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Dr. Oz dishes diet myths, stress relief and heart-healthy weight loss foods

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You count calories, avoid eating late at night and stay up-to-date on the most popular diet trends. But you've failed to achieve your weight loss goals. On his Feb. 12 talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz offered some insights into that common plight by debunking diet myths. Plus: Discover stress-relieving and heart-healthy foods for weight loss.

Get the skinny on the following diet myths unveiled by Dr. Oz:

  • Cut calories as low as possible to lose weight? This myth can harm your body, warns Dr. Oz. By going on an extremely low-calorie diet, you lose muscle as well as fat and can even damage your metabolism.
  • Does becoming a vegetarian guarantee weight loss? That's another myth, according to Dr. Oz. Some plant-based dieters make the mistake of eliminating protein while indulging in gigantic vegetarian muffins and veggie burgers on enormous buns. Protein actually boosts weight loss, so if you decide to become a vegetarian, you'll also need to plan your diet more carefully to avoid gaining weight
  • Does eating late at night cause you to gain weight? The reality: If you're a shift worker, you'll need to eat some food late at night to stay alert. However, Dr. Oz emphasizes that it's essential to plan your meals in such cases. For weight loss, eat your largest meal at breakfast, your second largest meal at noon and your smallest meal at night.

If you overeat because you feel stressed or anxious, Dr. Oz suggests using food as medicine. The following foods can ease your stress and boost your weight loss:

The following factors can boost your risk for heart disease: High cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity and high blood pressure. The good news: Dr. Oz says that certain foods and beverages can reduce your risk while helping you shed pounds.

Try these heart-healthy additions to your diet:

  • Sip hibiscus tea to reduce blood pressure.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on cinnamon or yogurt to control blood sugar.
  • Incorporate soluble fiber into your day to reduce cholesterol. Dr. Oz suggests adding one serving of Metamucil to a glass of water, then stir and drink before each meal. In addition to giving you enough fiber, it can fill you up and help you lose weight without hunger.
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