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Weight loss Myths v Facts

Posted in Personal Health 14 Dec, 2012

In just a few short weeks it will officially be Christmas and with this day comes excessive amounts of food, hence it is not uncommon for most people to put weight on during this seasonal holiday. Due to excessive indulgence during this time, weight and weight loss is at the forefront of most minds, and with various products and diets guaranteeing that you can lose excessive amounts of weight often through unrealistic means, knowing how to control your weight healthily can often be confusing.

With obesity numbers in the UK rapidly increasing, and causing a number of health problems, figures have showed that by 2015 at least one in 10 people will be obese. Therefore if you are overweight, losing weight healthily has never been more important. OnlineClinic looks at the common misconceptions of weight loss and losing weight, separating the myths from the facts.

Starving yourself will help you to lose weight

Fact: This method otherwise known as crash dieting, might help you to lose weight quickly but it is not healthy. Furthermore dieting in such a way is also likely to cause your body to lack energy causing you to more likely crave and consequently overindulge in fatty and sugary foods resulting in weight gain.

All you need is diet medication to lose weight

Fact: In general a doctor should prescribe diet medication. Diet prescription medication such as Xenical (orlistat) is the only clinically proven treatment for weight loss. It works by preventing up to 30% of the food that you consume in your diet from being absorbed. However, Xenical is most effective in combination with a balanced and healthy diet. If taken as part of an unhealthy lifestyle, not only will it be less effective, it can also put you at risk of developing unpleasant side effects.

Low fat foods will help you to lose weight

Fact: Just because a food is labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘light’ doesn’t mean that it is healthy, thus such foods are often misleading. In fact studies have suggested that supermarket foods labelled 'low fat' or 'light' are usually unhealthier than their normal brand alternatives, often containing high levels of salt and sugar. Such foods are usually hidden with high amounts of sugar to boost the flavour.

Dieting and cutting out most foods is the only way to lose weight

Fact: Although so-called quick fix diets such as the maple syrup diet work by prohibiting the majority of foods, which asa result will help you to lose weight fast, once you return to normal eating habits, weight gain can quickly creep back, thus following such fad diets will more likely cause you to put more weight on than before. Instead of dieting, it is better to eat healthily and in moderation, while including fresh fruit and vegetables and foods low in fat but high in essential vitamins in your diet. Eating a predominantly healthy diet will also allow you to indulge in treats, once in a while and eating so-called 'bad foods' in moderation will prevent you from gaining weight.

Exercising alone will be enough to lose weight

Fact: Although exercise is important in leading a healthier lifestyle, to maintain fitness levels, reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions, improve your overall health and burn essential calories, it should be done in conjunction with healthy eating. When you exercise, your appetite increases, so if you eat unhealthy high calorific foods, you will gain weight, despite exercise. Exercising for at least 40 minutes a day in combination with healthy eating can help to prevent weight gain.

Foods like carbohydrates will make you fat

Fact: When following a healthy eating plan, you should include all the food groups in your diet to provide your body with the nutrients that it needs. Diets that encourage you to cut out essential food groups are often not healthy and or good for you. Although, white bread and pastas have proven to produce no nutritional value, they will not promote weight gain if consumed once in a while. However, unprocessed carbohydrates such as spinach, whole potatoes, beans, broccoli, and whole grain breads should be included into your diet to give you the necessary nutrients that your body needs.

Snacking will cause weight gain

Fact: It is not IF you snack, but rather WHAT you snack that determines whether you will gain weight or not. Snacking can help you to maintain your energy levels, a necessity if you lead an active lifestyle. However, if you choose to snack on foods like biscuits, crisps, and foods generally high in sugar and saturated fat than you will quickly gain weight. To prevent this, snacking on foods like fruit and vegetables will prove to be the healthier option, providing you with energy and preventing you from putting on excessive weight.

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