1. Myth: Skipping meals helps to reduce weight.
If your body is not fed at regular intervals, it will turn to its reserves. Fearing that it will not get food soon, the body goes into starvation mode. Dieting is not about starving. Weight reduction can only be achieved by eating wisely. The body requires a certain amount of calories and nutrients each day. When you skip meals, your body tries to make up for the lost calories by demanding more food. In all likelihood, you will end up eating more at the next meal. Studies have shown that people who eat a nutritious breakfast are not only healthier but also weigh less than those who skip breakfast. The best way to lose weight is to eat many small meals throughout the day. These meals should include a variety of nutritious food.
No human body is perfect. There is neither anything called ideal health nor a perfect method to health. It is by trial and error. Everybody is unique, and hence, the method to health and well-being differs from person to person.
2. Myth: Crash diets help lose weight permanently.
Fact: A crash diet is not always the best way to lose weight. Most eating plans advocate cutting out certain foods to lose weight quickly. Although it may seem true and make you happy initially, in the long run this will prove to be unhealthy. Avoiding certain foods will deprive the body of nutrients. Besides, people get tired of such diets pretty fast and regain the lost weight all over again. Your body also starts to burn large amounts of muscle and organ tissue, which apart from being dangerous will leave you flabby and soft because it is the presence of muscle tissue that gives you a firmer body. So, you will actually appear plumper owing to muscle tissue loss. As a result of this, your health will deteriorate even further.
Research has proved that the best way to maintain your weight is to lose weight at an average rate of 1-2 kilos a week by exercising and eating healthy. This will help you develop a healthier lifestyle and thus reduce your chances of developing weight-related problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
3. Myth: Both my mother and grandmother are overweight, so it is obvious that I too will be fat.
Fact: People say, “I was born with a lousy metabolism, destined to be fat for life – just like my parents.” Metabolism is that little system in your body that burns calories all through the day, every day. All of us have our own metabolic rate – the rate at which our bodies burn energy (it is measured in calories). Genetics, gender, age and environment do play a major role in determining our metabolic rate. But you can rev up your metabolic rate through exercise and make your body burn more calories all day long. What tends to happen, however, is that we imbibe the eating and lifestyle habits from those we grow up with. Get rid of those unwanted eating habits of yours, cultivate a few healthy ones and reach your desired fitness goals. Slow and steady wins the race. Win this race by being patient, by setting realistic goals. Health and fitness are not short-term goals, but a lifetime pursuit.
4. Myth: You can burn fat by eating certain foods like grapefruit, lemon and cabbage soup.
Fact: If this were the case, then most of us would eat these foods in large amounts and never bother about exercising. The fact is that no food can burn fat. These foods may increase your metabolism, but just that isn’t sufficient. You cannot sit back and relax, expecting these foods to melt away excess weight. The only healthy way to lose weight is to reduce your calorie intake and increase your physical activity.
5. Myth: You should try to avoid starch, as it is fattening.
Fact: The word fattening is meaningless. If you consume more calories than you expend in exercise or activity, you’ll store the excess as fat. It’s that simple. With just 88 calories, a medium potato is reasonably low in calories. What you put on it, however, can up the calorie count. If you are watching your weight, eat boiled or steamed potatoes instead of eating them roasted or fried.
Starch is an important source of energy. It is found in the form of complex carbohydrates in potatoes, rice, pasta, bread and a few vegetables like yam, turnip and beetroot. Starchy foods are low in fat and calories. They become high in fat and calories only when they are prepared with rich sauces, oils or other high-fat toppings like butter or oil. Even while trying to lose weight, small amounts of starchy food is recommended.