Are you hanging on to weight-loss myths?
Did you start the year intending to lose weight, but it’s somehow fallen by the wayside? If so, here are some of the myths that are stopping you from reaching your goals:
Dieting is the best way to lose weight – FALSE Research shows that when women, in particular, want to lose weight they turn to dieting. Unfortunately, research also shows that this is highly unlikely to lead to long-term weight-loss with over 85% of people regaining all of the weight they have lost, and more, by a year after the diet.This can lead to the misery of yo-yo dieting, which is harmful for health and no way to live your life.Instead, you are much better making a few changes to your lifestyle and eating habits that you can keep up for good.
You need a good breakfast – FALSE A recent study confirmed that eating or skipping breakfast makes no difference to weight-loss. Everyone is different – you may be an early riser or a night owl when it comes to sleep, so it’s not surprising that your breakfast desires may be different, too. Listen to your body when it comes to eating – if you are having proper nutritious food, your body will tell you when it needs fuelling. If you focus on a bit of protein (as confirmed by other recent research) and avoid sugar and processed carbs then whether you have a quick snack or a feast for breakfast is entirely up to you!
Eat regular snacks throughout the day – FALSE It’s often said in dieting folklore that eating little and often stops you getting so hungry and encourages you to burn off more energy. However, your body wasn’t built for constant snacking – particularly on the sort of food eaten nowadays. You are better off getting used to going without food for a few hours at a time – it helps you understand that you are often not eating from hunger, just from habit, and that ‘hunger’ can be ignored for a while without you falling flat on the floor! Recent research backs up this view showing that women who ate two meals or five meals of the same calorie content, showed no difference in the amount of energy they burnt off. Interestingly, it also showed that eating more frequent meals produced more signs of inflammation (and therefore may increase risk of disease) than eating less frequently.
We should be stocking up on low-fat foods to lose weight – FALSE The myth that fat is bad has been particularly harmful to our health and waistline. Many fats are healthy in moderation – and yet we are bombarded with low-fat yoghurts, ‘slimming’ ready-meals and processed spreads that are bulked up with sugar, salt or chemical nasties that provide little, if any, nutrition. Butter, cheese, full-fat yoghurt and other dairy and animal fats are natural and seldom processed, unlike many low-fat alternatives. Coconut oil is another fat that is enjoying popularity recently.
Of all of the diets that have been shown to help weight-loss, it is not the low-fat diet that wins out. In fact, the low-carb, high-fat diet seems to be most successful – though long-term weight-loss is no better with this diet than with any others that can’t be made part of your day-to-day life.
You are therefore best off focusing on real food – that means avoiding anything processed wherever possible. By doing so you will automatically be reducing your refined carbs, eating natural fats and proteins, bulking up with fruit and veg – and dramatically cutting down your sugar intake. That is the best tip for weight-loss that lasts!
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