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Diet myths that are making you gain weight

July 03, 2014 17:00 IST

Diet myths that are making you gain weight

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Brinda Sapat

Here are the 7 most common misconceptions.

Watching your weight but not getting the desired result?

Worse still, is your diet plan actually making you gain weight?

You may be following the wrong advice.

Fitness expert Brinda Sapat debunks the most common diet myths and also tells you how to fix it!

1. Skipping a meal

Most people are happy to skip a meal, the most common one being breakfast. When the body does not get its due meal, it goes into starvation mode.

This means that the body does not know when its next meal is coming and so any meal you eat next gets stored as fat.

Secondly, your body is low on fuel, making it slow down mentally and physically, which in turn means burning fewer calories.

Fix It: Eat 5-6 small meals in the day that are low in fat and sugar content. It keeps the calories down and revs up the metabolism.

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Photographs: SOS-a-vos & Jan Fidler//Creative Commons

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2. Cutting out all carbs

The body's chief source of energy is carbohydrate. It gets all the body functions going. Without sufficient carbs, the body is going to slow down.

Once again you will be denying the body of an essential nutrient.

It is impossible to maintain a no-carb diet for a long term. When you resume normal eating, the weight will come back.

It is the fat that has to be cut down.

Fix It: Eat healthy carbs like wholegrain breads, whole wheat pasta, wheat chapatis, brown rice and fruits. Have larger portions at breakfast, tapering down towards dinner.

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Photographs: Courtesy United States Department of Agriculture
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3. A fruit/juice diet

Simply put, it is a diet that cannot be sustained beyond a couple of days. Your body is denied of lots of nutrients and it cannot function normally.

The weight will drop and come right back on!

Fix It: Eat a normal, well balanced diet that is low in fat. Fruits and juices can be taken as a snack.

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Photographs: Agricultural Research Service/Wikimedia Commons
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4. As long as you are eating healthy foods calories don't matter

Untrue. A lot of seemingly healthy foods can carry a high number of hidden calories.

A salad with laden with cheese dressing, stir fry served with sauces, chicken or fish in gravy -- the dressings, sauces and gravies contain fats and sugars.

Fix It: Make your own low-fat, low-sugar variations of these toppings. If shopping for them, read the labels carefully. When eating out opt for steamed or grilled foods without sauces and gravies.

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Photographs: Tomwsulcer/ Creative Commons
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5. Crash dieting

Living on Marie biscuits, watermelons, skipping meals etc will definitely get the weight down immediately.

But no one can live like that permanently. So the weight will come back and maybe more than you lost since the body has been starved.

Fix It: Eat a low-fat, well-balanced diet that includes all nutrients. Have 5-6 small meals in the day, making dinner the lightest.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh
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6. You can eat all you want since you are exercising

A slice of cake can take you up by 400 calories. To burn just that much you will have to brisk walk for an hour at least. If you want to knock off weight, your caloric expense must way surpass the intake.

Let's say you are eating 2000 calories a day, with approx 1000 calories burning through normal daily activity (sitting, walking, household chores etc).

If you have done an hour of cardio, on an average you would have burnt 400 calories. That still leaves you with more than 600 calories to burn!

Fix It: Control your caloric intake by eating a sensible, well-balanced low-fat diet. And allow yourself an occasional indulgence.

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Photographs: Klara Kim /Creative Commons
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7. Salad for lunch

A salad lunch is actually a great idea, but you have to eat it the right way. Most yummy salads are loaded with dressing and feta cheese, that can amount to as many calories as a cheese burger!

And while salad will definitely have higher nutritional value, it won't make you lose weight. A traditional Indian meal of rotis and veggies would be far healthier! You do need carbs at lunch too.

Fix It: Either eat a salad that has a low fat dressing like lime and salt and toasted wholegrain bread croutons to make it filling or go for roti and veggies.


Photographs: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS/Wikimedia Commons
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