs in a year by reducing calories and increasing activity (exercise).

  • Susan_G1

    wow! That’s a great accomplishment! You can speak to the actual experience better than my theoretical. How are you doing at keeping it off? Are you still exercising?

    When I first had a gym membership, I was going for av. 300 cal/day, and that was pretty easy with 3 trips/wk. A woman I’d see was doing 1000 cal every day on her lunch hour. She was not overweight, so I finally asked her why she was working out like that. She answered, I love to eat! She looked great, she felt great, and she could eat whatever she wanted.

  • kenny Johnson

    I plateaued about a year ago — though I had another 50-65 lbs I wanted to lose. I’ve managed to keep it off, though I’ve recently gone up about 5 lbs. I’m maintained by just doing about 30-60 mins of walking per day. I’ve not made drastic changes to either my diet or exercise. I still eat things like burgers and pizza and dessert. I just try to be conscious of what I’m eating and how much. Because of the 5lb increase I’ve decided to start counting my calories again and stepping up the activity a little (I got a Pedometer and I’m using Wii Fit again).

  • Susan_G1

    congratulations on keeping those pounds off! I hope your example is an inspiration to others. Wii Fit is a great idea. I hope you get to your target weight one day, but what you’ve done is fantastic.

  • cog2803

    Was it tone then? I am curious what line I crossed.

  • RJS4DQ


    The first and last lines that attacked other commenters. The center part was fine (whether I agree or not).

    You could argue that I am not completely consistent and you’d be right – but that is mostly because I don’t have time to read every comment.

    I am going to put up a post talking about research on the influence of comment tone tomorrow.

  • cog2803

    hmmmm – fair enough I suppose. Carry on 🙂