1 “There’s one miracle diet that works for everybody”
One thing we can all agree on, is that there’s tons of diets out there, be it Bulletproof diet, Atkins diet, Paleo diet, Fat-Flush diet and so on. All these diets, with conflicting nutritional ideas, all claim to help everyone lose weight (or ideally, fat) and slim down. But the problem is, everyone has different health issue and has very different nutritional needs.
Although I do agree that there are some diet habits out there that can be detrimental to our overall health, but there can never be just one way to eat to achieve better health. In addition, many of these weight loss diets, even if they do work to help us slim down, are still believed to be detrimental to our health in the long run.
And here comes the biggest problem: You can’t keep the weight off after going off the diet plan, especially those that come with an extensive package of diet supplements. You’re not supposed to, because the weight loss industry is relying heavily on returning customers to earn their keeps. Just think about it, if the diet plans truly work and also allow you to keep the weight off even after going off it, why is obesity still an issue, and just how can the weight loss industry continue to survive?
2 “Slimming pills can help you lose weight”
Slimming pills, better known as diet supplements, are often marketed as ‘fat-burners’, ‘carbo-blockers’ or ‘craving-stoppers’ and claims to help eliminate both the exercise and controlled dietary intake from the weight loss equation. Unfortunately, not only do these ‘miracle products’ hardly ever deliver what they promised, long term consumption may also be seriously detrimental to health.
Remember the Slim 10 saga that resulted in a near-death experience for Andrea De Cruz? But to give back some credits, some of these products do work to speed up the weight loss process when paired with a decent exercise regime and a sensible, healthy diet.
3 “All calories are equal”
Out of so many weight loss myths out there, the calorie myth has to be the most damaging, instilling the habit of calorie-counting and telling people that calories are the most important aspect of a diet and the source of those calories don’t matter. Meaning to say, you can eat 1200 calories from vegetables or cakes daily and they’re not going to affect your weight any differently.
See the absurdity of this idea now? The main reason why a calorie is not a calorie is due to the fact that our body is a highly complex biochemical system and different food goes through very different biochemical pathways induce different end results in our body. Taking example from the two main simple sugars in our diet, glucose and fructose.
Glucose can be metabolised by all tissues in our body, but fructose (from added sugars) can only be metabolised by our liver in any significant amount. In addition, studies show that fructose is linked to various anti-weight loss effects, such as higher ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels, reduced satiety, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain.
Another good example will be the different thermic effect (TE) of food, which is a measure of how food increase energy expenditure due to the energy required to digest, absorb and metabolise the nutrients. Fat has the lowest TE at 2 – 3%, while carbohydrates has 6 – 8% and proteins has the highest TE at 25 – 30%. Taking the lower values of the scale, if we are to ingest 100 calories worth of fats, our body will absorb 98 calories while the same calories of proteins ingested will only result in 75 calories absorbed.
4 “Carbohydrates make you fat”
No, carbohydrates cannot make you fat. Overeating can. While it’s true that a low-carb diet provides many health benefits and helps with weight loss, low-carb does not mean no carbohydrates at all. Furthermore, there’s actually bad carbohydrates (simple carbs) and good carbohydrates (complex carbs), the latter being linked various health benefits like prevention of weight gain, healthier cholesterol levels, reducing total body fat and belly fat.
The ugly truth: Any food can be fattening as long as we overeat and it doesn’t matter if our diet is high-fat or high-carbs. Carbohydrates are not evil, gluttony is.
5 “Foods labelled ‘low-fat’ are the healthier choice”
While it has been quite well established in various studies that trans fat are definitely bad for our health, do not forget that refined added sugars are just as bad for us. Many times, such low-fat or fat-free labelled products are processed food with a lot more added sugars just to make them more palatable.
Be sure to read your ingredient list to make sure that the food you’re choosing is definitely beneficial to your health. What’s important is not the labels on the front of the packaging, but what’s on the back of it.
A Civil Engineer in the day and a glutton who runs an online website sharing some humble opinions related to food and beauty by night time, with the motto of “exercise to keep fit, so as to eat more!” I love food, and has a weak spot for desserts! The good thing is that I love my gym time as much, keeping me balanced on my weighing scale.