Fact or Bluff: 7 Popular Weight Loss Myths Debunked
- Skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weightSkipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight
- No eating past 8pmNo eating past 8pm
- If the label says "no-fat" or "low-fat," you can eat all you want and not gain weightIf the label says "no-fat" or "low-fat," you can eat all you want and not gain weight
- Crash diet is the easiest way to lose weightCrash diet is the easiest way to lose weight
- Skinny means healthySkinny means healthy
- Carbohydrates lead to weight gainCarbohydrates lead to weight gain
- Natural sweeteners like honey will not make you gain weightNatural sweeteners like honey will not make you gain weight
With science-backed research, Tatler debunks some of the most famous weight loss myths
Weight gain isn't bad, in fact, our bodies need fat to make essential fatty acids and help absorb vitamins A, D, and E. But when the numbers on the scale start to soar, some people are desperate for measures that provide immediate results.
For this article, Tatler takes a closer look at the most popular weight-loss diets. Are they fact or bluff? Read on to know the answers.
Skipping breakfast is a good way to lose weight
People who want to lose weight claim that eating breakfast "kick-starts" metabolism or the body's capacity to convert food into energy, but this is a myth. In a study conducted by The BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical trade journal published by the trade union the British Medical Association, it was noted that that skipping breakfast is not proven to have a significant effect on weight loss. The researchers have concluded that in the end, it is the quality of breakfast that matters most.
No eating past 8pm
While many diet books recommend not eating anything once the clock ticks at 8pm, medical researchers beg to disagree. According to a research done by the Winchester Hospital, the time of day you eat doesn’t affect how your body processes food.
In losing weight, the total number of calories you consume and how much you exercise during the day matters most.
If the label says "no-fat" or "low-fat," you can eat all you want and not gain weight
Do not let the fine print deceive you. A lot of low-fat or no-fat foods still have added sugar, salt, and starch to make up for the reduction in fat. More often than not, these "wonder" foods have just as many calories as the ordinary or regular versions of the goods.
To make sure you're getting the right amount of calories and nutrients your body needs, do not be afraid to check the nutrition label. Look out for the serving size and how many calories are in a serving.
Crash diet is the easiest way to lose weight
Time and time again, medical experts and dietitians remind people of the dangers of a crash diet. For Lori Noble, MD, a physician at Penn Medicine, starving one's self will only lead to temporary results. “They’re not going to help you burn calories or fat in the long run. You may see a decrease in the number on the scale, but it won’t improve your overall health outcomes.”
The expert added that this type of diet is too hard to maintain. The person could also miss out on other essential nutrients as crash diets can be limited in the variety of food consumed. “You’ve lost some weight but then go back to eating how you were before,” Dr Noble explained.
More from Tatler: Diet Tips 2021: How To Shift To An Organic Or Plant-Based Diet?
Skinny means healthy
Bodyweight is not the best indicator of internal well-being; when it comes to health, a much better indicator is a person's diet. In an interview, Eduard Tiozzo, a researcher and faculty member at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, explained that there are two types of fats: subcutaneous and visceral.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat beneath our skin, while visceral fat is the one that surrounds our abdominal organs. According to Tiozzo, the latter can be more dangerous to our health. "Someone could have a normal body mass index (BMI), but too much visceral fat, putting them at risk for conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and even dementia."
For Tiozzo, a healthier lifestyle that involves physical activities and a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats can help lessen visceral fats.
Carbohydrates lead to weight gain
When people hear "carbs" they automatically assume that these are very bad for the body. However, medical experts say that these are good for people who have strenuous activities during day time. Carbohydrates help fuel the brain, kidneys, heart muscles, and central nervous system.
Some experts agree that the type and quantity of carbohydrates that a person consumes are the ones that play a big role in weight gain.
Natural sweeteners like honey will not make you gain weight
Sugar in some desserts are often replaced with natural sweeteners like honey; the ingredient is lower on the glycemic index and it doesn’t spike one's blood sugar rapidly. However, Jessica Tong, a registered dietitian based in Calgary, warned that a teaspoon of honey contains more calories than a teaspoon of sugar. “Although honey contains trace vitamins and minerals, the effects in our bodies are likely negligible because of the small amount," she explained.