Top 10 Diet and Fitness Myths

Last Updated: Saturday, August 25, 2012 - 16:30

Deeksha Ahuja/>

We all are obsessed with dieting and weight loss, and a lot of myths and gimmicks surround the same. Every day we come across new, and most often, confusing information on what is the best way to shed those extra pounds. There are fat-burning pills, exercise machines, slim sauna belts, low-fat-low-carb snacks, and a large number of diet tips including - don`t eat carbs, stay away from desserts, don`t skip breakfast, never nibble after 8 p.m., etc etc.

No single food or diet can help you lose weight. Extreme low-carbohydrate, high-carbohydrate, high-protein or limited diets can damage your health. To reduce body fat and lose weight, you need to change the way you eat and increase your physical activity.

With all this contradictory information, it`s difficult to find a diet and work out tricks that is right for you and that will work for you!

It`s not that all these weight-loss advices are useless or even unhealthy. It`s just that one person`s weight management secret may not work for you. So it`s important to know the truth behind common diet and fitness tips. Here is a list of top 10 diet and fitness myth busters to give our weight management plans that extra edge.

Myth 1: Eating a big meal at night causes weight gain/>

Truth: Variations on this theme `no eating anything after 8pm`. Naturally, this makes sense – after all, you`re not burning much energy while you sleep. It`s true that your digestion is slower at night, however, the effect of energy intake is almost the same no matter when you eat. On the other hand, studies reveal that people who eat a good breakfast are less likely to be overweight that those who don`t. You will have more energy throughout the day if you have a healthy breakfast and ultimately burn all the calories before sleep.

Myth 2: The less you eat, the more weight you`ll lose!/>

Truth: It is absolutely wrong! Skipping meals, or even cutting energy intake to extremely low levels may seem like a good weight-loss strategy but it will backfire as our body tries to conserve as much energy as possible. While you may appear to lose weight, much of this will be water! You`ll also lose muscle tissue as our starving body clings to its precious fat reserves. And as the muscle burns more energy than fat, our metabolism will be slower and you`ll gain more weight.

Myth 3: Does more protein build more muscle?/>

Truth: According to health experts, protein recommendations for strength training are 1.2 to 1.4 for increasing strength and 1.5 to 1.7 for muscle hypertrophy. While extra protein might work for those exercising to optimal levels, it won`t help those involved in low to moderate intensity workouts.

Myth 4: Bananas can never be a part of healthy weight loss/>

Truth: No! According to a study, simply consuming bananas and room temperature water for breakfast can lead to weight loss, regardless of what you eat during the rest of the day.
Bananas are a great choice if you are on a diet, as they are loaded with potassium and a whole lot of fibre which is an essential nutrient if you are on a diet. The fruit helps to keep you fuller for a longer time and prevents overeating during the day.

Myth 5: A detox diet is the ultimate diet plan for me/>

Truth: If losing weight is on your mind, then a well-balanced `detox` diet might work for you. Detox diets (also called a cleansing diet) is balanced in terms of all essential food groups, devoid of processed foods that are high in unnecessary sugar and trans-fats, and is well portioned and distributed through the day. The diet will remove toxins and poisons from our body. But, like many other fad diets, detox diets can also have harmful side effects, especially for teens. However, the basic idea behind detox is to temporarily give up certain kinds of food that are thought to contain toxins. The idea is to purify and wash the body of all the `bad` stuff, but the human body is designed to purify itself.

Myth 6: Potatoes are the biggest diet disasters/>

Truth: Contrasting the general perception of high glycemic index (GI) food, potatoes have a medium glycemic index of 56 and they do not raise the blood sugar levels. The forms in which they are consumed make them fattening such as deep fried, shallow fried etc. However, the moderate amount of consumption recommended is 1 medium-sized potato a day. Potatoes result in weight gain only if taken regularly in large amounts.

Myth 7: Just eat healthy and you`ll lose weight/>

Truth: Replacing junk food with healthy food – such as muesli, fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts, seeds and dairy foods – may not result in weight loss. But there are food items that have a status for being healthy, such as salads. However, adding excessive oil, fatty dressing, hard cheese or fatty meats to healthy food items won`t help you lose weight; in fact they will increase your weight.

Fruit juice is another ingredient belonging to this category. The fruits lose all their fibre content when turned into juices. Fruit, yet without the fibre, is not as filling.

Myth 8: Warm ups and cool downs are unnecessary/>

Truth: It is very important to warm up our body before exercising. This prepares the performer physiologically and psychologically for exercise. Spending 5 to 10 minutes on a good warm up helps raise our body temperature from inside out. On the other hand, cool downs work in a similar manner when it comes to taking care to avoid workout injuries. It helps in lowering our heart rate back to normal and keeps you energised all day long.

Myth 9: It is safe to take nutritional supplements if you want to lose weight/>

Truth: It is not recommended to take nutritional supplements to lose weight. Most weight loss supplements increase the frequency of our bowel movements leading to destruction of our natural bowel movement and causes dehydration and many nutritional deficiencies as well. On the other hand, some supplements eliminate all fat in our diet by excreting it in our faeces which is not recommended as we lose many fatty acids which are essential for our body.

Myth 10: The weighing scale is the ultimate fitness meter

/>Truth: No! As far as the approximation of our body weight is concerned, the weighing scale is undoubtedly important, but relying on a weighing scale to judge whether you`re `fit` or `fat`, is like judging a person without knowing him. Your true fitness meter is you yourself! The weighing scale shows your lean body mass which includes muscles and not the body fat. If you lose your fat, you will lose inches, which will make you fit!



First Published: Saturday, August 25, 2012 - 16:30

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