Weight loss and Food: What’s real and what’s not
Weight loss is always a hot topic. People want to lose weight but they are totally confused by the advice out there. And who can blame them? Every time we switch on the TV or read something in the internet, there’s a new ‘sure-fire’ diet, a new health recommendation or an advert for the latest weight-loss equipment or miracle weight loss pill. Despite our obsession with dieting, we have seen our weight increase, waistlines expand and our health deteriorate.
So what’s real and what’s the myth when it comes to weight loss?
- You have to eat healthy to lose weight – MYTH
Nutrition is the single most important thing for weight loss. People automatically assume that they have to start eating healthy and turn to brown rice, fruits, leafy greens and what not when they go on a diet. It’s not that straightforward. You can still gain weight by eating healthy. Healthy eaters often ignore the golden rule of weight loss: ‘Weight loss occurs in a caloric deficit, regardless if it’s healthy or junk.’ The most important thing is the number of calories you eat. If you’re gaining weight, it means you’ve been frequently eating and drinking more calories than you’ve been burning. So, to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume through exercise or eat fewer calories than you consume through dieting and continue this over a period of time. The reason healthy foods help you lose weight is because they are have lower calories and keeps you full longer compared to the processed junk you eat.
- Breakfast is King. Breakfast is essential for weight loss – MYTH
Weight loss isn’t necessarily tied to breakfast habits. Like I mentioned before, it comes down to calories instead. At the end of the day, it’s the total number of calories that matter whether you divide that into 3 or 5 meals. If you need 1500 calories to lose weight than you could either divide that into 3 meals of 500 calories each or 5 meals of 300 calories each or maybe 2 meals of 300 each and 1 meal with 900 calories. If skipping breakfast makes you more likely to binge later in the day, don’t skip it. However, if you don’t feel genuinely hungry, don’t force yourself to eat.Bottom Line – It’s less about one meal than it is about what you eat over the course of the day.
- Frequent meals increases your metabolism – MYTH
You may have heard something along the lines of “if you want to rev up your metabolism than you have to eat frequent, small meals”. That’s not necessarily the case and it’s totally false. The reality is if you want to lose weight, frequent eating isn’t necessarily a reliable diet strategy. If you genuinely like eating smaller frequent meals than go for it. But don’t force yourself to eat more meals in hopes of losing weight. Moreover, if you’re trying to make yourself eat more frequently, you could end up consuming more calories which will lead to weight gain.
- Eating out makes you gain weight – TRUTH
If you’re serious about stripping off body fat, you must make time for grocery shopping and cooking instead of going out to eat. If you’re busy and find going out to eat saves time instead of cooking yourself, than make time. Cut down on time wasters like social media, web surfing, playing on your phone and TV. That’s because restaurants have a tendency to serve up more cholesterol, fat and calories than what you make at home. What you can do is make your own lunches and bring them to work/school. This not only saves money but your waistline from exploding as well.
- Eat your Protein and vegetables – TRUTH
Each of your meals should include a protein source and low carb veggies. High protein meals can reduce your obsessive thoughts about food and curb your appetite and cravings meaning you’ll eat less calories. Likewise, vegetables especially the green ones have low calories and high fibre content which means it will keep you feeling full longer.
- Meat – Chicken, Buff
- Vegetarian protein sources – Tofu, Soyabean chunks (Nutrella), Beans
Broccoli, Spinach, Cucumber, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Lettuce, Celery, Cauliflower, Carrots
Weight Loss tips to make things easier and faster:
- Eat high protein meals
- Make your own lunches to bring to work/school
- Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice
- Limit access to trigger foods that can make you overeat (Chocolates, Nuts)
- Drink water before your meals and throughout the day
- Drink coffee or tea (black/green) to curb appetite
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods
- Use smaller plates
- Eat your food slowly
- Eat your vegetables, you child!