We are a generation that is obsessed with dieting and weight loss fixes. A top resolution for many people out there every year, we are constantly seeking new information on how to lose those extra kilos. There are an assortment of exercise machines and routines, fat burning supplements, low fat diets, and lots more. New diet books are hitting the sores, and the showbiz personalities take it upon themselves to share their success tips. With all the information out there, most of which is confusing and downright bizarre in some cases, it is difficult to find the right advice that will work in your particular case.
It is not that all the advice available is not useful, it is just that what works for one person won’t work for another. When it comes to dieting and weight loss, a one-size-fits-all approach is not the way to go. Therefore, it is important to know the truth behind the various weight loss (mis)conceptions being spread out there. In an effort to clear the air, we decided to tackle some of the prevalent “facts” out there, and reveal which are true, and which aren’t.
1. Quick weight loss diets will lead to permanent positive results
The lose-weight-quick diets are not the best way to go about it in any case. These diets often promise positive results in a short time, and tell you to cut on certain foods to achieve this. Now, the weight loss will happen initially, but due to the strict limitations on the foods taken, these programs become harder to follow. Many people quickly lose faith in them, and are back to square one in a few short weeks.
These diets are not the best for your body, certainly because they don’t provide the body with all the required nutrients. Also, getting rid of weight at a rapid pace (say 1.5 kilos a week for the first month or so) raises your chances of developing gallstones. Diets that also provide less than the required number of nutrients and calories expose one to heart complications, which can be fatal in some cases.
If you want to lose weight quickly, make healthy food choices and incorporate physical activity into your daily plan.
2. Stay away from starchy foods as they fatten you up
Most foods we take on a daily/weekly basis are high in starch. Such foods are common and include bread, rice, pasta, beans, fruits, cereals, and vegetable like potatoes. True, they are high in starch and fats, but it only becomes a concern if they are taken in large portions at once, or are covered in high fat toppings like butter, mayonnaise, and cream. Most importantly, starch is an important source of energy for the body, so it can’t be ignored.
If you are going to regulate your starch intake, for whole grains like whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and bran cereal. Avoid high fat toppings, and lastly, include foods that are high in fiber into your diet. Such foods include vegetables and peas.
3. Natural weight loss products are the best to use
Weight loss products that claim to be ‘one hundred percent natural or herbal’ are not necessarily the best to use. Many a times, these products haven’t been scientifically tested, and such can’t be said to be wholly safe or even work. For example, the herbal product ephedra causes serious health issues, and sometimes leads to fatalities. Now, newer products that may not contain ephedra may not be safe either, simply because they contain ingredients that may have the same effects.
If you are going to use herbal and natural weight loss products or supplements, consult with your physician first. It is better to be safe than sorry in this case.
4. Fast foods are a no-no when it comes to losing weight
This is one of the common statements put out there when it comes to losing weight. The truth is, fats foods can be incorporated as part of a healthy diet with a little knowledge. For one, avoid those combo meals, or if you can’t help yourself, split it with a friend. Substitute soda for water. Go for salads and grilled foods, instead of fried chicken or French fries. The latter you can order once in a while, or eat in small portions at a time.
5. Skipping meals speeds up the weight loss process
Again, another of the misconceptions out there. Studies have in fact shown that people who skip meals, breakfast for example, or eat fewer meals in a day, are more likely to be heavier than those who indulge in full four five meals a day. This is because when one skips a meal, they tend to be much hungry later on, which leads to eating more. If you want to cut down on the number of meals, instead try eating smaller meals to control appetite. Eat small meals throughout the day, and make sure to incorporate healthy choices.
6. Eating late into the nigh contributes to weight gain
The fact is, it doesn’t matter what time of day you eat. What matters is what you eat, and how much of it you do. Physical activity also factors greatly into how much calories you gain or lose. If you don’t engage in any physical activity, the body will store the extra calories as fat.
However, it is a good practice to avoid snacking when watching TV, because it is much easier to overeat when you are distracted by the tube.
7. Heavy lifting will make you increase weight
By heavy lifting I mean going to the gym and doing strengthening exercises. Not only do such exercises help with your cardio, they also help you maintain or lose weight. Such strenuous activities help in building muscle, which burns more calories than anything else. If you have muscles, you burn much more calories. Bigger muscles can only be gained by constant, intense strength training.
Try and incorporate strengthening activities into your routine at least 2 to 3 times a week.
8. If you are not sweating during your workouts, you are not burning enough calories
There is no correlation between sweating and losing weight. The only thing sweating signifies is that the body is trying to cool itself. Everybody is different, and it applies to sweating. Don’t try and go for shorter, high intensity workouts so that you feel you work more. Work with what is best for you, because after all, your body will burn calories with any consistent exercise.
During the weight loss process, keep a positive mind at all times, and don’t believe everything you read or hear. If you are in doubt about something, do research for yourself. Most importantly, if it works, keep doing it.