Exposing five myths on diet and weight loss!
With information barraging you from all sources, it might get a little confusing to figure out myths from facts. Are all fats and sugar bad? Does drinking a Kopi-O-Kosong make a world of difference in your diet?
- Eating most of my calories in the evening will cause weight gain
FALSE! Eating at 2am is the same as eating at 2pm. Calories are calories. It doesn’t really matter when you eat, since it’s been proven that your body doesn’t process food differently throughout the day. What is important is the total calorie intake versus the amount that is burnt off. Eating in the middle of the night is not the cause of weight gain, but mindlessly snacking at night without burning it off – weight gain.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t eat at night, if you’re hungry, eat! As long as your calorie intake is not a surplus of what is burnt throughout the day, you’re fine. Snacking is not a crime. Your body will definitely thank you for choosing healthier options such as fresh fruits, low-fat yoghurt or nuts.
2. I can burn fat by eating certain foods, like grapefruits and cabbage soup
No foods can burn fats. If only it could… While grapefruit has no fat, is low in calories and sodium, and is packed with vitamin C and fiber, it does not have magically qualities of burning fat. Similarly, the cabbage soup diet might work to shed some weight (dangerously) but it eventually leads to deficiencies from the lack of a variety of vitamins and proteins. Sustainability is key and there’s no magic food to a healthier body.
The best way to lose weight is to eat balanced meals – limiting fats, oil and sugar. Again, we emphasize on sustainability, it’s all about a long term habit, you can still have a cheat meal once in a while. Make sure to increase physical activities and get your metabolism going! Just a simple climb up the stairs is better than nothing at all.
3. “Fat-free” means “calorie-free”, which means I can eat as much as I want
“Low fat” or “fat-free” does NOT mean “calorie-free”. Protein and carbohydrates contain calories as well. A low-fat or fat-free food is OFTEN lower in calories than the same size portion of the full-fat product. But many processed foods that are low-fat or fat-free could have just as many calories as the full-fat version of the same food – sometimes even MORE calories. This is because the process that takes fat out of foods involves adding sugar, flour, starch thickeners, and other carbohydrates to keep the original taste.
If a food is lower in fat and calories, that does not mean that one is able to eat unreasonable amounts of it. Eat ALL food in moderation.
4. Skipping meals or having various smaller meals is good for my metabolism
Your metabolism is jump-started every time you eat. Having various mini-meals throughout the day instead of fewer larger ones make your metabolism shift into a higher gear more often – burns just a little bit more calories throughout the day.
“When you skip a meal or go a long time without eating, your body goes into survival mode, this causes your cells and body to crave food which causes you to eat a lot,”
Skipping meals is not an effective weight loss strategy and is a behavior that can lead to overeating. Instead, consume balanced meals and healthful snacks, including fruits and vegetables throughout your day to prevent extreme hunger and to keep your metabolism going.
5. Carbohydrates (and sugars) are evil because they cause weight gain
Carbohydrates, much like protein and fat, do not cause weight gain. Eating more than you require is likely to result in weight gain. Portion wisely! It is extremely essential to have a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, beans, wholegrains as these are beneficial for the body. Refined and processed food should be limited, listen to your body, healthy eating will invigorate the body from inside out!
Our diet is a life long journey. There’s no cure all solution and there’s no magic concoction for your perfect body. Everyone is made differently and what might feel good for someone else doesn’t necessarily feel good for you. It’s all about balance! We hope these tips have helped in figuring out how to build a sustainable eating habit. Remember, it’s not about how fast you shed the pounds, but finding something that works for you in the long run.