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Dr. Oz explores diet myths and weight loss foods like chocolate and coconut oil

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Pop! That's the sound of Dr. Mehmet Oz bursting the balloons of the most popular weight loss myths. From the truth about late-night snacking to stress-reducing weight loss foods, Dr. Oz explored diet fiction and fat-burning facts on his Thursday show.

Drastically slash calories to lose weight: Truth or myth? Dr. Oz says it's a myth because if you reduce your calories too much, you burn muscle rather than fat.

Another myth: Become a vegetarian to lose weight automatically. Wrong, says Dr. Oz. Many people who switch to vegetarian diets gain weight because they stop eating protein and eat carbohydrates instead.

Ever been told that eating at night makes you fat? Dr. Oz says that the latest studies show it is true. His recommendation: Eat your largest meal in the morning, your second largest at lunchtime and your smallest meal at night.

One of the most common reasons for weight gain is stress. The good news: Dr. Oz "prescribes" food as medicine when it comes to easing anxiety.

Among the most delicious recommendations: Hot cocoa made with dark chocolate. Other tips for reducing stress include red peppers, which contain vitamin C, and beef, which has zinc.

How does dark chocolate contribute to weight loss? Nutritionist and neuroscientist Dr. Will Clower proclaimed the tasty treat to be the ultimate diet supplement in "Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight: New Science Proves You Should Eat Chocolate Every Day."

Dr. Clower says you can lose as much as 20 pounds in eight weeks by eating small amounts of dark chocolate daily. The benefit of the food is linked to its high levels of antioxidants and the satiating power of cocoa beans.

In addition, Dr. Oz featured a woman who lost more than 100 pounds. Val says that by following Dr. Oz's suggestions, she finally won her battle of the bulge. She noted that certain changes helped in particular.

Among the changes to her diet: Val made her own weight loss protein drink with egg white protein powder, coconut milk, coconut oil and berries. She also changed her snacks to healthy choices such as a small amount of nuts.

What's special about that shake: It contains protein, shown to suppress hunger and optimize your metabolism. It also contains healthy fats in coconut oil.

On a previous episode, Dr. Oz proclaimed "If you’re going to choose just one product to add to your health arsenal, coconut oil may be your best bet." He said it's helpful both for weight loss and anti-aging.

How does coconut oil help with weight loss? It contains fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which help your body to burn fat more efficiently.

A study showed that women who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks did not gain weight from the additional calories. Instead, they reduced their abdominal fat. MCTs also curb cravings.

What to look for: Seek extra virgin organic coconut oil. Beware of products that say "contain coconut oil," as some may contain added sugar and artificial ingredients.

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