Common Myths about Weight Loss
Before you follow any fad diet or killing exercise regimen to shed those extra kilos, you need to get your facts straight! The 10 myths listed out in this article will blow away the dust in your mind and give you a fresh perspective.
1. Avoid Fats to lose weight
This is one of the commonest weight-loss myths to believe in. As we know that excess fat accumulation in body is the reason for weight gain, hence cutting down fat intake seems to be an ideal strategy in every weight-loss plan, made without an expert advice. But not all fats are equal and we do need daily dietary fats intake for staying healthy. Though we should definitely avoid fast food which includes tons of saturated and even worst trans fats, however our daily diet must contain intake of healthy fats from nuts, nut butter, seeds, avocados, healthy oils (PUFA-MUFA) and fatty fish. Healthy fats are good for brain and skin health, have anti-inflammatory and blood cholesterol lowering properties, it helps in retaining necessary fat soluble vitamins in body and also boost satiety which makes us feel less hungry and take in fewer calories.
2. Rigorous exercise regime is the only way to lose excess body fat
In reality this is one of the biggest weight loss myths. Exercising is at most important for current office working population of big cities and those with sedentary life (Not participating in at least 30 min of physical activity on at least 3 days of the week for at least 3 months) and its definitely helps in improving heart health, bone density and strength, but it cannot guarantee in achieving our weight loss goals. It’s hard to create a significant calorie deficit through exercise only, as the average person lacks enough muscle mass to burn a higher amount of calories through longer exercise sessions. A successful weight loss regime is not necessarily about following a rigorous exercise plan but about making minor changes in your lifestyle like eating healthy food on time and staying active to burn more calories than consumed on a daily basis.
3. Crunches can get us six pack abs
One of the priorities for gym goers in weight-loss program is shedding away the tummy and fit into your favorite blue jeans. The first and foremost work out everyone thinks about is crunches for getting quick six pack abs. But it’s not easy as it’s seems to be! You can’t target any specific body part to shed out fat. Although, you can lose overall weight through exercise and by eating the right foods on time, but it’s hard to say from where the fat you goanna lose from. Targeting specific body parts like abs or thighs during exercise will only help in toning the muscles, but cannot specifically help in loosing fat in that area. Of course! a consistent and well planned diet and exercising program will gradually help to lose fat proportionately from our body.
4. Sweat it out!
To lose weight quickly under common misconception that sweat loss is fat loss, lot of us might turn to steam rooms, saunas or even the fancy sauna belts in an effort to “sweat it out.” which also seems to be a prima facie fact. As in post exercise or sauna weight, we may notice the number on the scale going down but in reality it’s only a loss of water weight. Water weight is weight of body fluids, in the tissues, joints and cavities between cells different from fat weight and not linked to calories consumed or expended. Hence immediately seen weight-loss after sauna or steam room is only a temporary loss of water weight. While your body can easily add that lost water weight back on after a salty meal or a glass of wine.
5. Carbs are main culprits
Much hyped and popularized low Carb and gluten free diets has created a wrong impression about carbohydrate among dieters and weight loss planners. In reality, lack of complete information is the main culprit, instead of low carbs or no carbs, which carbohydrate should be eaten must be known first. Whether we are looking for weight loss or not, Carbohydrates is and should be the most important component of our daily diet. It is scientifically proven fact that 50-60% of our diet should come from carbohydrate like whole-grain and starches including oats, barley, millets, brown rice, whole wheat breads or pasta and potatoes which are good for your body without adding on extra calories. Whole-grains are rich in much needed fibers and essential nutrients; it increases satiety and helps in maintaining blood sugar levels. Instead we must avoid harmful carbs like refined flour made processed foods including white bread, cakes, pastries, cookies, chips etc.
6. Dieting means starving, which makes us lose weight?
Doing a crash diet or starving yourself by skipping meals for few days might show you some results but it’s not a healthy way of losing weight, as we deprive our body from much need important nutrients and energy and the weight loss results what we see is not because of fat loss but loss of muscle mass which in turn will lower our metabolism. Further as you cannot starve yourself for longer time it will force you to crave for high-sugar and fried foods which will only lead to massive weight gain, that too rapidly. Apart from this, starving can have many side effects as it can severely affect your health by lowering your immunity and will making you feel lazy all the time.
7. Weight loss pills and powders are good option
Currently popularized weight loss products on television and other media, presented with much hyped enthusiasm and excitement can be very instigating and will definitely make you fall prey to these claims. However, till date there is no single scientifically proven weight loss product is it the powder, pills, syrup or meal replacers which can guarantee weight-loss without any side effects. Also there is no government authority present which tests and certifies these products present in market for safe and healthy human consumption. These products might help some people to lose few kilos initially but it might not help everyone as not all bodies and lifestyles are same.
8. Food labeled as Low-fat or Reduced-fat and Zero-Calorie or diet-Sodas are healthy
A food label saying ‘low-fat’ or ‘reduced-fat’ and zero-calories or diet sodas may not be as healthy options as much as they are commercialized to be. A food may be labeled as ‘low-fat’ when it contains lower amount of fat compared with full-fat version of it, however that reduced amount may be higher than its recommended daily value for an individual, also many ‘low-fat’ foods may in fact have a lot of sugar content thereby making it bad choice for weight loss planners. Further zero calories or diet sodas may contain fewer calories, but the substitutes used may be worse which may lead to issues like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
9. We can gorge on cheat days
A strategy of having Cheat Days is widely used by fitness and diet experts to reward their client and to keep them motivated. However for some diet followers it becomes an excuse for gorging on all the unhealthy food they were restricted from which will definitely stall your weight-loss plans. Instead one should use these cheat days in more disciplined way by only sticking with cheat meals or small treats that won’t fade away the health improvements you have achieved.
10. We can’t exercise after 50 to lose weight
Many people post 50 years of age especially women in their menopausal age are skeptical about exercising to lose weight, which is the common myth that demoralizes aging population. Age has never been a bar to exercise, unless you are suffering with major physical ailment or are medically advised not to exercise. Those above 50 without any medical condition can follow a structured personalized exercise program under the guidance of a fitness expert and after medical advice.