Stop believing these weight loss myths

From controlling your weight by going on a detox diet to using sauna belt waist slimming machines, endless tricks guarantee weight loss.

But are they effective? Which one's the best and which ones should you trash? Tough to draw a thin line between fact vs. fiction? Worry not! Today, we have compiled a list of top 10 diet and fitness myth busters to give your weight management plans that extra edge.

Myth #1:
Munching on chips at night is unhealthier than munching on chips in the day time.
The basic rule of eating is - that eating anything up and above your caloric requirement (which is based on your current age, weight and body type) will lead to fat gain and hence, weight gain. Nutritionists tell you to keep away from food at night because that's when your body temperature tends to dip (due to lack of activity), hence your body requires little food at night in order to function properly. Besides, sleeping right after eating doesn't work well for digestion since your body, at rest, is not active enough.

Myth #2:
The weighing scale is my ultimate fitness meter. Truth: No!
This is hardly the case. The weighing scale is important as far as the approximation of your body weight is concerned. Relying on a weighing scale to judge whether you're 'fit' or 'fat', is like judging a book by its cover. Body weight is a sum total of your body fat and lean body mass, which includes muscles. In order to understand your exact fat mass, you must understand the composition of your body.

Myth #3:
A gluten-free diet is not healthy.
A gluten-free diet limits our choices to a great extent as per variety of food intake. If not careful, it leaves a person suffering from many nutritional deficiencies. Thus it is important to plan a gluten-free diet in such a way that the maximum number of variety enters one's menu while limiting or canceling out gluten intake. One must make sure to have a lot of fruits and salads as these keep the intestines healthy. Remember that even after following such a diet one can live a healthy and carefree life and enjoy it to the fullest.

Myth #4:
I can lose weight by following the celebrity lemon diet.
People who have observed the diet tend to swear by it as it leads to instant weight loss, fewer junk food cravings and glowing skin (we seriously doubt this skin glow). The diet comes with side effects too. One may experience recurring headaches as the extreme fasting takes a toll on the body. And in order to maintain the lost weight, one has to continue measuring their calorie intake closely. Regular exercise becomes a must in order to maintain the lost water weight. Also, one needs to check their salt intake as high levels of sodium, if consumed after following this diet, can lead to instant weight gain.

Myth #5:
Potatoes are the biggest diet disasters.
Unlike the general perception of high glycemic index food, potatoes have a medium glycemic index and they do not raise the blood sugar levels to crazy. Their glycemic index is a decent 56. However, the forms in which they are consumed make them fattening such as deep fried, shallow fried and so on. The moderate amount recommended is 1 medium-sized potato a day. 1 large potato (260gms) will have 278 calories and 63 grams i.e. 21% of carbohydrate. Calories from potatoes result in weight gain only if taken regularly in large amounts.

Myth #6:
A detox diet is the ultimate diet plan for me.
If you have had repeated night outs week after week or if you are bored of eating too much junk food and artificial additives, and losing weight is on your mind, then a well-balanced 'detox' diet might do the trick for you. But keep in mind, that by 'well-balanced detox diet' we do not mean the meagre, juice, master cleanse, water etc kind of debilitating detox diets. Here we're talking about a diet that is balanced in terms of all essential food groups, devoid of processed foods that are high in unnecessary sugar and transfats, and is well portioned and distributed through the day.

Myth #7:
Bananas can never be a part of healthy weight loss.
Bananas are part of a healthy diet, and should also be part of a fat loss diet, however no food by itself helps one to lose weight. To lose weight one has to create a caloric deficit i.e to burn more calories than what they consume in a day. For most cases a caloric deficit of 10-15% works best and ones that create a greater caloric deficit generally causes more muscle loss rather than fat loss.

Myth #8
: Does more protein build more muscle?
Health experts say that as far as body building is concerned, protein recommendations for strength training are 1.2 to 1.4 for increasing strength and 1.5 to 1.7 for muscle hypertrophy. Therefore, while extra protein might work for those exercising to optimal levels, it won't do much for those involved in low to moderate intensity workouts and will lead to weight gain.

Myth #9:
Warm ups and cool downs are unnecessary.
Without warming up you are pretty much asking your body to work before the extra oxygen and blood flow reaches the muscles, thus increasing the danger of muscle injury. Spending 5 to 10 minutes on a good warm up helps raise your body temperature from inside out - something your muscles need for adequate performance. Cool downs work in a similar manner, when it comes to taking care to avoid workout injuries. If you skip cool downs, you put your muscles at risk of soreness as you haven't flushed the lactic acid out of your system. It helps in lowering your heart rate back to normal and keeps you energised all day long.

Myth #10:
It is safe to take nutritional supplements if I want to lose weight?
It is not recommended to take nutritional supplements to lose weight. Firstly most weight loss supplements work through increasing the frequency of our bowel movements which destroys our natural bowel movement and causes dehydration and many nutritional deficiencies as well. Secondly, some supplements work through eliminating all fat in our diet by excreting it in our feces and this is not recommended as we lose many fatty acids which are essential for our good health.

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