Weight management is a major challenge among the public nowadays mainly for the reasons of external appearance and to delay the risks for several non-communicable diseases. But at the same time there are large number of claims heard regarding diets and tools available related to weight reduction. Unfortunately, their quality varies and is a challenge to believe what is true and safe. Here are some claims that the public commonly go through.
“Lose 10 kgs in 30 days“
“Eat as much as you want but still you can reduce weight”
The public are addicted to various myths in relation to weight reduction that sometimes may cause adverse health effects. This article would help to verify some of the most common myths regarding weight reduction.
Most of the people think that following a vegetarian diet would help them to reduce weight and to be healthier. But this fact cannot be acceptable because many researches show that vegetarianism leads to eat less calories and less fat when compared to non-vegetarianism, and also vegetarianism results in reduced obesity, blood pressure and risk of heart diseases. But sometimes the choices of the food can also result in weight gain. This is in case when eating large portions of foods rich in fats and calories and poor in other nutrients. There is a wide variety of vegetarians. They include ovo vegetarians who eat egg only along with plant based foods; lacto vegetarians who eat milk and milk products along with plant based foods; and vegans who eat only plant based foods and so on. So selecting proper foods for the meal time will help to maintain body weight without getting extra calories by consuming almost all nutrients required by the body. The most critical nutrients which may deficient in diet when following a vegetarian diet include calcium, iron, protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D and zinc.
Some people think that eating meat would be bad for them and difficult to lose weight. Actually, incorporating a small amount of meat in the diet would be healthier even though they have saturated fats and cholesterol. It is because they have other beneficial nutrients such as iron, zinc, and protein of high biological value. However, the selection of type of the meat and the lean cuts of meat for the diet is important. For example, rather than pork and red meat including chicken and fish is better. And during preparing for cooking it is good if the visible fats are removed from chicken and other meats which would reduce some fats and calories. Taking other meat types in fewer amounts would be fine.
Another category of people think that incorporating dairy products make them fattening and unhealthy. The fact is that low fat or fat free dairy products are available where they give low fat and low calories. Some examples include low fat / fat free cheeses, milk, and yoghurts. Rather than talking about the fats in whole milk, there are other health and nutrition benefits from dairy products. The protein and calcium are abundant in dairy products help for muscle and development and bone strengthening respectively. Vitamin D found in dairy helps to assist the calcium absorption and utilization.
So, according to the guidelines it is better to go for three cups of milk servings which would include low fat / fat free items of dairy. Apart from low fat / fat free dairy products, it can also be soy milk which is fortified with vitamins.
Another important myth commonly prevailing among modern adolescents and adults is that the skipping of meals help to lose weight. It is totally a wrong concept. In a way it makes the people to eat more bulky in next meal as they feel more hunger. In another way it makes the glucose level and insulin level to rise down and rise up suddenly causing hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia respectively, which increases the chance of getting diabetes mellitus. So, it is generally recommended that not to skip any meals and to include typically three main meals and two snacks in between considering the gaps between each meal. It shouldn’t be too long. So, pack your own snacks and foods even though you are in a busy schedule.
Many people think that eating fast foods are always unhealthy and make them fat. It is true that many fast foods are unhealthy and lead to weight gain but not always. All depend on how you choose meals from the menu. Both at home or outside, you can choose nutrient rich, low calorie, low salt, low saturated fats containing foods and also the required portion sizes can be ordered. Instead of deep fried foods, fried rice, kotthu, pizza you can choose fresh fruits, fruit salads, water, milk, steamed items etc.
In most of the food items that are labeled, health claims like “low fat” or “fat free” can be seen. Most people believe that they have no calories. But actually it is not the case. A low fat food can give low calories than high fat food. But there are several things added externally may increase the calorie levels. For example, added salt, added sugar, added refined starches can increase calories in those foods. So it is better to read the nutrient lists carefully for those things.
A group of people believe that grain based products like bread, pasta and rice can make them overweight or obese. Again it is a wrong concept. There are both whole grains as well as refined grains. Whole grains contain dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins along with starch where refined grains haven’t those in rich other than refined starch. So including whole grains in your diet replacing refined items would be beneficial in weight management and it helps to reduce the chances of getting chronic diseases. So eating a variety of foods with different colors including whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, fish is more beneficial nutritionally.
Research findings say that eating breakfast along with all meals help to reduce weight. This is actually an opposite fact of “skipping meals not good for weight reduction” explained earlier, and the reason is the same. Again, breakfast incorporating whole grains is a best choice for weight loss. The below list shows some sample breakfast to start a day with, where they can be quickly, tastily, and nutritiously prepared.
- Instant oat meal with milk
- Whole grain cereal with milk and a piece of fruit
- Peanut butter spread on whole wheat toast
- Fruit smoothie made with yogurt
- Whole grain crackers with cheese and a piece of fruit
In summary, for a safe way of weight reduction, you need to control your emotions and stress while eating and need to stay motivated. Simply cut down on sugar and refined carbohydrates and think of good fats but not low fat. It is good to fill you up with fruits and vegetables and dietary fiber. The important thing is you need to be tuned when eating, avoiding distractions like television watching and doing physical activity at least 30 minutes per day with moderate exercises like walking, playing, doing household works etc.
“Lose weight safely, and take care of your body;
It is the only place you have to live in”