So much is said about losing weight that it can be hard to sort fact from fiction. Here’s the truth about 5 most common weight loss myths.
1. Starving myself is the best way to lose weight
Crash diets are unlikely to result in long-term weight loss. In fact, they can sometimes lead to longer-term weight gain.
The main problem is that this type of diet is too hard to maintain. You may also be missing out on essential nutrients as crash diets can be limited in the variety of food consumed. Your body will be low on energy, and may cause you to crave high-fat and high-sugar foods. This can lead to eating those foods and more calories than you need, causing weight gain.
2. Carbs make you put on weight
Eaten in the right quantities and as part of a balanced diet, carbohydrates will not, on their own (that is, without butter, creamy sauces and so on added to them) lead to weight gain.
Eat whole grain and wholemeal carbohydrates such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, and potatoes with the skins on to increase your intake of fibre and don’t fry starchy foods when trying to lose weight.
3. Healthier foods are more expensive
It may seem that healthier foods are more expensive than their unhealthier alternatives. However, if you try replacing ingredients with healthier alternatives, you’ll probably find your meals will work out costing less.
For example, choosing cheaper cuts of meat and mixing it with cheaper alternatives such as beans, pulses and frozen veg will make it go further in casseroles or stir-fries.
4. A radical exercise regime is the only way to lose weight
Not true. Successful weight loss involves making small changes that you can stick to for a long time!
That means being more physically active in your daily routine. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity – such as fast walking or cycling – every week, and those who are overweight are likely to need more than this to lose weight.
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved by eating less, moving more or, best of all, a combination of both.
5. Foods labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced fat’ are always a healthy choice
Be cautious. Foods labelled “low fat” have to contain no more than a specific amount of fat to legally use that label. If a food is labelled as “low-fat” or “reduced fat”, it should contain less fat than the full-fat version, but that doesn’t automatically make it a healthy choice: Check the label to see how much fat it contains. Some low-fat foods may also contain high levels of sugar.
BONUS: 6. Drinking water helps you lose weight
Water does not cause you to lose weight, but it does keep you hydrated and might help you snack less. Water is essential for good health and wellbeing. Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger – if you’re thirsty you may snack more.
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