The most often asked question put up to me in interviews has been related to ‘DIETING MYTHS’ How these have formed over time and are they really myths or some iota of truth hidden in such ‘dieting myths’. As always, i hereby try busting some of these incredible dieting myths that I am sure, many of us much have come across.
FACT: Carbohydrates are of two types: simple and complex. Simple carbs (refined flour) found in foods like cookies and candy lack vitamins, minerals and fiber. On the other hand, foods with complex carbs like whole-wheat bread, beans, and fruit, have lots of nutrients that are good for you.
FACT: It is not necessary that Low Fat or No fat means Low calories or No calorie. Lot of foods which say this have low fat but will add other carbs and sugar and will have may be the same or more calories than the full fat version. Apple is low fat but that does not mean it does not have calories. Always check the calories of foods you are eating.
FACT: Eating a healthy breakfast can help you manage your hunger later in the day and help you to say, no to unhealthy snacks. No scientific studies have shown that skipping the morning meal leads directly to weight gain.
FACT: People who eat late at night do tend to put on extra weight. One possible reason is that late-night eaters tend to choose high-calorie treats. Some people who snack after dinner do not sleep well, which can lead to unhealthy cravings the next day.
FACT: Fasting is not healthy if you go hungry all day and end up with a huge meal that replaces all the calories you skipped earlier. Compared to people who lose fat by eating fewer calories, people who fast lose more muscle than fat.
FACT: No foods can burn fat. Some food with caffeine may speed up your metabolism for a very short time, but they do not cause weight loss.
FACT: Dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt are actually packed with essential nutrients that help to keep us healthy. Dairy products need not be essentially fattening and depends on our choice of products. There are many low-fat products available such as skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, low-fat yoghurts and reduced-fat cheeses. Switching to low-fat dairy products doesn’t mean you’ll get less calcium either. In fact, skimmed and semi-skimmed milks actually contain slightly more calcium than full-fat milk.
FACT: Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh ones, if not more so. Frozen or canned fruit and veg are often packaged within hours of being picked so they don’t lose many nutrients.
FACT: Often hailed as a healthy alternative to butter, margarines aren’t always a better choice. To start with, ordinary margarines contain just as much fat and as many calories as butter and so offer no real slimming benefits. Worse still, they may also contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, which create trans fats – and these are thought to be as harmful to our heart health.
FACT: Exercise is an add on with dieting. We cannot stop our cravings, and stop eating all our favourite foods. However we can burn off calories by exercising. By incorporating exercise into our daily regime, we immediately make weight loss more attainable. Simply by walking 30 minutes every day at a pace which raises our heart rate enough can add to weight loss tremendously. Additionally, exercise gives us many other health benefits, like a healthier heart, lower BP, an overall greater feeling of well-being etc
FACT: It is not recommended to take nutritional supplements to lose weight. Firstly most weight loss supplements work through increasing the frequency of our bowel movements which destroys our natural bowel movement and causes dehydration and many nutritional deficiencies as well. Secondly, some supplements work through eliminating all fat in our diet by excreting it in our feces and this is not recommended as we lose many fatty acids which are essential for our good health.
FACT: Getting most of your daily calories from high- protein foods like meat, eggs, and cheese is not a balanced eating plan. You may be eating too much fat and cholesterol, which can cause heart disease. You may be eating too few fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which may lead to constipation due to lack of dietary fiber and cause a lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Following a high-protein diet may also make you feel nauseous, tired, and weak
FACT: There is no Gene called as FAT Gene that is transferred from parents to their children in the family tree. Chances are that if parents are fat, they are likely to have an unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits which they in turn teach their children. So unhealthy habits are passed down the family tree.