A New Year’s resolution might well be – LOSE WEIGHT ! How many times have we tried this and found that after a month we haven’t lost a pound but are still starving every day. Here, I set out the facts from the fictions which will be inflicted on us in all the main papers.
We have a number of misconceptions about weight loss. Myths regarding weight loss abound.
Myth A: Don’t Ditch The Carbohydrates
A healthy diet actually means keeping a regular supply of carbohydrates on the dinner plate. Frankly, all raw vegetables and fruits contain substantial quantities of great carbohydrates especially one group we are regularly expected to consume, fibre. If you look at the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which outline our food requirements, it recommends three healthy eating patterns: (1) the Mediterranean style, (2) the U.S. style and (3) the vegetarian style.
Carbohydrates are found in virtually all vegetables but some are richer than others. Take pulses like peas and beans for example. Don’t ignore grains either !
Myth B: Don’t Starve
In fact don’t go hungry either. One of the first rules of dieting is to maintain a consistent meat pattern as skipping them is just not on. In a starvation situation, the body simply retains as much fuel as possible and in fact becomes more efficient at burning it by exerting more extreme metabolic control. If you have ever noticed this effect, it is possible to overeat.
Being hungry also has a mental cost. It makes us more irritable and cranky and we then overeat or simply eat the wrong foods when the time comes to satiate ourselves.
The best approach is to try a smaller meal every three or four hours in the day. Protein, especially the lean variety is ideal. Nuts, lean chicken, yoghurt are all good examples.
Myth C: The Free From Gluten Conundrum
The free from myth is problematic because ‘free-from’ suggests an absence is making your food healthier and somehow freeing you from the damaging effects in the food. Absence does not make the heart or indeed the body any fonder. Gluten-free foods are really only essential for those of us who cannot tolerate gluten in the diet and suffer coeliac disease. In fact, those of us who need to follow a gluten-free diet usually have other considerations to manage so that adequate nutrition is achieved. It is possible to lose weight but nutritionists advise on a balanced diet in the process.
Fibre needs to be maintained with this diet and one feature of fiber is how it fills us up.
Myth D: Don’t Sacrifice Taste
Tasty foods are essential if we are to love our food. Our taste-buds dictate how we perceive flavour, aroma and general tastiness. If we sacrifice flavour by skimping on sweetness, we lose interest in food and tend to revert to less savoury flavours. Emphasise pepper, garlic, onion, oils etc. in cooking and pep up the flavour to create exciting recipes which not only fill us up but create excitement.
Here are a few books you might want to consult which offer a good read and provide insights into how we can be misled about dieting.