Trying to lose weight can be hard, and when you’re surrounded by information that isn’t always accurate, it can make the task even trickier. But, once you know what’s fact or fiction, your weight loss goals can be easier to achieve. Here are some top weight loss myths debunked.
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Focus on diet foods to lose weight
The diet food industry is big business, but just because something is marketed as a diet or healthy food, doesn’t necessarily mean to say that it can help you shed the pounds. In fact, low-fat or fat-free foods, so-called healthy smoothies or other diet snacks are often laden with sugar or other hidden ingredients that won’t do your waistline any favours. If in doubt, scrutinise the ingredients list before making a purchase. Bear in mind, though, there are 61 other names for sugar, including sucrose, dextrose, rice syrup and maltose!
Avoid all fats
Just because you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t mean to say you should shun all fats. The important thing to note is that not all fats are created equally. Yes, you should cut back on saturated and trans fats found in processed meals, junk food, pies, cakes and biscuits. These are unhealthy and will not only clog up your arteries but make you put on weight easily. However, healthy, unsaturated fats found in foods such as avocados, oily fish or nuts can actually boost weight loss. Since these fats increase satiety, making you feel fuller for longer, you’re less likely to snack in-between meals.
Steer clear of carbs
Just like fats, carbohydrates have gained a bad reputation amongst the dieting fraternity. Again, carbohydrates aren’t all the same, and it’s the type that you consume which influences whether you lose or gain weight.
Indeed, slow-release, unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrains and brown rice are healthy, rich in fibre and low in calories. Plus, they provide sustained energy that means you don’t experience any cravings in-between meals.
It’s refined or processed carbohydrates that earn their place on the naughty list, as these provide little nutritional value and are often steeped in sugar, such as white bread, pasta and rice, pastries and sweetened drinks. Since refined carbohydrates are low in fibre and are quickly digested, you’ll soon feel hungry again, tempting you to overindulge.
Dieting is too expensive
You don’t have to fork out on expensive diet meals or gym memberships to lose weight. In fact, eating healthily is about going back to basics and eating as naturally as possible, filling your plate with fruit, vegetables and wholegrains, while swapping expensive cuts of meat for cheaper protein alternatives such as soya or legumes. If you want to get active, walking or running are inexpensive exercise options that will deliver weight loss results with regular effort.
Crash diets work
Drastically slashing calories on a crash diet won’t provide sustained weight loss results. In some cases, it can lead to additional weight gain. You’re at risk of getting nutritional deficiencies when you embark on a crash diet, which can lead to food cravings, typically for items containing high fat and sugar content. Plus, crash diets are more likely to reduce muscle mass and metabolism, rather than diminish fat stores.
More than anything, when you deprive yourself of eating, you’ll just end up feeling miserable, and are likely to cave in within a short space of time. If you want to lose weight over the long term, it’s better to take a more sensible approach that involves making small changes, eating healthily and exercising, and ensuring your body isn’t starved of vital nutrients.