We have all probably heard some common assumptions about dieting and weight loss - don't eat rice, drink more water, skip breakfast, and so on. Even though many of these behaviours are not helpful, we often feel reluctant to seek qualified professional advice about losing weight. However, everyone has different dietary needs, activities, eating habits, and food preferences and these must be taken into consideration when dieting.
We have highlighted some misconceptions about dieting that deserve attention!
Myth 1. Fasting / fad diets (keto, detox) can help you lose weight quickly.
There is no quick fix for health. Unlike sustainable diets, fad diets provide only minor nutrients to the body and eliminate major nutrients which affect other metabolic functions. Low-calorie diets can result in weight loss, but the weight bounces back after discontinuing the diet, which leads to lethargy or fatigue. Therefore, weight loss should not be achieved depriving your body of essential nutrients.
Diet Tip: The key to losing weight is to plan your calorie requirements based on your activity level, dietary preferences, number of kilos to lose and individual medical conditions.
Myth 2: Ditch carbohydrates to lose weight.
A balanced diet comprises 55 - 60% of carbohydrates. To lose weight effectively, instead of eliminating carbohydrates altogether, you need to consume complex carbohydrates, which suppress overeating, provide satiety and prevent constipation.
Diet Tip: Exclude simple carbohydrates (refined flour, sugar, pastries, burgers, breads, carbonated beverages, etc.) as they accumulate fat in the body. Practice healthy snacking options according to your mealtime and with guidance from a dietician.
Myth 3: Skipping breakfast aids in weight loss.
Eating breakfast can help curb portions at lunch and dinner and sustain healthy levels of blood glucose and energy. Skipping breakfast can have many effects on your body, for instance, feeling drowsy, developing a headache, drinking more caffeinated beverages, etc. Research suggests that skipping breakfast may even make you more prone to heart disease.
Diet Tip: Include nutrient-dense breakfast options to provide energy throughout the day. Fibre and protein sources help manage blood sugar levels and provide satiety.
Myth 4. The fewer calories you eat, the healthier you will be!
Not true! As far as the health aspect is concerned, reducing calories involves portion control, while eating a balanced diet. A person may neglect necessary food groups in the diet, leading to nutritional deficiencies.
Diet Tip: The calories themselves are not the enemy. It is the unhealthy sources of calories that increase weight. Switch to healthy choices to maintain a balanced diet.
Know your eating habits and customize your meal plan according to your body’s needs. Don't be influenced by fake promises and false advice on weight loss.
In general, if you choose healthy foods and limit your portion sizes, frequent meals can help you lose weight and prevent cravings. Feel free to consult our dietitian for customized guidance.