To err is human. We all have our secret meltdowns, like munching junk food or stealing ice cream straight from the freezer. Bad habits such as eating amnesia, after-dinner treats, drinking without thinking, skipping breakfast, and portion distortion induces weight gain among all sections of the population. But the lifestyle habits causing your weight gain aren’t always obvious. Obesity leads to non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, & coronary heart disease.
There are times when we feel a sudden urge to lose weight. Although your weight may influence how you think about yourself and even how others view you – body image is a small part of it. Weight management is the key to lead a happy and healthy life. Therefore, your journey to weight loss should be gradual, and a well-informed one.
Most people would agree that not eating before bed, limiting carbohydrates, and sticking to small meals are part of a sound weight loss strategy. But most people are also simply wrong about such techniques and methods. Some ‘diet facts’ are heresy. In a digital era, there is a plethora of content available on the internet that makes us think that we know everything there is to know about fat, carbs and hunger. Unfortunately, in the process, we do wrong things to ourselves.
Find out the absolute truth about these common diet myths
Diet Myth 1: Detox diets are great
The first dietary myth is that doing one to three days or even a week of detox will lead to one to two kgs of weight loss. It is a myth. It might be true in the short term; however, it might come back to bite you as you’re most likely to gain those kilos back. Doing a one-day detox might give your organs a well-needed rest with a reduction in water weight. However, it will not lead to body fat loss, which is what we are after.
Now, to reduce body fat loss, you need to ensure you have a balanced meal. It should consist of protein, good quality fats, fibre, complex carbs, and a good intake of vitamins and minerals.
Diet Myth 2: Supplements help in weight loss
People believe that supplements in powdered form, shake, and liquid fillers can help you lose weight. It is a myth; supplements might give you a boost of energy at that needed time, for example, a pre or post-workout. But you cannot solely depend on these for weight loss.
The weight loss supplement industry is massive. The primary reason why supplements might work for some people is the placebo effect. People fall for the marketing tactics and want the supplements to help them lose weight. Don’t forget to consult a nutritionist before choosing your supplements.
Diet Myth 3: Cut carbohydrates to lose weight
Carbohydrates have earned a bad reputation in the commercial world of health and nutrition, and they seem like weight inducers. But carbohydrates are essential macronutrients needed to sustain life. They supply energy to the brain and body. But we need to know the difference between good carbs and bad carbs.
Bad carbs are processed and refined like white bread, refined grains, cakes, biscuits, etc. These carbs contribute to your weight gain.
Good carbs, on the other hand, are the ones rich in fibre. Brown rice, wholewheat bread, legumes, beans, and whole wheat pasta are examples of good carbs. They have a wonderful husk, and the time taken to digest them is longer. So you feel fuller for longer, and you don’t overeat.
Diet Myth 4: All fats are bad
Just like carbs, fats are considered unhealthy and one of the main culprits for weight gain. But, like carbs, fats can also be clubbed as good fats and bad fats. Good fats are essential for overall health. They help our nervous system, boost our skin health and build our cell walls. Avocado, walnuts, homemade ghee, coconut oil contain good fats. Eaten in moderation they are excellent for weight loss. They may be high on calories, but they are not empty; they are dense in nutrients, and if you feel full, you would naturally binge less.
Diet Myth 5: Starving and skipping meals helps in weight loss
It is an absolute myth that starving and skipping meals may speed up your weight loss journey. No matter what fad diets may claim, starving and skipping meals is not a sustainable weight-loss strategy. You can keep yourself away from food only to a certain extent. Once you break, you tend to eat anything and everything that comes your way in a greater quantity. That leads to a calorie overload. So instead, do eat at regular intervals. This way, you remain satiated for more extended periods, and you keep a safe distance from those fried and fattening foods.
Now, while you’re at it, make sure you’re practising portion control and ensuring a thorough check on the kind of food you’re eating. If you’re even slightly wary of the ingredients used, don’t have it. Instead, grab a fruit or some nuts, and another great way of ensuring you are within your calorie limit is by tracking your calories through an app.
Diet Myth 6: Workout on an empty stomach for weight loss
Working out on an empty stomach may lead to dizziness. It is because your blood sugar levels reduce, leading to muscle loss as protein is extracted from the muscle. Hence, it is best to tuck into something light and nutritious before setting out for the drill. In addition, you should have some easily digestible carbs before an intense session.
You can try some pre-workout snacks, a small Kela or banana, or a bowl of oats with roughly chopped almonds and figs with a teaspoon of raw organic honey. You can even have a beetroot ginger-lime smoothie. That will do the trick.
Diet Myth 7: Cut out on all snacks
Snacking is not a problem. However, it is the kind of snack you pick that could affect your weight loss regimen in a big way. Snacking on heavily fried or sugary, or ultra-processed food generates copious amounts of empty calories that get stored as fats. Meanwhile, healthy snacking may help you shed a pound or two. For example, think fruits, nutty trail mix oats or even a protein shake. Having small portions of these healthy snacks throughout the day is known to keep your metabolism soaring.
Losing weight carries innumerable benefits. However, you should tread this path carefully. While the market is brimming with supplements and meal replacement plans, it is wiser to consult a nutritionist, health professional, and physical instructor before taking further steps. In addition, claiming to ensure rapid weight loss, some products lack credibility and consuming them can be hazardous. Finally, talking to the right person and having a support group of friends and families will help you healthily lose weight without affecting your overall well being.