Losing weight is no easy task, and myths persist about how to do it—which end up making it even harder.
With so many weight loss advice out on the internet these days, it is hard to know which is really true or which is audio. So you need to shine your eyes when deciding on the advice to follow.
Here are eight popular weight loss myths you need to thrash;
1. The only way to lose weight is to avoid carbs. Eaten in the right quantities and as part of a balanced diet, carbohydrates will not, on their own (that is, without butter, creamy sauces and so on added to them) lead to weight gain.
Eat whole grain and wholemeal carbohydrates such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, and potatoes with the skins on to increase your intake of fibre and don’t fry starchy foods when trying to lose weight.
2. Skipping meals will help you lose weight. According to research, skipping meals, especially breakfast can take a toll on your body, it can even lead to weight gain and elevate your cholesterol levels. Skipping meals is not a good idea. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to reduce the number of calories you consume and increase the calories you burn through exercise. But skipping meals altogether can result in tiredness and may mean you miss out on essential nutrients. You will also be more likely to snack on high-fat and high-sugar foods, which could result in weight gain.
3. Eating after 6 pm leads to weight gain. Though eating late has been linked with weight gain, setting a mealtime does not mean you will lose weight either. It all boils down to being conscious of how much you eat at night.
4. All slimming pills are ok to use for weight loss. Not all slimming tablets are effective or safe to use to lose weight. There are a number of prescribed medicines available for weight loss. There are also other un-prescribed, unlicensed weight loss products available on the market which may contain ingredients that are harmful to health. You have to be very careful with what you take especially with the numerous unlicensed weight loss products on sale these days.
5. To lose weight you only need to eat less and exercise more. While studies like the National Weight Control Registry show that people who lose weight successfully tend to change their eating habits and increase their exercise, that’s not the whole story. Other factors, like genetics, environment, emotional state and what types of food a person eats can also contribute.
Most people who follow this advice end up regaining any lost weight due to physiological and biochemical factors. A major and sustained change in perspective and behaviour is needed to lose weight with diet and exercise. Restricting your food intake and getting more physical activity isn’t enough.
6. Foods labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced fat’ are always a healthy choice. Be cautious. Foods labelled “low fat” have to contain no more than a specific amount of fat to legally use that label. If a food is labelled as “low-fat” or “reduced-fat”, it should contain less fat than the full-fat version, but that doesn’t automatically make it a healthy choice: Check the label to see how much fat it contains. Some low-fat foods may also contain high levels of sugar.
7. Cutting out all snacks can help you lose weight. Snacking isn’t the problem when trying to lose weight: it’s the type of snack. Many people need a snack in-between meals to maintain energy levels, especially if they have an active lifestyle. Choose fruit or vegetables instead of crisps, chocolate and other snacks that are high in sugar, salt and fat.
8. Cutting fat from your diet helps you lose weight. Avoiding fat doesn’t lead to weight loss. In fact, it often leads to weight gain. The latest research finds that foods containing healthy fat don’t make you fat — they can actually speed up your metabolism and help you shed pounds. Eat healthy fats (avocadoes, extra virgin olive oil, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, wild salmon) to lose weight, feel satisfied after eating and lower your inflammation levels, she advises.
In all, if you are concerned about your weight, it is best to consult your healthcare professional to put you on a program.