Weight loss - myths you need to know
There will be times when you may have put on a few extra pounds and your clothes feel a bit tight; this can lead to feelings of hopelessness, sadness and even jealousy of others.
However, remember you are not alone, everyone goes through periods like this, but what you can do is take some action yourself, or with a professional to guide and support you.
There are several factors that can lead to an increase in weight:
- underlying health condition
- genetic predisposition
- stress & anxiety
- sedentary lifestyle
- consuming the wrong type of food or drink, frequency and amount
There is a lot to take in, and before starting a weight loss programme, you need to understand a few myths.
Myth 1 - It's all about calories
It's true all calories have the same amount of energy, however different foods and macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate and protein) have a major effect on the hormones and brain centres that control hunger and eating behaviour.
For example, one scoop of ice-cream (200 kcal) vs. one large egg (200 kcal) are not the same. Which one will fill you up? Which one will give you a sugar hit and make you crave for more? Protein (the egg) is by far the most filling macronutrient, leaving you more full.
Plan: Consume protein with every meal for satiety and good quality fats such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts, fish and protein. Don't rely on sugar products to replace meals.
Myth 2 - Stay away from carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a source of fuel, if you stop all carbohydrates then your blood sugar can drop, making you feel light-headed, dizzy and irritable. If you stay away from carbohydrates then you will be missing out on a range of nutrients such as vegetables, fruits and grains, including fibre.
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is needed to help regular bowel movements, getting rid of waste and toxins from the body. You should be aiming to have at least one bowel movement, preferably more, each day.
Plan: Include carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruit, some grains with meals and/or snacks. Watch your carbohydrate intake such as potatoes, bread, pasta and sugary products especially in the afternoon and evening.
Myth 3 - To lose weight you need to go hungry
Skipping meals, especially if on a calorie-restrictive diet will lower your blood sugar, sometimes making you irritable and light-headed. So your willpower to continue with your diet can drop, which can then leave you feeling frustrated and wanting to give up, which could lead to over-eating to compensate.
Your body can enter a starvation phase and hold onto fuel and lower metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories. It can be a vicious circle but it can be broken.
Plan: Eat a range of foods to keep you feeling fuller for longer, like protein and good quality fats. These fats are your preferred food for the brain such as avocado, oily fish, nuts, seeds, coconut oil and olive oil. Remember, everything in moderation.
There are specific types of diets that look at the timing of eating meals, such as eating twice a day or eating over a short period of time. However, they are not calorie-controlled diets, and if done correctly will not make you go hungry. They are beneficial to health in so many ways for the average healthy person who does not have blood sugar issues, or part of a vulnerable group such as pregnancy or elderly.
So here you have three myths to help you with your weight and health journey. Remember to include some form of exercise in your routine for optimum results. Good luck!