Consumer group Choice has launched a campaign to dismiss weight loss myths that it says hinder rather than help slimmers shed kilos.
Choice spokesperson Ingrid Just stressed there were no “quick fixes” for losing weight and said many popular theories did not hold up in the long-term.
“Miracle diets and advertisements for quick fixes sell books and fill magazines, especially this time of year.
“Many of these weight loss tips are short-term fixes that won’t do you much good in the long run,” she said.
Dismissing suggestions that carbohydrates are fattening and eating a big meal at night causes weight gain, Ms Just said having a balanced diet with occasional treats and physical activity was the best way to lose weight and maintain it.
“People are being bombarded by unsubstantiated weight loss tips and tactics that make big promises,” she said.
“It’s become very difficult to know what to believe.
“As boring as it sounds, to lose weight you need a combination of healthy eating – including the occasional treat – varied physical activity and regular sleep,” she said.
The consumer group’s nutritionists said misconceptions about weight loss had resulted in people putting their faith in “magic pills” and not getting enough nutrients or trying to lose weight using techniques with no evidence of efficacy to support them.
Choice rejected the suggestion that people can lose weight by eating celery, “because it requires more energy to digest than it contains”, with the group saying, “there are no magic weight loss foods or drinks”.
Zestfulness agrees with Ms Just that you need a combination of healthy eating – including the occasional treat – varied physical activity and regular sleep to lose weight. Zestfulness, however, feels that selective short term fixes can give you the boost, the encouragement to make those lifestyle changes to lose weight.