Top ten myths to losing weight

WeightLossThere are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to weight loss. Unfortunately, there is no single diet that works for all, and no magic pill that can help you lose weight! It takes motivation and dedication to get the weight down. Extremely restrictive diets can damage your health.

Here are my top 10 weight loss myths:

1.  Carbs are fattening!

This isn’t always the case. Too much of any one food group will affect weight. High protein, fat, alcohol and sugar can all cause weight gain. The family of ‘carbs’ or carbohydrates include starch and sugars which naturally occur in all fruits, vegetables and grains. Some carbohydrate is essential for life. Choosing the right type of carbohydrate is key.  Highly refined and processed carbs such as white flour used in breads and pasta, biscuits, cakes, and lollies can be easily swapped with nourishing whole grains. And remember- the body also uses carbs to keep you running while exercising to burn fat; this is another important reason you must include some carbohydrates in your day.

2. The less fat you eat, the better

Fat is our friend if you choose and eat the right types. Fat is important for many body functions and helps to absorb some nutrients. Nonetheless, fat is very high in calories and over eating fat can increase weight gain. There are different types of fats and the better sources are found in oily fish, nuts, olive oil, and avocado, small amounts of organic grass fed meat, butter, whole eggs and coconut oil. It all comes down to portion control! Opting for reduced fat or low fat products is not the answer to losing weight. These products usually have the fat replaced with sugar for flavour which then leads to weight gain.

3. Diet soft drinks help you to lose weight

Diet soft drinks and artificial sweetened products will contribute to weight gain and has been shown to increase obesity.  They are not recognized naturally in our body (as they are chemicals) so we have trouble breaking them down. Our body gets confused as we taste the sugar, but no sugar is actually absorbed in the gut. This leads to increased weight gain as our bodies then increase fat storage thinking  that we have a problem with absorption. If you are having diet and sugar free products that contain high sugar tasting products, you are only fueling the body to crave sweet tastes and increasing the appetite for them.

4. Grapefruit, celery, or cabbage soup can burn fat and help you lose weight

We have all heard about the cabbage soup or grapefruit diets. These foods are naturally low in calories but alone do not make you lose weight. They are very low calorie which is where the fads started. However, if starving yourself on a very low calorie intake, your body will go into a survival mode which can actually stop fat burning!

5. The less you eat the more weight you will lose

Crash dieting does not help with long term weight loss. It usually can lead to long term weight gain. The truth is you cannot be on a diet for an extended period of time because it is too hard to keep up.  Your body will be low on energy, causing you to crave high-fat and high-sugar foods. When you finally give in and eat those foods, you will often eat more calories than you need, causing weight gain.

6. A gluten free diet will help you lose weight

Recently people are selecting gluten free products thinking it is going to contribute to weight loss. Most gluten free products found in super markets are full of sugar, additives, preservatives and other junk ingredients, often making them unhealthier than wholegrain products. This is because they often contain large amounts of white rice and corn flour alongside sugars and other additives to soften them and ensure the texture more closely resembles gluten products. These can have an evil influence towards your weight loss. If you are choosing gluten free products for whatever reason, make sure you check what ingredients they are adding in to replace gluten.

7. Potatoes are fattening

It is known that carbohydrates are needed for the body’s preferred energy source. But eating potatoes won’t automatically make you gain weight. If you want to shift a few kilos, eating white potato in moderate quantities is recommended. White potatoes have great qualities such as; they are cost effective, high in vitamin C and are a great source of fibre.

8. Corn syrup is better than sugar for losing weight

This is false, and far from the truth! You are better off with sugar. The label corn sugar is a disguise for high fructose corn sugar (HFCS), which many independent health experts consider a major factor in the obesity epidemic that also contributes to fatty liver. Other names of HFCS can be seen as maize syrup, glucose syrup, glucose/fructose syrup, tapioca syrup, dahlia syrup, fruit fructose, crystalline fructose and more!

9. Spot training burns fat in body areas on which the exercise focuses

For example, sit ups can strengthen and tone the abdomen but doesn’t burn fat. However weight training improves overall muscle mass and over time helps to burn fat. Muscle mass weighs more than fat so you may not see changes on the scales. Relying on excessive exercise in general may not burn fat. A healthy lifestyle will help, which includes a balance of nutrition, food and exercise.

10. Natural or herbal weight loss products are safe and effective to aid in weight loss

Natural and herbal diet pills and products are not necessarily safe. These products usually have no scientific testing done for quality control and do not have a lot of research to support their efficacy. Unfortunately I am yet to come across a single weight loss supplement that works for weight loss or has good research to back it up. Sorry!

For more information, or if you would like to make an appointment with Jessie please call 9518 0722

Jessie Pattison Nutritionist B. HSc (Nut Med) Adv.Dip Nut. Med

Jessie Pattison
B. HSc (Nut Med) Adv.Dip Nut. Med