In this article, we will talk about how and what you should eat if your goal is to lose weight. We will also try to debunk 9 popular myths about food and dieting, as well as provide facts and tips about weight loss, proper nutrition, and physical activity. This information can help you find the right diet and adapt to an actual healthy lifestyle that you can maintain.
Myth #1: Gluten-free desserts are good for weight loss.
With the rise of the gluten-free revolution in recent years, people have been led to believe that gluten-free desserts are the go-to desserts for weight loss.
While a gluten-free diet is the necessary treatment for people with celiac disease, a condition where the body’s immune system damages their small intestine when it detects gluten in their system, there is no factual evidence that cutting down on gluten actually helps healthy people lose weight. Despite celebrities like Iron Man franchise and Avengers star Gwyneth Paltrow and reality TV personality Kim Kardashian adopting and promoting this lifestyle, there have not been any conclusive researches that support a gluten-free diet for weight loss. In fact, studies have even suggested that a non-celiac person who has a gluten-free lifestyle may increase their risk of heart disease due to not eating whole grains.
Bottomline: For generally healthy people who do not suffer with celiac disease, and those only looking to lose weight or get in shape, there seems to be no real need to subscribe to a gluten-free diet.
Myth #2: Low-fat foods lead to less fat storage in the body.
When you see the label “low-fat” on a tub of ice cream or yogurt, you will most likely feel less guilty about binging on it, thinking it is less likely to make you fat. This is one of those myths that the food industry has perpetuated and benefitted from for years, hindu pushups.
These labels are not misleading per se. They are accurate in that these products do, in fact, contain a lower amount of fat than others in the market. The misconception is in the idea that consuming fat is the main factor in people gaining weight and body fat.
Instead of looking at the fat content of a certain food product, we recommend that you focus instead on the number of calories it contains. Regardless of the other nutritional content in your food, your weight is primarily affected by the number of calories you consume. If you eat more calories than you spend daily, you will gain weight. Weight loss is achieved through a regular calorie deficit or using more energy everyday than what you consume.
In fact, the fat content in many of these “sugar-free” products can be extremely high. When nutrients such as fat is removed from the diet, it added artificial exercises to strengthen the muscles of the legs ingredients to improve the taste. This filler may lead to a set of more calories.
Myth #3: Lettuce help to lose weight.
Conventional wisdom dictates that you can eat as much food with low energy density, such as salads, without gaining weight. This belief is true to some extent as lettuce leaves practically do not contain calories. In fact, a tablespoon of butter has the same number of calories as 10 cups of salad leaves.
However, a lot of people love to smother their salads with dressing, which actually contain a significant amount of calories, sodium, and sugar. This is where dieting with leafy salads becomes a trap for the uninformed. You have to check the nutritional content of your salad dressing before deciding to adopt it as your new regular diet.
Bottomline: Lettuce and other greens are great for calorie deficit and weight loss, but salad dressing may not be.
Myth #4: Carbohydrates lead to weight gain.
No, this food is not solely responsible for weight gain. While carbohydrates can technically lead to an increase in fat cells in the body when consumed in excess, it also one of the main sources of energy for the body and cannot be taken out entirely.
There are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ carbohydrates, and knowing which ones to consume is an essential part of creating a weight loss diet. Whole carbs are usually unprocessed and still contain fiber that is also beneficial for weight loss. This is usually found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Refined carbs, on the other hand, are found in fruit juices, bread, pasta, and pastries, and typically carry a lot of calories without other important nutrients for the body.
While the occasional bowl of pasta or slice of cake is not necessarily harmful, you may want to focus more on eating mostly vegetables and whole grains for your carbohydrate needs if you are looking to lose weight.
Myth #5: Healthy food is more expensive.
On the surface, fast food and processed foods from stores are much cheaper than buying and cooking fresh food from the market or a proper meal from a restaurant. But this may not be the cheaper option in the long run.
It is necessary to look at the bigger picture. With future medical bills caused by health issues brought about by a lifetime of fast food consumption, you may just end up spending a lot more money than if you spend a little extra now on healthier options.
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Fresh fruits and vegetables are actually cheaper when you buy them in-season. Do not be afraid to try new produce you haven’t tried before when it’s the season for it. Adapting your taste to whichever produce is cheaper at the moment will also allow you to expand your taste and allow you to be more creative in making dishes.
While meat is generally more expensive than fruits and vegetables in most parts of the world, there are usually some cuts that are cheaper than others.
Myth #6: Eating late at night will lead to weight gain.
This myth is probably based on the idea that late night snacking is not a part of a regular three meals per day diet, and therefore results in the consumption of more calories than you need. While that in itself is a valid concept, it actually doesn’t matter what time of the day you eat.
Regardless of how many meals you eat in a day and what time of the day you take them, the only relevant details when looking to lose weight are what you eat and how many calories they contain.
Myth #7: Fasting is important to cleanse the body.
While studies do suggest that there are several benefits to fasting on some occasions, this does not mean it is mandatory for you to ‘cleanse’ your body.
Your body has a natural process of cleansing itself of toxins and excess nutrients. As long as you maintain a healthy and balanced diet, your body will regulate itself without a need for restrictive fasting diets.
These restrictive diets may also cause high levels of mental stress which often leads to binging on your cheat days as a way to reward yourself, thus negating the progress you have made so far.
Myth #8: Energy bars and supplements are good for weight loss.
Energy bars are convenient, but they need to be used together with a balanced diet, and you should be wary of their ingredients. They often contain extremely high levels of fat and sugar to give you that boost of energy. While it is tempting to munch on an energy bar because they are usually delicious and easily accessible at any time, this will just give you a bunch of extra calories that you will probably not spend.
These energy bars are usually only recommended for athletes that need to replenish their energy and maintain a high level of performance.
If you are looking to lose weight, you typically have no need for these excess sugar and calories.
Myth #9: Yogurt is an ideal diet food.
The food industry has long promoted yogurt, especially the ‘low-fat’ variety, as the magic pill for weight loss. This is one of the more dangerous myths out there because it does not paint you the whole picture.
As a dairy product, yogurt is naturally rich in calcium. And while studies have shown that calcium intake may reduce weight gain or even improve weight loss, we must remember that no single product is capable of magic, and yogurt in itself will not make you lose weight. Weight loss is the result of an effective calorie deficit diet and exercise.
It is also important to avoid yogurt that contains lots of sugar or sweetened fruits, as these just give you excess calories that will actually prevent you from losing weight. That being said, an occasional cup of yogurt to satisfy your cravings will not hurt that much.