With so much information and advice that's available, it is hard to separate the good from the misinformed ones. Here, we debunk some of the biggest myths related to weight loss, diet and nutrition.
For any weight loss and health regime, the most important rule is balance. A routine that is well-balanced in nutrients and exercise is going to get you the results you want... and sustain them. So, if you're wondering why you're not getting the results you were expecting, make sure you haven't fallen for one of these...
1. The only way to lose weight is to drastically cut calories
Sure, a huge cut in your calorie intake will lead to short-term weight loss. But, it won't be long before you rebound. It is impossible to sustain a very low-calorie diet in the long-term. Your body will be put under strain, mentally and physically. This is from the loss of energy, feeling of deprivation and hunger that persists. Starving yourself is never the answer. It's about healthy long-term changes, not overnight quick fixes. Measuring a caloric deficit level that is healthy for your body and lifestyle, will be the best way to promote weight loss. See a professional dietitian or diet coach, who will be able to help you calculate the most optimum level of calories to cut.
2. Strict diets are the best way to lose weight
One of the biggest myths when it comes to weight loss, is that you have to go on a strict diet in order to lose weight. There are so many ridiculous fad diets that have come under the limelight over the years. These include the baby food diet, juice cleanses, the five-bite diet and the master cleanse/lemonade diet. Embarking on one of these programs is one of the most harmful and unhealthy things you can do for your body. Not only are they extremely drastic, they provide short-term results with long-term consequences. These fad diets are often extremely deprived of nutrients which are essential for your body, and cause more health damage then good. Stay far away from these!
3. Eating fat makes you fat
To lose fat, you should eat less fat - seems logical right? Wrong. Many people start a health regime under the belief that fats should be avoided at all costs. This is a myth. Your body needs a healthy dose of fats, in order to lose fat. They are necessary for the normal function and regulation of your body, and absorb many of the vitamins and minerals which are vital to our health. Another reason to add fats to your diet is that they provide you with longer lasting energy, and keep you fuller for longer. But, it is important to select the right kinds of fats! Stick natural, healthy fats such as nuts, avocados, coconut oil and olive oil. And, make sure you steer clear from saturated fats and trans fat that are found in junk food, margarine and deep fried foods. Remember, a diet well-balanced in all carbs, proteins and fats is key to being healthier.
4. Avoid carbs at all costs
Another huge myth is that you should stay away from carbohydrates at all costs! What's important is the types of carbs you select. Avoid processed and refined carbs such as white bread which are low is health benefits, and instead opt for wholefood options such as grains, brown rice and sweet potato. But, don't go overboard! It is all about portion control. It's not carbs that lead to weight gain, but how much of it you consume.
5. Juice, smoothies and diet drinks are essential for weight-loss
We all know that feeling after finishing a juice or smoothie where we are left feeling unsatisfied and still hungry. This is because our bodies are not used to liquid calories and confuse our internal calorie counters. As a result, we are wanting to eat more. Most people associate weight-loss with lots of juices, smoothies and diet beverages. Little do they know, that they are often very calorie-dense and almost equivalent to a meal. So, you can see why it would be easy to over-eat when you are adding a juice or smoothie to every meal during the day. Not only that, but these diet beverage tend to lack nutrients and are filled with artificial additives, sweeteners and chemicals. So, make sure you enjoy these in moderation, and instead, focus on consuming foods and ingredients in their wholesome form.
6. You can eat whatever you want if you exercise
The fact is, you can't out-exercise a poor diet. If you're slaving away at the gym for hours on end, every day, just to be able to eat meal from McDonald's, maybe it's time to rethink your routine. Contrary to common belief, over taining does exist and has consequences on your mental function, immune system and your health overall. The best solution is to create a healthy, well-balanced diet to supplement an effective training regime.
7. If it's healthy, you can eat as much as you want
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that they can eat as much as they want, as long as the food is healthy. There are many healthy food options that are higher in calories and quick add up when consumed in high volume. This will lead to eventual weight-gain in the long-term. The solution? Portion control.