Top 5 Dieting Myths Dispelled

Is your head swarming with conflicting healthy eating and nutritional advice from your GP, personal trainer, friendship circle and more? It can be very hard to ascertain what’s right and complete bunkum when it comes to food, glorious food.

RELATED: Kickstart A New You With A 30-Day Dietitian Plan

Never fear, dear reader: here, leading Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell, who just launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, sorts fact from fiction when it comes to what we should – and should not – be putting in our mouths as we embark on a healthier, happier 2015.

Myth 1: Is eating bread really the antichrist? What if I’m trying to lose weight?

It’s not the bread, but which type and what we have it with that’s the problem. For example, thick Turkish toast with butter, or massive sandwiches and large wraps which can be equivalent to four slices of regular bread. You can easily lose weight with two small slices of Burgen Soy-Lin or lower carb bread each day.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

Myth 2: Am I failing at life if, like celebrity Sarah Wilson, I can’t give up sugar?

The thing with Wilson’s “quitting sugar” campaign is that it is based on a random set of rules and beliefs which mean you don’t quit sugar at all, but rather restrict a number of key foods that reduce carbs and calories significantly. And severe restriction always leads to deprivation and binging. A more sustainable and healthy approach is to simply cut out processed foods.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

Myth 3: Celebrity chef Pete Evans has his own TV show advocating the paleo diet. Is this now the fastest and healthiest way to lose weight?

Any diet will work if people stick to it and a couple of issues with the paleo diet is the cutting out of key food groups which can mean some nutrient groups like calcium and our B group vitamins suffer and for most people it is very difficult to sustain. I would argue, based on research, that a Mediterranean approach with lots and lots of vegetables is the healthiest way to lose weight.

weight-loss tips, dieting myths, bread

Myth 4: My GP says I should eat three big meals a day and nothing more. Is this the best way to keep the weight off?

Healthy eating is about finding out whatever works best for you, but less snacking with three-to-four meals and nothing in between is a good way to control calories and reduce the intake of little extras through the day.

snacking, healthy, weight loss, protein

Myth 5: Are treat days a slippery slope to obesity? Are treats only for toddlers, not adults?

Have treat meals, not treat days! Treat meals can include one-to-two a week and one extra – not a binge! Treat meals don’t have to spell dieting disaster. In fact, a well-structured cheat meal can help you overcome weight-loss plateaus. And, most importantly, remember it is a cheat meal, not a cheat day or a binge!

The Ultimate Chocolate Muffin Dessert

Susie Burrell’s new e-book Change Your Mindset And Lose Weight Fast: The Motivation You Need To Lose Weight is packed full of info and advice on finding and keeping your motivation, getting psychologically ready to take control of your weight and more. Visit Visit

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January 24, 2015

Is your job making you fat?

Desk bound office workers are getting fatter and more lethargic according to a firm of consultants that specialises in corporate fitness.

Health Works staff say they are seeing a rising tide of kilos, cholesterol, fatigue and inactivity amongst the hundreds of offices they visit to either operate in-office gyms or to run health programs.

The company’s anecdotal evidence is reflected by Australian Bureau of Statistics research that shows a greater number of us are struggling with our weight.

The proportion of adult males classified as overweight or obese increased from 46 per cent in 1989-90 to 52 per cent in 1995 and 58 per cent in 2001. Over the same period 32 of females were classified as obese in 1989-90, 37 per cent in 1995 and 42 per cent in 2001.

Workplace manager of Health Works Nicole Graham told CareerOne that the sedentary nature of many jobs today coupled with longer working hours had proved a recipe for creeping kilos.

The good news, she says, is that it actually takes very little effort to stay in shape.

“A lot of people think they have to go to the gym for an hour a day to get any fitness,” says Ms Graham. “In reality, if you exercise intermittently during the day you accumulate just as many health benefits as doing that gym workout.”

Walking 20 minutes to public transport, using the stairs at work twice, going for a short walk at lunchtime and then taking the dog or kids for even a short a walk at night might be all you need.

“People who take 10,000 steps a day are likely to be of normal weight, while those taking less than 5,000 steps a day are likely to be obese,” says Ms Graham.

January 28, 2003

Is your job making you fat continued

Ms Graham said that a brisk 10-minute walk to the Post Office at lunchtime would be the equivalent of 2,000 steps. Strolling the same distance would equate to 1,300 steps. According to Health Works, a good 30-minute walk is equal to 5,000 steps – or half the daily requirement.”If you can incorporate 30 minute walks into your day, say to and from the station or bus stop, you could find you have done enough physical activity to keep your weight stable without having to find a big block of time,” says Ms Graham.

“Brisk walking burns up just as many kilojoules as swimming, golf or cycling when done over the same period of time,” she says. “Stair climbing is also brilliant. Each time you mount one stair you account for one step.”

“People need to remember that any physical is good for them and will assist in approving their health.”

And diet?

“You can’t get someone to change everything all at once but of course diet is important to maintaining a healthy weight.

“We just want to get office workers more active first because we believe that activity will boost their energy levels, and make them feel more motivated and therefore interested in healthier food.”

Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to for more career related articles. Job hunting and workplace questions can be directed to CareerOne by emailing:

January 28, 2003