Perhaps, one of the most searched queries on Google is “How to lose weight fast?” There are lots of weight loss tips and advice. Most of them, however, do not serve the goal.
When it comes to weight loss, people all around the world have some common beliefs, although there is evidence against the same. In this article, we debunk some common myths that are associated with losing weight.
Here are some beliefs entirely false about weight loss. Instead, concentrating on any of them more result in fat gain.
Myth #1: Eating low or no fat foods will make me thinner
As bad as the word “fat” sounds, our bodies need healthy fats for various vital functions.
For instance, healthy fats build cell walls, make sheaths around the nerves to protect them, make Vitamin D3 through sunlight, provide cushions for tissues, etc.
In the absence of the necessary fats, there will be fluctuation in the sugar levels through the rapid burning of the carbohydrates in the body.
Carbohydrates and fats can be interchanged; the chemical conversion starts happening in the body, and when your body does not have a fat reservoir, it converts carbohydrates into fats thus slowing the rate of metabolism and making it even more difficult to burn the fat to get thinner.
Even for people wanting to build a muscular physique, a certain amount of fat intake is essential for muscle building.
Obviously, obese people need to consume fats in the correct proportion to stay fit, however eating these hyped low or not fat foods certainly does not help the cause.
With the addition of artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils, these so-called low-fat foods make you fatter. Instead of consuming high saturated fat foods, choosing foods that are rich in unsaturated fats helps.
Healthier alternatives include vegetable oils. Nuts, muesli, fish oil supplements, etc. The catch with low-fat foods is, although the content of fats is low, some calories added through sugars, proteins, starch, etc.is not low.
A study was done by the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute: Eating a low-fat blueberry muffin piles on 131 calories, whereas a regular blueberry muffin provides 138 calories, hardly any difference.
You can go for Monounsaturated fats – MUFAs – which are found in olives, nuts, avocados and healthy plant oils.
As per a study from British Journal of Nutrition, a diet rich in MUFA helps lose body fat and aids calorie burn for longer periods. Couple these delicious healthy MUFAs along with your normal low-calorie diet plan to lose weight. Thumb rule: Try to consume more liquid fats than solid fats, and you will be fine.
Myth #2: Cutting more number of calories will make me lose more weight
It is a well-known fact that 3500 calories equal 1 pound of fat. For a person wanting to cut a pound a week, reducing 500 calories during one week implies weight loss of 1 pound per week.
It is proven that human body needs at least 1200 calories each day; you cannot consume lesser calories than this without harming your health. The problem with low-calories diet plans is that you have to force the body to go into starvation mode, which results in retaining of unwanted fat.
The body needs energy, and it does so by burning lean muscle, resulting in slower metabolic rates. Also, the weight loss is not sustainable, how long can you keep yourself in the starvation mode? The weight comes back once the normal diet regimen is resumed.
Weight loss has to be accomplished through small, realistic steps and a pragmatic approach. Going for fat diets is not recommended, although it is true that you can achieve your weight loss goal through them, in the long run, it affects your health
Myth #3: Taking low or no carbohydrates results in weight loss
Carbohydrates make you fat: perhaps one of the more common myths around weight conscious people.
Why is it still such a popular belief though?
Yes, carb-rich foods do have a lot of calories, but it is proven through research that consuming lesser than 130 g of carbs every day results in a lack of production of serotonin and other neuro – transmitters essential for proper function of the brain.
Taking complex carbohydrates such as starch, bread and pasta are avoided by many. In fact, starchy foods such as potatoes, bread and pasta are recommended.
Complex carbs come under the classification of “good carbs”. These are broken down in the body slowly that releases sugar into the bloodstream consistently for energy.
Good carbohydrates present in fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grain bread, meat and whole grain pasta burn calories fast. Also, these carb-rich foods have considerable fibre content. Fibre is known to aid in weight loss.
Myth #4: Eat breakfast like a King, helping yourself from eating much in the later parts of the day
Obviously, a healthy breakfast is essential to be on track. However, a big breakfast contrary to the myth does not aid in weight loss. Instead, you may pile on extra calories and get fatter.
The number of calories you consume in other meals does not reduce. One should not miss the first meal of the day; eating small meals – up to 400 calories – is suggested during breakfast time.
You need to add each nutrient in the right proportion, to make a difference in weight loss.
Myth #5: Eat nothing after 6 pm and lose weight
One of the most misunderstood concepts about weight loss – eating anything after 6 pm will make you fat.
Regardless of the time of eating, you will gain weight if there is an imbalance between some calories consumed and calories depleted.
The thumb rule is: If you overeat, no matter what time of the day it is, the extra fat will be stored, and you will get fat.
Yes, it is true that the metabolism rates are slower during night times, but still the calories consumed are required for basic bodily functions while sleeping.
The bad habit most obese people follow, eating high-calorie foods late at nights just before retiring to bed. So if you have skipped a meal at 6 pm, there is no reason that you should not eat the same at 10 pm, of course making sure the caloric intake is balanced.
Myth #6: All calories are one and the same, what you consume does not matter
Do you know that the very act of chewing a food item can raise calorie burn process by 30%?
Some foods require more work to eat; thus, you burn more calories when digestion is going on. It is the thermic effect of food.
According to a Japanese study, ladies who consumed foods that required considerable effort to digest had slimmer waistlines than those who ate easily digestible foods.
For instance, fibre-rich foods are practically indigestible, hence commonly known as “negative calorie” foods. Eating green leafy vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates will burn more calories than providing them, as per theory.
Myth #7: Weight training or strength training results in bulking for women
Intense workouts in the gym burn more carbohydrates for energy, and fats subsequently are burned.
Strength training increases metabolic rates and aids in weight loss. This is a common myth among women; weight training does not make women look masculine.
Testosterone, one of the prime hormones needed for muscle mass, is not present in the bodies of women. So unless you use anabolic steroids, you cannot gain muscle mass by just touching some dumbbells and machines.
Muscles and fats are two very different kinds of tissues, totally non-convertible. Muscle mass increases only when there is sufficient resistance against them, using light weights does not change the body by much.
Myth #8: If you work out regularly, you are free to eat whatever you desire
Wouldn’t it be great if this were true?
Unfortunately, it’s not.
The thumb rule for weight loss: Exhaustion of more calories than consumption. A proper balance between exercising and diet control needs to be achieved to achieve your fitness goals. It is important to eat the right types of foods if you are working out.
Myth #9: Count the calories, no matter where they come from, and lose weight
The body needs the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats every day.
Let us say you are following the “count your caloric intake to lose weight” strategy and compromising on some proteins you consume.
The extra carbs you consume will be converted to fat and even though you are limiting the caloric intake, you get fat.
Excess or lack of any of the three calorie types does not make any sense as far as weight loss is concerned. Moreover, many bad side effects are noticed.
Yes, it is important to limit the caloric intake, but one should not be obsessed with them. Aim for the right balance of the three constituents through good sources of foods.
Myth #10: With increasing age, controlling the weight gets tougher
No matter how much you believe in destiny, a completely false belief among people is: As the age increases, you are not destined to lose weight.
With aging, muscle loss takes place which explains why metabolic rates get lowered. With regular workouts to preserve muscle mass and compensation of diet, the metabolism can be revved up.
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