GOOD HEALTH: Avoid fad diets and aim for small changes for your health in 2018.
GOOD HEALTH: Avoid fad diets and aim for small changes for your health in 2018.

Read this before you start your New Year diet

DIETING to reduce your weight isn't necessarily the best thing to do; taking practical and sustainable actions will achieve a much better outcome.

Cancer Council Queensland chief executive officer Chris McMillan said weight loss myths and misconceptions could hinder people from losing weight effectively.

"You don't need a revolutionary New Year's resolution or dramatic change to your diet to lose weight, or to prevent yourself from gaining more weight," Ms McMillan said.

"Eating more fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, exercising regularly and staying clear of common myths and misconceptions can make a big difference.

There are four myths to debunk before you progress your New Year weight loss resolution -

Myth 1 - you need to detox after the festive season.

The good news is - there is no need for a crash diet in early January because our bodies detox naturally. Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal, and immune system remove toxic substances within hours after we consume them. Instead, focus on limiting unhealthy options and exercising to lose weight.

Myth 2 - you can eat what you like, as long as you're exercising.

While exercising will assist with weight loss, it's not the only answer. It's best to complement regular physical activity with a healthy diet for improved results.

Myth 3 - you can't eat carbs at night.

Many fad diets push the idea that carbohydrate foods should be cut out to lose weight, especially at night. This is far from the truth. In fact, they're actually good for controlling our weight. There is strong evidence that eating wholegrains is linked with lower body weight, a slimmer waist, and reduced risk of weight gain.

Myth 4 - fat makes you fat.

Although there are unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats, not all fat is bad for you. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats and are an important part of a healthy diet. These fats help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels and can be found in foods like nuts, avocado, fish and olive oil. 

Small changes

"Even if you make just one resolution this year - pledge to lead a healthier lifestyle," Ms McMillan said.

Everyone should opt for foods that are low in sugar, saturated fat and salt and be sure to include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, low fat dairy options, and lean proteins.

"The benefits to losing weight are an increased sense of wellbeing, greater health and reduced risk of a range of chronic diseases, including some cancers," Ms McMillan said.

"Make a commitment to small changes for your health in 2018 - helping you to lose weight, and keep it off in the long term."

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