Just after the New Year (or any time that you are feed up with your weight really…) is a time that is accompanied with countless resolutions as people look forward to making meaningful improvements in their lives for the coming year. Many people use the New Year as a time to finally overcome anxiety about their bodies and promise themselves that they will start losing excess pounds, which have been tormenting them for too long. If you are someone who enjoys a modern lifestyle, which includes long sitting hours and unhealthy, fast food meals, you may have resolved to lose weight (or just came to the conclusion that the time is now).
Losing weight, like any other goal, is not always easy, as impatience can cause us to undermine our efforts during the fight against our own unhealthy eating habits. Nutrition plays a major role in losing those annoying pounds. However, it takes a correct understanding of the issue in order to make real significant progress. Take a look at the menu of any diet offered and you will instantly realize that you may be able to maintain such eating habits for a week or two, but not for an entire lifetime!
Losing weight is difficult enough, yet this effect is compounded with the abundance of misinformation being spread about effective dieting and losing weight. To give ourselves an edge in the battle to lose excess pounds, we need to equip ourselves with the awareness to realize what weight loss rhetoric is completely unfounded and what can truly be of help to us.
It may come as no surprise that one of the biggest of the myths associated with diets are the actual claims made by the diet itself and its proponents. Mysterious diet ‘specialists’ claim that eating a small amount of specific products, will make you lose from 5 to 10 lbs (kg) a week.
Sounds really nice, right? Well, to be honest, you would actually lose some weight if sticking to that torture of living in constant hunger for an extended period of time, yet would it be the fat that had gone? Let’s go over the numbers briefly.
It takes approximately 3500 calories to burn or gain 1 pound of fat (9000 calories to lose or gain a kilogram of fat). The human body normally burns 1500 to 2000 calories per day by itself. So logically thinking, the maximum amount of calories you can possibly lose if starving for a week is 10,500 to 14,000 calories, which is equal to a bit more than a pound (kg) of fat.
So what are the dieters actually losing? Firstly, it is mostly water since they usually cut down on salt that keeps water in our bodies. Avoid salt and you will find yourself running back and forth to the restroom all day long, essentially flushing down those pounds that are really just water weight. Secondly, this kind of poor nutrition leads to loss of muscle mass and muscles are the first where our bodies seek for extra energy if it cannot be consumed by eating. 0.5 to 1 kg per week is all you can and should lose if you want to achieve permanent and healthy weight loss.
Another great myth is that you must avoid those ‘satanic’ carbs if you want to lose weight. No potatoes, bread, pasta or rice for you!
The dieters claim that carbohydrates are what make us store fat. Well, this is only half true.
Ever wonder why the Japanese, Italian and French are one of the healthiest and slimmest nations of the world even if their meals include a lot of bread, rice and pasta? Doctor Peter Attia from the Eating Academy assumes that the key to this ‘mystery’ is simple.
That even with consuming carbohydrates, their overall consumption of carbohydrates is lower than in the Western cultures as they add a lot of vegetables and seafood to their meals.
So it turns out, it is not terrible at all to have a slice of bread for breakfast or a plate of pasta or rice for diner if the portion is reasonable and includes other nutrients too.
A similar myth is related to low-fat products and diets, advising that you must avoid products that contain fat to lose weight. Again, this is wrong.
Dietician Lyndel Costain explains that one third of the calories consumed should be coming from fat (30 g of fat as a minimum for women). The focus should be more on what kind of fat we are consuming.
The key is to decrease the consumption of saturated fats, like butter or cheese and substitute unsaturated fats that can be found, for example, in nuts, olive oil and avocados.
Anyone who’s been trying to get rid of the excessive weight has probably heard this mantra from dieters; “Do not eat after 6 pm and avoid eating late in general.”
This has something to do with weight loss as far as it disciplines you from having some unhealthy night snacks. However, eating late itself has nothing to do with our metabolism or calories and his very little impact on weight loss.
As doctor Christine Roosenbloom explained to the CBS News – it is not the time of the day that matters but the amount of calories we consume, and there is no scientific proof that would link eating late with our BMI’s.
The fifth and extremely popular myth about weight loss, is that you must drink at least 2 liters of plain water every day to keep your metabolism going and effectively lose weight.
Even if this belief is popular amongst numerous health writers, most doctors have always known that there is really no specific amount of water that we must drink every day. This was revealed by GP Margaret McCartney in 2011.
No real evidence was found to support this idea that drinking water in large amounts will help one lose weight, even if it may make your hunger disappear for a brief period of time.
Besides, you also receive water when you are having a cup of coffee or eating fruit and vegetables so there is no real need to stick to the 8 glasses of water every day routine.
After examining some of the most popular dieting myths, it has become clear that some of the advice given to those who are trying to lose weight sound good, but have very little actual impact in helping people achieve weight loss goals. In fact, such untrue beliefs usually make things worse due to the lack of correlation between them and meaningful weight loss results.
In essence, all you really need to do is begin being aware of what you are eating and in what amounts. If you need a little help curbing your appetite or getting a little extra energy to get moving… there are some things that can help you alone the way..
But the main thing is to simply listen to your body, enjoy being active, be patient and positive – and a change will come, suffering and stress not included.