The keywords weight loss have spawned an entire industry of people who’d do just about anything to lose the extra oodles. People are cajoled into investing a lot of money into unnecessary supplements and crash diets, often to no avail! This list debunks all the ridiculous myths that you might have heard about weight loss.
Myth 1: Fat is bad for you
Fact: Well, yes and no. There is good fat and there is ‘bad’ fat. Eating the wrong kinds of fats plays a pivotal role in weight gain, but if you consume the right fats, it’ll keep your weight under check. Examples of the right kind of fats: monounsaturated fats found in fish oil, olives, avocados, sunflower oil and polyunsaturated fats found in pumpkin seeds, walnuts and flax seeds.
Myth 2: Skipping meals helps you lose weight
Fact: This is one of the worst experiments that people do in order to lose the oodles. Well, let’s get the scientific facts straight, when you skip a meal, your body goes into starvation mode wherein it stores calories as fat! Yes, skipping meals accelerates the rate of production of fat in the body.
Myth 3: Fruits like bananas are fattening
Fact: People say bananas go straight to the belly and the thighs! Well, that is absolutely preposterous! The truth is, bananas are like fuel for the body and like every other food item, excess calories from any source will add to the weight gain and accumulation of body fat. The body doesn’t “hand pick” which food sources it’ll use for fat burning and food it’ll use for fuel. Consuming multiple bananas a day will NOT increase body fat.
Myth 4: Strength training bulks you up unnecessarily
Fact: Most people, especially women think that strength training would somehow cause them to show “manly” traits, in terms of bulking up and upping testosterone levels. The truth is, doing a fair bit of weight training won’t get you “buff”. Strength training is vital to weight loss as muscle tissue burns more calories per day as opposed to fat tissue.
Weight training is also important for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Strength training helps build muscles to ‘normal levels’ while simultaneously helping you lose body fat.
Myth 5: Weight loss is a linear process
Fact: Losing weight isn’t a linear process as opposed to common belief. There might be days and weeks where you may lose, while during the others you may gain a bit. This fluctuation is common and is nothing to get hassled about. This is because you might be carrying more food in the digestive tract or your body might be having more water content than usual. In the case of women, water-weight can fluctuate quite a bit during the menstrual cycle.
Myth 6: Starch is fattening
Fact: Starches and carbohydrates are less dense in calories, gram for gram, than most other foods. It all boils down to how much calories you ingest. If you load starch-laden foods with fat (butter, sour cream), or eat plain starch in large quantities, the caloric load automatically shoots up!
Myth 7: All calories are equal
Fact: Calorie is a measure of energy and all “calories” per se, have the same energy content. However, this doesn’t mean that all calorie sources would show similar effects on your weight. For instance, a calorie of protein isn’t the same as a fat calorie or a carb-calorie. Ideally, replacing carbohydrates and fat with protein is instrumental in boosting metabolism. Also, calories from whole foods like fruit are much more filling than calories gained out of refined foods (example candy).
Myth 8: Food source doesn’t matter, calorie count does
Fact: In continuation to the aforementioned point, the choice of food has a direct influence on the intake of calories. A bag of chips might have the same amount of calories as a serving of fruit, but eating chips won’t make you lose fat, would it?
Myth 9: Eat less, workout more
Fact: This is one of the most terrible advices for those with a serious weight problem. The ones who follow this ‘model’, end up gaining all the lost weight back, owing to physiological and biochemical reasons. Telling people to eat less and move more is akin to telling an alcoholic to “just drink less”.
Myth 10: If you work out, you can eat whatever you want to
Fact: Let’s put the facts straight for the umpteenth time, weight loss occurs when you reduce calories. You can’t reduce calories by working out if you gain them back by eating anything to your heart’s desire.
Myth 11: Just losing weight for the heck of it is good
Fact: Your water consists primarily of water and water-weight (discussed above) can fluctuate anywhere from 2-10 pounds a day, subject to your body weight. If you’re dehydrating yourself and that’s showing up on the weighing scale, don’t be too happy, you’ll soon gain it back, lest you want to stay dehydrated.