The internet is full of information about ‘tips to lose weight’, ‘best foods to lose weight’, ‘diets to shed those extra kilos’, and so on and so forth. But among such, many a time, helpful information there creep in some that are simply false or widely-believed myths. As such, to help you make informed choices on your weight loss journey, Simrun Chopra, a nutritionist and coach, took to Instagram to debunk certain common myths.
“I know the feeling of not wanting to go on a diet. Or of eating whatever you can on Sunday night before you start Monday,” she captioned an Instagram video, adding that the diet culture in India has been made “worse because of menu plans and not a diet plan.”
“A diet has calories and macro splits, etc. It doesn’t have menus. It shouldn’t tell you what to eat and when, as it is unsustainable. The only way to lose weight is when you consume fewer calories than you burn, calorie deficit,” she explained, as she talked about weight loss myths.
You can’t have tea or coffee
It is commonly believed that you cannot have tea or coffee if you are trying to lose weight. However, Simrun said all one needs to do is strike a balance rather than giving up on the beverages. “Just accommodate calories. Reduce it to half milk-half water and ½ to 1 tsp sugar,” she suggested, adding that tea and coffee should not be consumed more than twice a day.
Can’t eat out
Again, you do not need to stop eating out. Instead, check the menu and look for things that fit your macros in general, and avoid very oily, deep fried food. “Share the dessert and don’t overeat. Remember, you’re eating for taste here. Eat slowly and enjoy the flavours,” she added.
Special food to speed up metabolism
Again, this is a myth. Simrun stressed that no food can increase metabolic rate. According to the expert, one must focus on increasing muscle mass to increase the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). “These are the muscles that hold our skeleton together and help with basic stuff like lifting things or standing and walking. It doesn’t mean you’ll become a bodybuilder overnight,” she explained.
Give up gluten
As such, you do not need to not give up gluten — which means staying away from biscuits, cakes, and doughnuts. “Instead, just reduce these and continue to eat roti, rava, broken wheat,” she suggested.
Carbs cause weight gain
According to Simrun, if you eat more calories than you can burn, you may put on weight. “The carbs need to be adjusted into the diet (not menu) plan,” she said.
Registered dietitian Garima Goyal also shared some myths that need to be done away with.
*Skipping meals: When you skip meal, rather than causing benefit, you do your body a huge loss. That is because when the body doesn’t get sufficient calories, it starts working differently to conserve the energy and starts storing even the less quantity of food that you eat.
*Don’t eat fats, and avoid ghee: 1 gram of fat provides 9 kcal energy, in comparison to 4 kcal provided by carbohydrates and protein. This doesn’t mean you avoid fat. Fats are one of the essential macronutrients needed by the body. So it is always advised to avoid unhealthy fats such as trans fat, reheated oils etc. Inclusion of healthy sources such as nuts, seeds, avocados, vegetable oil is a must in the diet.
*Eat diet foods to lose weight: Markets and grocery shops are full of diet foods such as diet bhujia, diet coke, diet chawal, and the funniest of all is diabetic-friendly sugar. Their food labels are deceptive and they are actually causing more harm good. They are heavily processed and loaded with artificial ingredients.
*Fat loss can be targeted: Various companies are selling their products claiming that it will help shed abdominal fat or cause abs to be visible etc. But the fact is that weight loss can never be targeted. Whenever you lose weight, its always from the body as a whole. No form of diet or exercise can shred the weight from a specific area.
*It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you count the calories: The biggest myth is this. If your body demands 1200 kcal/day and you skip your lunch and dinner to have a pizza, then though you might be still consuming 1200 kcal but it is not at all healthy. Diet quality matters as much as quantity.