by Michele Carelse on April 12th, 2011 at 7:00 am
We’ve all heard opinions and theories where dieting is concerned… but how much is fact and how much is food fiction? We took 3 common dieting myths and put them to the test. Read on to find out the truth and get some GREAT TIPS to help you shed those extra pounds!
Diet Myth Number 1: Carbs are “bad” – potatoes, bread, pasta and rice are fattening
Thanks to fad diets, carbs have gotten a bad reputation. The truth is that there is really little evidence to suggest that carbohydrates make you gain weight. Scientifically, only a greater intake of calories makes us gain weight. So it is far more likely that the culprit is what we put on our carbs – which in turn increases the calories we consume – such as butter on toast, creamy sauces with pasta and frying potatoes to make chips!
Better choices for carbs that contain more fiber include brown rice, whole wheat bread, jacket potatoes and whole wheat pasta. They will fill you up more than the ‘white’ refined carbs. Remember not to add too much fat to them though. For example, serve pasta with a tomato-based sauce and top jacket spuds with low-fat cottage cheese or add avocado to whole grain bread, but avoid margarines, cream cheese spreads and butter.
Diet Myth Number 2: Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy and should be avoided
We may not realize it, but dairy products contain essential nutrients. These nutrients help to keep us healthy and are good sources of protein, zinc and some B vitamins. Again, dairy products don’t have to be ‘fattening’ – switching to low-fat dairy options is still tasty and great for the waistline! Did you know – skimmed and semi-skimmed milks actually contain slightly more calcium than full-fat milk? But best of all, research shows that low-fat dairy products can help us to lose weight thanks to the calcium they contain.
If you want to lose weight, aim for three dairy servings each day: a glass of skimmed milk, 1 small tub of low-fat yogurt, a matchbox-sized piece of reduced-fat cheese. Always choose fat-free or low-fat options (but be aware that low-fat can be deceiving. As a rule “low-fat” needs to be less than 3 grams of fat per 100g or 100ml serving).
Diet Myth Number 3: The heavier you are, the fewer calories you need to lose weight
Actually, the reverse is true! The more you weigh, the more calories you can have to lose weight! Although this sounds back-to-front, your body has to work harder to move more weight around and so burns off more calories as a result. It really is that simple! If you don’t take in enough (healthy) calories to get yourself moving around the gym – your body is going to start storing every available calorie, leading to a slow metabolism.
Eat enough healthy choices to keep active – and remember that your body will still burn calories after you work out. Do some research online and find out how many calories you need to consume based on your activity levels or ask your GP to recommend a nutritional plan. As you lose weight, you can gradually adjust your eating plan.
The bottom line: can nature help?
Another diet myth is that you have to use strong harmful drugs or prescription medication to boost your metabolism and lose weight. This is simply not the case. In fact, prescription medications and harsh drugs may actually make you gain weight in the long-term, as your metabolism may become unbalanced. This then means when you stop taking the medication, you pick up pounds faster as your metabolism is out of whack.
In comparison, natural herbs have indeed been shown to help support the body when losing weight – without the risks! Herbs have been used for centuries to naturally curb hunger pangs, and help your metabolism to work as it should – burning calories as you become more active.
Fucus vesiculosis (a sea vegetable) and Garcinia cambogia are both natural ingredients known to assist weight loss efforts.
It’s a great idea to detox your body when you start any weight loss plan. This will help your body to kick-start weight loss. Taraxacum officinalis (Dandelion) and Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel) are both used to increase energy and stamina, reduce fatigue and lethargy caused by toxin buildup.
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