Calorie Myths & Facts

Have you heard the one about the fat-forming carbohydrate? Nutrition educators continually face the challenge of dispelling common myths about calories and weight management such as the ones provided next:

Myth: Eating most of your calories in the evening promotes weight gain.

Fact: No matter when you eat, you gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn off. However, mindless munching in front of the TV at night can push calorie intake over the top.

Myth: Fat-free is calorie-free.

Fact: Some people indulge in extra-large servings of fat-free foods, such as cookies, cakes, and crackers, without realizing that these foods may contain the same amount or even more calories than regular versions. Check food labels for the serving size and number of calories per serving.

Myth: Carbohydrates (or sugars) cause weight gain.

Fact: Carbohydrates do not cause weight gain unless they contribute to excess calorie intake. The same holds true for protein and fat. Findings from the National Weight Control Registry show that people who successfully maintain weight loss tend to eat diets that are higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat, in addition to watching their total calorie intake. However, some people who eat a diet that is extremely high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat get hungry sooner, which may trigger overeating.

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