Over the past few years, countless calorie myths have sprung up, making it hard for us to determine which is which. Hearsay, so-called expert advice, and false advertising haven’t exactly helped either. Still, this didn’t stop us from our investigation. After a couple of wrong turns and red herrings, we debunk five calorie myths that all of us, at some point or another, have religiously followed.
Myth # 1: Daily heavy breakfast = fewer calories = weight loss
This is not necessarily true, reports CBS News. The number of pounds you gain is dependent on the amount of calories you consume, so if you habitually eat heavy morning meals, you’ll end up consuming more calories than if you were to skip breakfast entirely. That said, however, eating breakfast could also mean that you’re less likely to overcompensate during lunch, merienda, or dinner later on.
Myth # 2: Sex is as good a calorie burner as exercise.
Getting between-the-sheets action can be a workout, but it’s not that strenuous that you can write off exercise for good. According to a study published in the New Journal of English Medicine, an average sack session only burns about 21 calories, reports Prevention.com.
Myth # 3: Celery and cucumbers have negative calories.
The idea behind negative calories is that it takes more calories to digest vegetables like celery and cucumbers than they contain in the first place. According to Woman’s Day, this is absolutely not true. In fact, Los Angeles-based nutritionist LeeAnn Smith Weintraub, RD, says that “the calories you need for digestion won’t ever exceed the number of calories any type of food contains.” However, eating these greens may keep you fuller for longer.
Myth # 4: The more you sweat, the more calories you burn.
It sounds like a logical association, but Prevention.com says otherwise. Apparently, the amount of sweat your release is not a reliable indicator of how many calories you’ve lost because your sweating rate is dependent on other factors like fitness level, temperature, and air humidity—none of which are related to calories.
Myth # 5: Calorie counts are accurate.
No matter how good you are at counting calories, it can be a challenge to calculate your potential weight loss or gain when the calorie counts themselves are inaccurate. Just because the labels say that your energy bar only has 250 calories doesn’t mean that it has exactly that amount considering that most products are permitted to have a 20 percent margin of error per serving, which means that 250 calories could either be 200 or 300, proposes Shape.com.
(Photo by Kristopher W via Flickr Creative Commons)