Losing weight is something everyone struggles with at some point of time or the other. With the abundant amount of information available to people on the Internet, people can very easily be misled. To avoid any form of confusion, here are the top myths, lies and misconceptions that are held about weight loss:
- All Calories are of equal proportion:
A calorie is a known to be a measure of energy. However, at the same time the way the body breaks down calories is very different: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
These are the three main sources of calories in our diet and the affect that they have on our bodies differ drastically. In fact, different foods are known to go through different metabolic pathways, which can impact our hunger and the hormones that regulate weight.
A simple change such as replacing carbs and fat with proteins can help to boost your metabolism, reduce appetite and cravings; while also optimizing the function of some weight-regulating hormone.
Besides this, certain calories from whole foods such as fruits, etc. tend to be more filling than those calories from refined foods such as candies, etc. It’s important to remember that not all calorie sources can have the same effects on your health and weight.
For instance, protein can increase metabolism; but it can also reduce appetite and improve the function of weight-regulating hormones.
2. Cutting out all the snacks will help you lose weight:
Snacking isn’t the problem to your weight loss; it’s always the ‘type’ of snack that you are eating. It is advisable to eat every few hours, in order to maintain energy levels but you need to make smart food choices.
You have to avoid fried foods and wafers, chocolate, crisps and those snacks that are high in salt, sugar and fat. Instead you should opt for fruits. Consulting a dietician to figure out which are the healthy snacks that you can have would be a good idea.
3. Fat makes you Fat:
Body fat is stored fat and is one of the three main macronutrients, besides carbohydrates and proteins. So, basically you would think if you eat more fat you would naturally become fatter (storing more fat in the body. However, this is not entirely true! There are certain foods, which can be high in fats, but at the same time they can be low in carbs. However, at the same time these foods should not be high-carb, high calorie junk foods.
Fat has always been the culprit for the obesity epidemic. However, there is nothing inherently ‘fattening’ about dietary fat. Everything depends on the context.
4. Carbs make you PUT ON weight:
Although many believe that carbohydrates are your worse enemy when it comes to weight loss, the truth is actually different. Your body requires carbs in small amounts to function well.
Whole grain and wholesome carbohydrates such as brown bread or brown rice are best and potatoes with skins on – to increase your intake of fibre. It is very important to avoid fried, starchy foods when trying to lose weight.
5. Supplements can help you lose weight:
Although they may seem very tempting, there is no shortcut to weight loss. The weight loss industry is massive and it is only a gimmick. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication through your workouts and balanced diet. The different supplements that are available all claim to have dramatic effects for weight loss and most often they work is because of the placebo effect.
People buy into the marketing and want the supplement to ‘HELP’ them lose weight, rather than putting in the effort. They thus become far more conscious of what they eat. Nonetheless, there are few supplements, which have a modest effect on weight loss such as Garcinia Cambogia Extract, Hydroxycut, Orlistat, Rasberry Ketones, Green Coffee Bean Extract, Glucomannan, Mertrim, Green Tea Extract, Conjugated Linleic Acid and Forskolin. However, it is always better to cut carbs and eat more proteins instead of opting for diet pills.
6. Losing Weight is a Linear Process:
WRONG! Many people may assume that losing weight is easy, but it is not at all linear. There may be days and even weeks when you may not notice a difference, but you yet have to continue the hard work. There may be times when you may be carrying food in your digestive system or your body could be holding onto water. For women, it is all the more pronounced as water weight can drastically fluctuate during the menstrual cycle.
It takes time to notice weight loss.
7. Low-Fat/Reduced Fat foods are always a healthy option:
Although they may look very tempting, food products that are labeled ‘low-fat’ or ‘reduced fat’ are not necessarily the healthiest option to opt for. It only means that the food substance does not contain the full-fat version. It automatically doesn’t become healthy this way. Such food substances may even contain high levels of sugar. It is very important to check their nutrition labels before buying them.
8. Weight Loss Diets ‘actually’ work:
Many people who want to lose weight are under the false assumption that they need to follow a certain ‘nutritional regime’ in order to shed their extra weight. However, the truth is very short lived. A weight loss diet cannot sustain you for the rest of your life. It has to be a way of living – a healthy style of eating that can be maintained and sustained at the same time.
It is very important to make sure that you have enough activity level in your life. Besides this, adopting a healthy lifestyle will only make you a happier, fitter and healthier person. Losing weight should then a natural side effect. It wont be healthy to go on any diet and starve yourself.
No matter how many diets you may go on, dieting can never be the solution to weight loss. In most cases, people gain whatever weight they may have lost.
9. Drinking water can help you lose weight:
There are many times when one may mistake thirst for hunger. Although it is very important to hydrate the body, it is also important to recognise when your body is hungry and eat at appropriate intervals and timings. Its important to avoid soft drinks and keep that to a minimum as they are high on sugar content which means high in calories. Even energy drinks can themselves be high in caffeine and sugar. It is important to ensure that you drink six to eight glasses of water in a day.
10. Starving is the best way to lose weight:
Many people feel that if they go for long periods of starvation then they will lose weight. However, that is not at all true. In fact it is very unhealthy and can even lead to weight-gain in the long run. By starving, your body does not get enough nutrients and remains low on energy, causing you to crave for high-sugar and high-fat foods. These diets are generally very hard to maintain and can lead to erratic emotions.