Four weight loss myths, busted

With summer in full swing, many men and women throughout the UK are turning to crash diets in a last minute scramble to lose weight. However, shedding pounds fast poses serious health risks - and what’s more, is unlikely to result in long-lasting weight loss. What comes off will likely be regained in a short amount of time. In order to get the permanent results you’re looking for, a holistic, healthy approach is necessary. When it comes to dieting and weight loss, you need to start by separating fact from fiction.

Here are some of the most common myths - bear these in mind when planning a safe and effective weight loss strategy.

Starving yourself is the quickest way to slim down

The number one problem here is that this method is impossible to maintain. Plus, your energy levels will be so low that you’ll find it difficult to function, let alone be productive at work or enjoy social events. Furthermore, prolonged hunger will cause you to crave high-fat, high-sugar foods that are high in calories - a surefire way to ruin your so-called diet. The method backfires time and time again because a lack of proper nutrition and sustenance will make your body go into starvation mode, and as a result, fat will be retained by the body regardless of how much cardio and intense exercise you do. Going into starvation mode also makes building lean muscle impossible, so you may end up with an aptly named ‘skinny fat’ physique.

Intense exercise is the most effective way to lose weight

Although you could spend hours testing your limits on the treadmill every night, this kind of exercise routine is unsustainable for most. As a general rule, adults aged 19 to 64 should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. In contrast to overly ambitious routines, sensible weight loss involves creating a small calorie deficit of about 500 calories per day - any more than that, and you’re likely to drop the programme. Creating a daily deficit of 500 calories requires more than just working out - dieting is crucial, too. The best methods use an even mix of the two. To make your weight loss programme more doable, try burning around 250 calories through exercise, while trimming calorie intake by the same amount.

Starchy foods should be avoided at all costs

Carbohydrates fuel the body, allowing you to embark on long, calorie-burning runs and other intense forms of aerobic exercise. However, thanks to the Atkins diet, many dieters ditch carbs and starchy foods, fearing they’ll negate weight loss efforts. While it is true that processed carbohydrates provide little health benefits (that includes white rice and sourdough baps), wholemeal options can actually aid weight loss. Because they’re slowly broken down by the digestive system, they result in slow energy release, helping you feel more satisfied, alert and energetic.

Slimming pills are an effective tool for long-term weight loss

Slimming pills are effective for as long as you take them, allowing a portion of fat to pass through the body without being permanently stored. However, once you stop taking them, you could find yourself packing on pounds and reversing weight loss. Instead, gastric bypass surgery may be a more effective tool for permanent weight loss, as it trains you to eat well, and in small portions. Furthermore, long-term follow-up appointments are required to monitor progress and assist in the development of healthy eating habits - an important tool in maintaining permanent weight loss.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.


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