Weight loss is a long-term process. It’s a never-ending topic of discussion and no conversation is ever complete without discussing the current weight loss or fitness trends…and this eventually leads to endless suggestions and personalised versions of dos and don’ts! Hence, the discussion continues… Did you know that there are various myths associated with weight loss? Probably not. But don’t worry. Before starting a proper and effective weight loss programme, visit your dietitian or consult your doctor to clarify any misconception that you may have. Here are seven very common weight loss myths given below to enhance your knowledge.

Calorie In = Calorie Out: This isn’t always true! When a person eats a meal, he obtains calories from food. But, the calorie expenditure totally depends on factors like physical activity level, the body’s metabolism, personal health conditions (thyroid, PCOS, Diabetes), family history (genetic factors), BMR etc. No two persons are the same! Each has an independent and unique physiology. That’s why, when two different individuals having the same weight, have the same calorie consumption, they don’t necessarily acquire the same amount of body weight.

All calories are equal: These days, calorie count is the fad! A person first counts his calories from food consumption and follows a diet plan strictly for effective weight loss. But this lasts not for long! He retreats to his old self which loves to munch on chips and omit a wholesome meal. By following this pattern, he believes to have maintained his diet schedule by balancing his calorie intake, which is absolutely wrong! All calories are not equal. Chips contain refined ingredients, whereas a full dinner plate offers all essential nutrients along with the calories from food. So both can never be compared!

Skipping meals help in losing weight: Another famous myth! Skipping meals never aid in weight loss but lead to more fat storage in the body. This happens when the starvation phase gets turned on, the moment one skips a meal. So, practising proper food habits and balancing
your meals is a must.

Diet makes you miss all your favourite foods: Not true at all! Eat what you like! Just modify the portion sizes and cut out ingredients like sugar and flour. It’s that simple! Don’t stop yourself from indulging in the mouth-watering taste of your favourite icecream, the seasonings of the homemade ‘maach bhaat’ (rice and fish) and the yummy flavours of the most favoured snack ~ samosa. Just change the cooking procedure, alter some of the ingredients and your favourite food transforms into a healthy one!

Drinking water helps in reducing weight: Water hydrates your body and is essential for your well-being. It doesn’t trigger weight loss. At times, thirst is mistaken for hunger; so people consume more snacks. Keep the water levels up. Always.

Physical activity the one & only way for weight reduction: Only doing physical activities doesn’t change your weight. If you consume a burger and run on a treadmill for an hour, even then your calorie intake and calorie expenditure won’t be balanced. A balanced diet and physical activity is the ideal pair for weight loss.

Carbs are the enemies of weight loss: This is a prevalent myth! Carbohydrate is one of the essential nutrients needed by the body but we often become biased towards it. We cut down carbs from our diet for weight reduction. There’s a saying – It’s not just what we eat, but how much! Excess consumption of any nutrient may cause excess fat deposition, so the carb is not the only culprit!

(Shampa Banerjee is senior dietitian at Yana Diet Clinic and SastaSundar.com)