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The Top 5 Myths about Weight Loss Exposed



image: © piotr-Marcinski / Fotolia

image: © piotr-Marcinski / Fotolia

The Top 5 Myths about Weight Loss Exposed

Myth 1: Fad diets are the best way to lose weight

 Fad diets promise miracles and rely on you seriously reducing what you eat and avoiding certain foods. They are very hard to do long term and you normally regain the weight. Long-term fast weight loss and very low calorie diets (less than 800 calories) can lead to health problems. So while a fad diet may start your weight loss and help motivate you, they are not the solution for permanent weight loss.

Instead: Choose a diet-for-life such as the Mediterranean Diet. You can serve it to all the family since it is tasty, healthy and balanced. If you are cooking one meal for everyone, you are more likely stick to the diet.

 Myth 2:  Physical exercise takes too much time.

If you want to lose weight, exercise is a must. If you have no time for the gym, short bursts of intense activity and boosting your daily exercise levels can be very effective in weight loss, as they are sustainable.

Instead: Add in a 10 minute workout which gets your heart pumping. Wear a pedometer and measure your daily steps. Every 1,500 extra burns about 100 calories. Pick up the intensity where and when you can – get off the bus one stop earlier, and walk around when you’re on the phone to your girlfriends, jog up the stairs, walk faster. Spend less time screen-gazing.

 Myth 3: Skipping Breakfast is bad for you

Studies show that people who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast. This is mostly because skipping breakfast means you’ll be hungry mid-morning and eat anything available or eat too much of the wrong foods at lunch time. Hunger undermines weight loss.

Instead: If you can’t manage breakfast in the morning, take it with you! Keep healthy cereals, fruit and milk at work or prepare something easy like a hard-boiled egg and an apple, or a tortilla wrap packed with veggies and a little lean protein. Make a smoothie with low fat yoghurt, fresh fruit and oat meal and take it in a flask.

Myth 4: Healthier foods are more expensive

It’s true that some items may be more expensive, such as very lean cuts of meat or specially prepared foods, but overall, healthy eating needn’t be expensive.

Instead: Eat a smaller portion of meat and serve extra veg or pulses. Chopped up meat added to stir-fries and casseroles goes a lot further. Buy fresh seasonal or frozen or canned vegetables and pulses and make your own food and sauces. It’s a lot cheaper than buying ready-made.

Myth 5: As long as it’s healthy, it’s good for you.

Healthy doesn’t necessarily mean low in calories. Portion control is crucial to weight loss and maintenance. The majority of UK adults significantly over-estimate portion sizes and consume far more calories than they realize. A portion of meat should be the same size as a deck of cards! The main culprits are cereal, meat, cheese, pasta and alcohol.

Instead: Download information on recommended portion sizes and monitor what you serve and eat. Use smaller plates, because research shows that we tend to fill them!