When I first got proactive about weight loss, I was told to eat only when I am hungry, as hunger is a signal that your body has burned reserved energy/fat; and that eating when I was not hungry meant my body did not need the food, and was going to store it up as fat…mostly around my belly region of course. So I went on a compulsory fast, and avoided food as much as I could. I stayed hungry until I was almost fainting before I would allow myself eat. The result? I binged and managed to eat up so much food to make up for the meals I missed…and then a little bit more. I gained more weight than I was losing, and soon had to ditch that lie. Every turn you take, there is someone armed with tips to help you lose weight…only problem is that those are lies based on myths, making it impossible for you to get any pounds shifted.
The second myth that keeps people from losing weight is eating fruits and vegetables, so you have a lot of people who add greens to their meals, and take more fruits than they did before, but yet they are not losing any weight. You know why? They are probably still eating unhealthy, and only supplementing their high calorie meals with fruits. Healthy food doesn’t mitigate the unhealthy ones you take alongside. If you are still consuming a lot of fatty and high calorie food, adding fruits to your plate will not burn the fat. Fruits, vegetables and smoothies only help with weight loss when they are used as food replacements, not supplements. They work great for your heart and skin as supplements, but do not do much for your weight gain. In trying to lose weight, fruits and veggies need to be the main dish, not some accompaniments.
You have probably heard this one; No snacking between meals. Well, that is also a myth because when you crave a snack for a rumbly tummy and quiet it down, you are bound to be hungrier when it is time for your meal, and yes, you are going to binge! In fact, dietitians and food planners have advised having five small meals a day, instead of three big ones and candidly, it works better this way. Having light snacks between meals curbs the feeling of starvation, and prevents you from overeating later. However, the myth about saying no to snacking came as a result of all the sugar-packed and/or greasy snacks we were prone to having around, us like cookies, burgers, fries, and other fatty delights. A handful of nuts, or some energy bar, carrot sticks, boiled eggs, or crackers would keep you filled and are also low calorie options, so you don’t need to bother about gaining more pounds. It helps to carry some of these healthy choices around, so you don’t get desperate when you are hungry, and then give in to some sweet temptation around the corner.
I also heard back then that in order to lose weight, I would have to cut out fast food totally. That hurt! The problem with this myth is the generalization. Yes, you should stay away from donuts, cheeseburgers, fries, pies and sodas, but fast food also has healthier options and it really is a question of discipline. For example, I go to fast food joints often, but I usually opt for chicken salads or grilled chicken and local brown rice. No harm done! Fast foods even have healthy choices for your salad dressings and sauces for your food, so you are eating jolly and still not packing on weight. I guess fast foods pretty much cater to everybody…which is fine, because just as you need to lose weight, some other person needs to gain weight and would require a good serving of double cheeseburger, fries and a big soda. Fast food is not the enemy; you only need to make healthy choices with it.
A major myth we have all believed is that; to lose weight, we have to cut out carbohydrates. Yes, some carbohydrates are not healthy for you, but you can still get some good servings of healthy carbs. Besides, your body needs the energy that carbs provide, so instead of cutting out carbs totally…eat whole grains, fortified cereals, brown rice, wheat bread, oats and other foods rich in nutrients and fiber, and low in calories. The body needs fuel from carbs in burning fat while you exercise, and also to keep you going as you go about your daily duties.
I feel so silly that I believed these myths back then, but heck…I did. I was told by a friend that eating pepper was great for burning carbs. The explanation for this was that pepper is hot and when you eat it, it literally burns out the fat in your belly. So I ate pepper, but the only place that got any heat was my tongue. The fat didn’t move an inch, and I also had heartburn to treat. While different foods have various health benefits; increasing metabolic rate is a fad. To increase your metabolism and burn the fat, you will have to exercise, move around and get some work out done.
Finally, one of the biggest weight loss myths of all times is that you need to work out everyday to get the pounds off. Well, you would crash and burn faster than you know it, if you do not give yourself ample rest and provide your body with the relaxation it needs to repair worn out tissues and get re-energized. Don’t go too hard on yourself, and be sure to reward every feat. For example, you could allow yourself take a small cup of ice cream for a milestone reached. Losing weight is serious business and you need to encourage yourself to keep going and to stay positive. Start slow and pick up pace as you go, instead of attempting to do it all at a go and ending up with sprained joints and zero motivation to go on.
Godspeed to us all!
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