When it comes to losing unhealthy weight there are millions of different advice. If you just put a healthy diet on the google search engine you will come up with thousands of results. So how do you know what actually works and what is a fad diet or wrong advice?
Here are the top 5 weight loss myths
1) You must count your calories if you are trying to lose weight.
Wrong! Remember a calorie is not just a calorie. A calorie that you gain from a pizza works very differently from a calorie that you gain from eating broccoli! Also if you are eating a healthy balanced diet then your body calculates the calories it needs and will automatically send a signal to you when you have adequate calories in your meals. Meaning you will not have cravings for junk foods that add to unnecessary calories. A nutrient-rich diet also curbs your cravings. You need to count calories only if you are eating unhealthy and junk foods and you are not able to listen to your body's signal on when to stop! On the other hand, maintaining a food diary along with emotional journaling is a good habit as it makes you more mindful of your eating habits, triggering emotions and trains you on how to listen to your body.
2) You need to cut down fat or carb in your diet.
Wrong! Your body needs all the macronutrients. It has evolved over thousands of years uring all three macronutrients- Carb, Fat, and Protein. So no you do not need to stop eating carbs or fat as long as you are mindful of avoiding unhealthy carbs and fats. Carbs and fat are very important units of energy that your body needs. Carbs are the first nutrient your body goes to in case of a sudden burst of physical energy eg. when you need to run away from any dangerous situation! Whereas fat is the energy nutrient for a long sustainable physical activity.
3) You need a high amount of protein in your diet. Wrong- Your body mainly uses carbs and fat for energy. Protein is to repair and rebuild your body. So yes when you are growing up you need relatively more protein because you are building yourself but once you reach adulthood body recycles the protein. As an example, how most of the water in the fountain gets reused, the same way most of the protein that is broken down in our body as regular wear and tear get recycled. So in reality protein is the macronutrient we need of less amount compared to carb and fat. Carb and fat works as fuel in our engine so once used they cannot be reused again while protein is a recyclable nutrient. However, you may need more protein after surgery, an injury or if you are sick when the body needs to heal or repair itself.
4)If your BMI ( body mass index) is more than 30 then you are definitely at a higher health risk then the person whose BMI is less than 30.
Not necessarily. Many studies have shown that besides BMI many other factors affect your health risks. You can have more unhealthy fat in your body even if your BMI is less than 30 compared to an obese person. Abdominal fat or visceral fat ( fat around your abdomen organs) is more predictive of health risks than an absolute BMI! Also if you are obese but physically more active then your health risks are lower than the person who is skinny but a couch potato!
5)If you want to lose weight your mantra should be 'Eat less and move more'
Nothing could be farther from the truth. As we debunked the caloric myth earlier eating less may cause nutritional deficiency. It is not how much you eat but what you eat that matters more. As mentioned earlier if you are eating a healthy balanced diet your body will adjust the weight itself. Also embarking on a strenuous exercise regimen when your body is not properly trained can actually harm you.
Instead, the weight loss mantra should be
Eat Smart- focus more on the nutrient quality of the food then its calories and listen to your body. Structure your meals with all necessary macronutrients and micronutrients.
Move right- focus on proper posture and develop a regular disciplined training. Being physically active throughout the day is more important than an hour of exercise followed by a sedentary routine rest of the day.
Breathe deep- Remember the body cannot burn fat without a proper supply of oxygen. Have a habit of 5 deep breathes every hour and 5 minutes of deep breathing exercise twice a day.
Sleep tight - Good quality sleep is as important as exercise and diet when it comes to weight loss. Inadequate sleep makes you crave more junk and caloric dense foods. So sleep like a baby!
Laugh more- In long term weight and health, management is basically stress management.
So if you don't know how to manage your stress then you don't know how to manage your weight!