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5 Old Wives' Tales About Diets That You Need To Forget To Have A Healthier Life

I had a roommate in college who made a cabbage soup concoction that looked and smelled more like a witch's brew than anything edible. She swore this was the secret to dropping a few pounds in one week's time. Imagine her outrage when, after a week of eating nothing but unappetizing soup, she lost exactly zero pounds. She was furious for buying into one of the many old wives' tales about diets.

When it comes to losing weight, there is only one tried and true way to see results: lowering calorie intake and exercising. I spoke with Sarah Hays Coomer, a personal trainer and author of Lightness of Body and Mind: A Radical Approach to Weight and Wellness, about the dangers of believing these old wives tales, and she managed to debunk a few of these outdated methods. .

"Adjusting portion size is the most effective technique I've found for helping my clients drop pounds," she says. "If they are allowed to eat what they love, but consume less of it, they lose weight.”

The bottom line is, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. So if you catch wind of an age old trick that is known for performing weight loss miracles, make sure it's not one of these five old wives tale diet tips. Because you can only eat so many grapefruits before you go crazy.

1. Eating Grapefruit Burns Fat

Although grapefruit is a low-calorie food, the claim that eating grapefruit to loose calories is completely unfounded. According to an article published by West Virginia University, no food is capable of burning fat. It's just not what food does.

2. Eating At Night Makes You Gain Weight

It turns out, having a late night snack can be totally fine, as long as you are not overindulging. Shape pointed out that it's OK to grab a post-dinner snack if you're making a healthy choice. The time of day has no effect on weight gain, since your body will use the calories you consumed at night while you sleep, and into the next day.

3. Carbs Are The Enemy

Bread and pastas are delicious, but they sure do have a bad reputation as the leading cause of weight gain. Many diets have made their claim to fame on eliminating carb intake, when actually it isn't carbohydrates alone that will lead to extra pounds.

According to Eating Well, it's too many calories — not carbs — that cause weight gain. Although having a diet heavy in foods with a large about of carbohydrates is not a nutritious choice, it is the intake of more calories than your body needs that will be the cause of what ultimately leads to extra weight.

4. Skipping Meals Effects Your Metabolism

It's been said that skipping meals can slow down and speed up metabolism, but it doesn't matter which myth you've heard — they are both wrong. An article on CNN reported that skipping meals has no effect on the speed of your metabolism. It's more about the food choices you are making, and less about how frequently you eat.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar Curbs Your Appetite

The claim that drinking small amounts of apple cider vinegar before meals to suppress your appetite isn't only false, it can also be harmful. According to Mayo Clinic, there is no proof apple cider vinegar leads to weight loss. In fact, due to it's high acidity, it can irritate the lining of the throat and contribute to low potassium levels.

Images: arvind grover, Duncan Hull, Mike Mozart, Pete Markham, jeffreyw/Flickr; Giphy