It is difficult to tell fact from fiction about weight loss and healthy eating. If you’ve been adhering to a strict healthy eating and fitness plan for a while but are failing to see the results, it may be time to take a look at what is going wrong. Anita Mirchandani, a dietician, and chef Ganesh Krishnamoorthy, Co-Founder, Epigamia and Drums Food International, seek to bust some myths around dieting. Here’s the truth behind some of the most common dieting and weight loss myths.
- Portions don’t matter: In fact, portions matter the most. It is important to understand what the true portions are for adults and for children. Overeating is one of the main contributors to obesity. We must know and learn where to stop.
- Eating fat makes you fat: Yes, it does, but only if you eat the wrong kind and in excessive portions. Good fats such as those found in Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds are beneficial to the body in many ways. Focus on eating healthy fat sources and avoid large amounts of saturated fats such as fatty cuts of meats, butter and fried foods.
- Too much sugar will cause diabetes: Worried that your love of cake or candy will lead to diabetes? Stop fretting about this diet myth. If you don’t have diabetes, eating sugar won’t cause you to get the disease. What does raise your diabetes risk, however, is being overweight and inactive. So do your body a favor: Cut back on the empty, sugary calories, and get moving!
- Coffee will help you lose weight: Yes, coffee does tend to suppress appetite. However, if the quantity you need exceeds the suggested daily limit, it then becomes unhealthy. In addition, too much caffeine could have a negative impact on the body in the form of dehydration and anxiety. Two caffeinated cups per day are fine.
- If you exercise, you can eat as much as you want: This myth is one of the reasons you may not experience weight loss. Calories are calories. You should be conscious of portions. Just because something (like an apple) is healthy, it doesn’t mean you may eat five of them.
- Only salad diet is healthy: Of course, salads are very healthy since they add a lot of fiber to the diet and this helps in easy digestion. Ingredients in the salad can make a lot of difference to the health scale: cheese, lean meats, nuts with lots of leafy green and vegetables can provide a good balance of nutrients.
- Drink more water to drop the kilos: There’s no doubt water is vital for your body – but a weight loss aid? Not really. If drinking water keeps you away from high-calorie drinks, it can certainly help you lose weight. But adding more water to your diet, without changing anything else, makes no difference in lowering the numbers on your scale.
- Vitamins are a must: Not true. You don’t really need a multivitamin unless you’re pregnant, nursing or over 50. If you focus on a wholesome diet that integrates healthy fats such as yogurt, nuts and seeds as well as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, you will achieve a varied vitamin and mineral intake.
- Crash dieting or fasting makes you lose weight: This may be true in the short term, but ultimately it can hinder weight loss.The loss of lean muscle causes a fall in your basal metabolic rate – the amount of calories your body needs on a daily basis. This means your body will need fewer calories than it did previously, making weight gain more likely once you stop dieting.