Weight loss - 10 myths and misconceptions
New year, new healthy weight? Well, to help you out a bit, we've analyzed what's true and what's not.
1. Carbs make you fat
Despite the "low carb" trend: No, carbs contain as many calories as protein and shouldn't be eliminated. Because they are the main suppliers of energy to the body and brain. However, it is worth resorting mainly to foods based on whole grains, which contain more micronutrients and fiber. Products that contain whole grains and dietary fiber are digested more slowly, so you feel fuller for longer.
2. Forbidden sweet treats
No, not completely. A blanket ban is meaningless. As many know, taboos often increase temptation. It is better to bet on more flexible eating behavior. For example, by sometimes agreeing to small "sins". Tip: do not choose sweets as a snack, but immediately after a meal. This prevents an increase in blood sugar between meals from causing new insulin release. This can actually lead to cravings and especially prevent the shedding of fat.
3. Skipping breakfast or dinner allows you to have a picture of your dreams
Yes and no. It is not the time of day that affects our weight, but the total energy intake throughout the day. Skipping a meal can reduce this energy intake. As long as you don't eat more after that. Skipping a meal is a form of intermittent fasting. Studies conducted to date indicate that intermittent fasting can have a positive effect on weight loss. But for long-term success, the model must be adapted to the needs and daily life of each person.
4. You can lose pounds just by exercising
To lose weight, the balance of calories per day must be negative, either because you ate less or did more exercise. The ideal is to combine the two, because neither exercise nor diet alone is a miracle solution. Exercise helps burn fat in a healthy way. Endurance training stimulates fat burning, while resistance training builds muscle that burns calories even while at rest - albeit not dramatically.
5. Fat makes you fat
Yes and no. Fats provide more energy than carbohydrates and proteins, but they are essential. It provides essential fatty acids that are necessary for various metabolic processes. What matters is quality and quantities. High-quality fatty acids include unsaturated fatty acids - for example those found in olive oil, avocado, rapeseed oil or nuts. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are also included. They are found, for example, in linseed oil, walnuts and soybeans, as well as in fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring.
6. With light products, I eat low-calorie foods
For this type of product, you have to pay attention to the nutritional information. "Light" just means that a nutrient - such as sugar, fat or alcohol - has been reduced by at least 30% compared to a similar product. But, for example, if fat is replaced by more sugar to improve the taste, then the food is not really low in calories. In some cases, a light product may be less saturated. There is also a temptation to say "If it was light, I could eat more..."
7. We can also reduce liquid calories well
completely. However, the amount of fluid necessary for life should not be reduced. The general rule is to drink about 1.5 liters per day - water or unsweetened tea including green tea or unsweetened black coffee. Fresh juices and smoothies contain healthy nutrients? Yes, but also a lot of sugar in the fruit. That is why it is better to dilute juices with water (1 part juice vs. 2 or 3 parts water). What about soft drinks? Little is known about its long-term effect on health. For those who want to get rid of the sweet taste, soft drinks may be a short-term alternative.
8. Alcohol makes you fat
This is true for two reasons: First, there is the calorie content of alcohol itself. And while the liver is busy getting rid of alcohol from the blood, the process of getting rid of fat is blocked.
9. Eating dried fruits in case of cravings does not significantly affect the balance
If it still is. Dried fruits are definitely healthier in terms of nutrients than sweets or candy. But they are energy bombs due to their high sugar content. Sugar is an important source of energy, especially for the brain. However, our body can also produce sugar from other carbohydrates. Tip: When you want to snack, you can treat yourself to a handful of nuts.
10. A glass of water before eating helps to lose weight
At least that's what an American study suggests: a group of overweight adults drank half a liter of water before each meal, in addition to following a diet. After 12 weeks, they lost about 2 kg more than the control group who did not drink water before meals. The research team attributes this to a lower energy intake during meals. Because if the stomach is already a little full, there is less space.