“Weight loss methods” features among the “most searched topics” in Google or any other search engine. In today world, where everyone is leading a sedentary lifestyle, coupled with unhealthy eating habits, it is no wonder obesity is on the rise. People are looking at all possible ways to curb their ever-increasing weight. Who doesn’t want to look slim and fit?
Unfortunately, many of those “quick fixes” you may find on the net, do not work. Here are some of those common weight loss myths, which do not work.
1. Crash dieting helps in reducing weight
The first thing most people try out once they want to lose weight, is dieting. How many time have you heard from your friend or colleague, “Hey, I can’t go out for lunch/dinner today. I am on a diet.” Now the question is – Do diets really work?
If you are restricting your food intake by reducing “Junk foods”, they you are right. However, you must keep in mind that you need a minimum calorie intake in order for your body to function correctly. If you reduce your calorie intake below the medically recommended 1200 calories a day, your metabolism will slow down.
This is the main reason why crash diets do not work in the long run. By simply restricting calorie intake, you can lose some weight initially. However, your metabolism slows down drastically. So, when you again start eating normally again, you will end up gaining all the weight you lost, along with some more. Thus, the entire point of the diet is lost.
2. Radical exercise regime burns all the fat
The second thing that comes to mind when someone wants to lose weight is exercise. Exercising enables us to burn calories, boost our metabolism along with a host of other benefits. But, like everything else, there is always a limit.
Over-exercising does more harm than good. It can result in muscle damage, tendon and ligament damage, cramps, etc. When you are starting your exercise programme for the first time, it is always a good idea to go slow. Take it easy. Working super hard one day, then spending the next week lying in bed because of intense pain, is not a good idea.
Secondly, you need to create a proper Exercise regime and maintain it for a long time. 1 week or 1 month of rigorous exercise will do no good. Instead, go for a long-term plan. Start slowly, build up your stamina and fitness, and most importantly, don’t quit.
3. Slimming pills and dietary supplements work like magic
A huge number of people have fallen prey to all those Slimming pill advertisements out there. Unfortunately, losing weight is not that simple. If people could slim down by just consuming a pill every day, there would be no overweight people out there.
Many studies have been carried out on the so called “slimming pills”, with no conclusive result. Many of these pills have chemicals that supress appetite. By reducing food intake drastically, you will face many health problems. There have been many reported cases on people fainant while on slimming pills due to low blood sugar.
The same goes for dietary supplements. No matter how hard the marketing campaign of such companies want you to believe in them – don’t. Majority of them do not work at all. The best ones can, help you reduce your weight by a few pounds at the most.
The bottom line is: Diet pills are not Magic weight loss pills.
4. Cutting out the evil carbs
When it comes to calories, people simply look at the number: Oh, this drink is 50 calories less than that one. This is better. Unfortunately, calories is not just a number, there is a deeper meaning to it. Not all calories are the same.
One advice, found on most weight loss websites is: Cut out all the carbs. Every one of them makes the carbs look like the bad guys. Poor carbs. This is not true.
Carbohydrates are an essential part of your diet. They are the primary source of fuel for our body. Now think, what will happen to your car if you stop giving it fuel? Yes, our body will burn the fat and protein to get energy, but it will cause a variety of medical problems.
Instead of cutting out all the carbs, cut out the “Evil Carbs”: which is present in all kinds of processed foods, beverages, etc. Our body easily digests those type of carbs. When unutilised, our body converts them into fat. Instead of grabbing a bottle of coke whenever you are thirsty, try a glass of fresh orange or lemon juice (again, not the ones available in the super market. Make them yourself).
5. Obesity is only a lifestyle disease
What is the single most popular advice given to all overweight people? “Eat less and exercise more”. Most people think obesity is just because of wrong lifestyle choices. However, that is not always true. There may be other reasons as well.
Our body is a complex machine – there is a lot going inside your body than you can imagine. Some people are naturally blessed with a high metabolism – No matter how many ice creams or burgers they stuff in, they remain thin. On the other hand, many unlucky people are cursed with a slow metabolism. This may be due to hypothyroidism, a disorder that reduces the function of our thyroid gland, which is essential for our metabolism.
Besides Thyroid, obesity can also be cause by leptin resistance, reduced testosterone levels etc. For the people who are suffering from obesity due to hormonal disorders, eating less or working out does not help much. Repeatedly attempting to diet and exercise, yet failing, causes many such individuals to suffer from depression.
If you are one of those people, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor, ideally an endocrinologist, and get your hormone levels checked out.