In the two medical nutrition centers that I lead, I daily talk about the dietary habits of tens of clients that my team and I monitor, and there's a series of secrets and pieces of advice that I hear again and again that many clients try to follow, but they're not useful at all neither for weight loss nor for a healthy diet in general. Today, I'm telling you which they are and why you should stop trying to apply them in your daily life. You have to eat breakfast even if you're not hungry. Breakfast is a particularly useful meal, and if you're used to eating it, I'll invest time and effort to make it as healthy as possible. But if you don't eat breakfast, in no case will I make you start eating it. I don't believe that a healthy diet requires breakfast. You may follow a great diet without eating breakfast. In fact, studies are rather contradictory about whether breakfast can help you lose weight. Many studies show that breakfast helps you lose weight, but there are many others that show that it doesn't help, or even that it has the opposite result, namely it leads to weight increase. Don't weigh yourself every day. The frequency at which each one of us weighs themselves is absolutely personal. For some people, weighing themselves every day works, while for other people, weighing themselves every month is what works. The truth is that from day to day, fluids may fluctuate a lot in the body, especially in women, and these changes may scare someone that is trying to lose weight. But if you understand that this is normal and expected, then weighing yourselves every day is acceptable. It's not the best for everyone. But for some people, it is. You have to lose weight gradually. The rate of weight loss changes significantly from one person to another, and it depends on many factors. If you've gained many kilos quickly during the last few months, if your diet has worsened radically due to any reason, you may lose many kilos in the first month. Namely, you may lose a large part of the weight you've gained recently quickly. It's not bad. On the other hand, it's not necessary. The rate at which you lose weight depends on many factors. One of the most important parts of our job is to decide if this rate is satisfactory when you follow a specific diet in order to lose weight. You need to do aerobics in order to lose weight. Exercise has countless benefits for your health, and that's why I recommend it. On the other hand, there's no ideal exercise for weight loss. The ideal exercise for weight loss is the one you are going to do. Any exercise will help you lose weight, if you combine it with the appropriate diet. You have to quit carbohydrates. A large part of the people that want to know more about dietary issues are informed by websites written in English, typically by dietary experts that work in the US or Great Britain. In those countries, the Mediterranean diet is not common, and when they say "carbohydrates", they mean sugar and white flour. In the Mediterranean diet, the carbohydrates are legumes, root vegetables and fruit. If you try to quit carbohydrates, namely follow this instruction to the letter, together with sugar and flour, you will need to throw away legumes, root vegetables and fruit too. This is a really bad idea, because it will certainly make your diet much worse. In no case should you quit carbohydrates. What is useful in some cases is to replace sweets with natural sweets, namely fruit, and white-flour pastry with wholewheat pastry. This usually suffices. You have to quit fats. Before the US demonized carbohydrates, it had demonized fats for two decades. You'll usually hear this advice from more traditional dietary experts, because the modern ones passionately advise quitting carbohydrates. But if you follow the traditional Mediterranean diet, almost 40% of the energy you consume must come from oils and fats, which in this case is mainly olive oil. Therefore, the advice to quit fats is misplaced when you try to follow the world's healthiest diet, which is the Mediterranean diet. You should eat many small meals. Something that I hear at my office very often and makes me cringe is "Doctor, I always have a cereal bar with me, "because I have to eat something every two or three hours, "so that my metabolism doesn't slow down." Let you metabolism slow down, my dear. You don't have to eat a cereal bar made from sugar, flour and processed low-quality seed oils. You'd better eat nothing. You'd better leave your stomach empty. It's not the end of the world if your metabolism slows down a bit, as long as you boost it again with a healthy and tasty meal. You have to monitor the calories. Contrary to what most people think, our body is not a piggy bank. You can't put five in and have five, and if you add five more, you don't have ten, and if you take out three, you don't have seven.

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