Numerous factors contribute to obesity in both children and adults, whilst at the
same time there are a number of "myths" regarding the composition of overall
weight, as well as weight gain and weight loss.
We will hope to dispel a few of the “myths” and offer suggestions on excess
weight in general.
Myth #1: Carbs are often thought of as being fattening, and should therefore be
limited when trying to lose weight.
Fact: Carbohydrates (carbs) are the body's main source of fuel for energy. You
certainly do not have to limit all carbs to lose weight.
There are two main types of carbs:
Simple carbs(sugars) and Complex carbs (starches and fiber). Foods that are
high in complex carbs - like fruits, veggies, and whole grains - provide a healthy
supply of fiber, minerals and vitamins. Simple carbs from cake, candy, cookies,
and sugar-sweetened desserts and drinks (including alcohol) contain many
calories but few nutrients.
It is highly recommended that you consume plenty of unrefined grains, like brown
rice and whole-wheat bread, cereal and pasta. In addition, fruit and vegetables
should equal half of what you consume.
Myth #2: Lifting weights is not a good way to lose weight because it will make you
Fact: Lifting weights (resistance training) or doing weight resistance activities like
push-ups, pull-ups and abdominal crunches on a regular basis can help you build
strong muscles, which can help you burn more calories. Strengthening resistance
activities two or three days a week will not "bulk you up." Only intense strength
training, along with certain genetics, can build large, bulky muscles. And then
what you have achieved will amount to “big muscles”, rather than symmetrical
long strong flexible muscles. A full series of resistance exercises can be done at
home (open this link: http://www.meandmybody.com/exercise_routines.php to
view a list of exercise & stretching activities) or join a health club. Please bear in
mind however, that overall fitness and strength cannot be achieved by
concentrating on one Aerobic activity. What will be achieved is a fitness level for
that activity and not necessarily for another activity.
Myth #3:I have to stop eating at five or six in the evening to lose weight.
Fact: Weight loss is about the total amount of calories you take in during the day,
rather than the time of day that you eat. Some people are up later and may need
to eat later. Choosing not to eat after five in the evening doesn't guarantee weight
loss. Unless someone is eating over his or her daily calorie budget, they should
be fine eating a little later.
Myth #4: If I have a high BMI, I need to lose weight.
Fact: While this is true for the majority of individuals, BMI (body mass index) is
not always a realistic measurement of whether or not someone needs to lose
weight. BMI has long been used to get a baseline sense of an individual’s overall
health based on his or her weight to height ratio. It is easy and practical, whereas
more specific body fat measurements can be expensive. There are a select few
individuals who we might call “fit and fat,” who have good overall health, including
cholesterol and heart parameters, but are considered “overweight” on the BMI
Someone who has a great deal of muscle mass (body builders and fit athletes
with healthy muscle mass) will weigh more and the standard BMI measurement
does not account for fat versus muscle. Muscle mass weighs more,
so more muscle could skew the results of a BMI test.
BMI should never be the sole means of determining whether or not you need to
lose weight. Other important factors to consider include: bone density, weight
history, blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, body fat percentage, waist
circumference, dietary habits and medications that may cause fluid retention or
weight gain. (Refer to Article -
Myth#5: As long as I’m losing weight, it doesn’t matter how I’m doing it.
Fact: This is a trap we commonly fall into that leads to the unhealthy cycle of yo-
yo dieting. Yo-yo dieting comes with both psychological and physical risks.
Psychologically, yo-yo dieting means a continual weight gain/weight loss cycle.
Re-gaining weight can be very discouraging and leave one feeling like a failure
when in fact it's the diet that failed. A healthy diet is sustainable over long periods
of time and is designed for your lifestyle as well as likes and dislikes.
Physically, yo-yo dieting can lead to loss of muscle mass which can put undue
stress on the heart. Lack of carbohydrate intake can cause difficulties with the
brain, nervous system, muscles and energy. Liver problems, ketosis and nutrient
deficiencies can also result from yo-yo dieting. Overall, most diets don’t work.
Balance a healthy diet with correct eating habits with adequate amounts of
exercise or physical activities. (Refer to Articles on this link:
Photo: 5 Pounds of Fat (right) vs. 5 Pounds of Muscle (left)
Important note: Never lose Muscle – Aim always to lose the excess Fat!