Are you badgered with too much of unsolicited advice coming your own way on how to reduce weight, stay fit, what to eat, not to eat? If yes, here are a few popular myths that have been busted. If someone recommends them, then them with a pinch of salt.
Myth 1: Drinking warm water cuts or breaks fat!
Warm water acts as a laxative for those who have a problem with a slow or sluggish digestive system. Therefore, a person can feel light and better, post consumption of warm water due to the resulting evacuation process. Be clear that drinking warm water has nothing to do with the fat stores that are otherwise on you. Those remain unaffected. Fat is a fuel, to be utilised or burnt as other types of fuel. It can’t be “cut” or “broken”.
Myth 2: If I’m on a healthy diet, low in fat, sugar, bad carbs and high on fruits and vegetables, I don’t need to watch the quantity that I consume for fat, inch and weight loss.
Remember that an excess of anything — ¾th of even fruits and vegetables will get you to put on fat, inches and weight. Even for the healthiest foods, yes, portion control is vital, or then inch and weight gain is inevitable.
Myth 3: High energy drinks are important before, during and after a workout.
It’s actually far better to just go with plain room temperature water and a balanced, healthy diet. Stay far away from anything that’s bottled, canned and has a shelf life because they are full of preservatives, colourants and chemicals.
Myth 4: Fad diets is the way to go, in order to achieving your ideal body.
This is the most common error of all! Whether it’s the Atkin’s, the Glycemic Index, Herbal Life, the General Motor’s Diet or whichever fad diet that grabs your current fancy, you will receive inadequate nutrients in imbalanced proportions, and aside from playing with your health, your diet will never work long-term.
You’ll end up with more weight and inches on you than you started out with. The only thing that gets fat and inches off, and keeps them off, is a sensible, low-fat, low-sugar food plan, high on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, combined with the correct type and amount of exercise.
Myth 5: Must consume more protein if you’re trying to build on muscle mass.
For all the efforts people make at consuming more protein, did you know that even Indian vegetarians get 2-3 times more protein than their bodies require? Remember that excess protein can damage the kidneys, and deprive your body of calcium. Additionally, excess protein is stored by the body in the form of fat! Even intense training won’t deplete most people’s protein supply. Unless you’re training heavy duty for competition, you don’t need protein supplements.
Myth 6: Diet pills that suppress the appetite is one sure way of knocking those extra kilos off.
These ought to be avoided entirely. They usually contain a stimulant such as amphethetamine. Firstly, the effect of the drug is temporary and so the rate of fat/weight reduction tapers off with time. Secondly, these can cause health problems such as insomnia, high blood pressure, dizziness, headaches etc. They are also very addictive.
Myth 7: Foods are categorised as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
All foods are good, IF they are consumed in moderation. Don’t banish certain foods altogether from your diet. That’ll make you crave them all the more. That leads to binging. Control the size of the portion and find healthy substitutes instead.
Myth 8: Don’t keep snacking all the time!
Please do! The problem with square meals is that they make you round! Consume small meals through the day. Avoid sticking to just two or three large meals. This way the body uses up the calories from your meal rather than storing the excess in the form of fat.
Myth 9: Stick to brown sugar and brown bread instead of white.
Technically this is true; however, watch out. Often you’ll find the brown sugar you thought to be healthier is actually just white sugar coated with caramelised sugar! Drop a few crystals of this brown sugar into half a glass of water. If you see the crystals sink to the bottom, while the brown colour moves up to the top leaving the sugar crystals exposed to their original colour — stay far away! Brown bread too is often made brown by caramelising sugar and is not brown due to the usage of healthier grains.
Myth 10: Have more fruit and vegetable juices to lose fat, inches and weight. Rather than drinking a fruit juice, eat the whole fruit. Eat a salad in place of a vegetable juice. You’ll get a lot less volume in that way. Remember that too much of anything, even of a good thing, is going to hang around the body in the form of unwanted pockets of fat.
(The writer has trained, taught and certified in America as a fitness professional by American Council on Exercise and International Dance Exercise Association. She founded Body Art, the Fitness Centre in 1992. For more information, log onto www.bodyart.in)