Debunking nutrition and dieting myths

Published July 13, 2021, 10:53 AM

by Cheshire Que

If you’re still not losing weight, these may be the culprit

You did not gain weight overnight, you will not lose weight overnight.

A plethora of nutrition information available in a click has left dieters confused to the point of frustration. Despite adherence to a restrictive diet regimen, taking expensive supplements and working out excessively, many still find themselves falling short of reaching their weight loss goals. Where did they go wrong? What else should they do?

If you are one of those people who are in an endless pursuit of the proper way to lose weight, here are some nutrition and dieting myths that you need to know.

I can eat anything as long as I stay within the amount of calories required daily.

While it is important to keep your food intake within your total caloric requirement a day to facilitate weight loss, the quality and composition of your diet is equally important. Think about consuming a 1,200 kcal daily intake composed of highly processed, high fat, high sugar content food compared to the same amount of calories taken from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats. Which one do you think will likely make you feel fuller? Naturally a well-balanced diet will have more quantity and nutrients unlike the first option which is not only caloric dense (small portion with high caloric content) but also devoid of nutrients. These nutrients help decrease inflammatory reactions in the body that wreaks havoc with the body’s metabolism and ability to burn and store body fat.

It is also important to always keep hydrated with water throughout the day. Water is zero calorie and it keeps you fuller, helps decrease cravings too!

The body doesn’t need carbohydrates to function.

It is true that the body can utilize energy from protein and fat sources. The brain’s primary or preferred form of fuel is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates.

Carbs are often accused of being the culprit in weight gain. Is it truly guilty for making us overweight? Let’s get closer to home. Rice is often blamed and the first one being taken out when going on a diet. It is not the rice’s fault that we are fat. It is the way that we eat rice. The amount consumed, as well as, our eating behavior made us gain weight. The most important thing is to avoid or at least cut down on refined carbs like sugary food, pastries, breads, cookies and the like. Choose carbohydrate sources from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Furthermore, restricting carb intake in general will be detrimental to thyroid health. This small gland is responsible for the body’s metabolism. Carb restriction and very low caloric intake will prevent the thyroid hormones from converting into its active form, resulting in an underactive thyroid and difficulty losing weight or weight gain.

Having the right amount of carbohydrates in the diet will also help with sparing protein from being used up as energy so it can do its job of building muscle mass and boosting the immune system, a very important aspect of one’s health, especially during the pandemic.

It’s all about calories in and calories out when it comes to losing weight.

Maintaining a calorie deficit will make you lose weight. You need to consume less calories and burn more through physical activity and exercise. There are, however, other factors that influence weight loss. Rest and recovery in the form of sleep and other relaxation activities help the body repair and balance hormones. Physical (excessive exercise), mental, and emotional stress will result in hormonal imbalances and alterations in the gut microbiome (good bacteria in the intestines). Thus, influencing fat metabolism and storage as well as weight. It is also important to correct nutritional imbalances through food, functional food, and as needed, targeted supplementation. Always consult a registered nutritionist dietitian for proper assessment and recommendation of modified functional food and supplementation.

When it comes to losing weight, anything drastic and highly restrictive is a red flag. If you want to be successful in your weight loss journey, go for a holistic approach that includes proper diet, regular physical activity, behavior modification with rest and relaxation. You did not gain weight overnight, you will not lose weight overnight. Aim for sustainable weight loss and beware of quack nutritionists that recommend baseless diet programs and nutrition advice.

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