There are many false myths about dieting and losing weight. Let’s try to dispel some of them, with the help of Doctor Manuela Pastore, dietitian at Humanitas.
You can only lose weight by cutting carbs out
A balanced, healthy diet includes carbs too. Carbs are like “clean energy” for our body. High-carb foods such as cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit are the basis of a healthy nutrition. Whole cereals are a great source of dietary fibre, that exerts an important metabolic function. It reduces post-prandial hyperglycaemic spikes, slows down the absorption of sugars and fats, enhances satiety, and helps regulate bowel movements.
Dietary fibre is a kind of carbohydrate. If you avoid carbohydrates, your fibre intake falls down and your protein and fat intake inevitably goes up.
You shouldn’t care about what you eat, as long as you care about your caloric intake
Quality is always fundamental and losing weight makes no exception. If it weren’t the case, a 1500-kcal requirement could be fulfilled by a 140-ml glass of oil, or by 600 grams of broccoli. Understandably, the result would be completely different in all respects. It is no coincidence that some percentages of nutrients have to be met, regardless of the caloric intake needed to keep or lose weight. Requirements depend on the basal metabolic rate and also on the energy needed for your daily activities and physical activity (that everyone should engage in, according to their capabilities and possibilities). A varied, balanced nutrition supplies the nutrients you need according to your requirements. Carbohydrates, fiber, proteins, fats, water, vitamins, and minerals maintain a balance, that regulates satiety the right blood sugar levels, avoiding binges.
If you want to lose weight, you will be constantly hungry
It goes without saying that going from an unbalanced, messy diet to a balanced, well-organized one may lead to some imbalance and to a fake feeling of hunger. Our body adjusts to the change in ten days and it also stops feeling bad, as long as you are on a balanced, well-organized diet. By contrast, if you exclude whole categories of food or if you skip meals, this makes for a completely different scenario. In fact, the first rule in any diet is not skipping meals.
You may also have balanced snacks in-between meals to manage morning or afternoon hunger. Fruit is always the best snack.
A fat-free diet helps you lose weight
Avoiding fats does not help you lose weight. People who eliminate fats from their own diet are likely to eat simple sugars or refined grains instead of these calories. However, doing so leads to changes in your metabolism. It causes inflammation, raises insulin levels and increases abdominal fat.
Gluten-free foods are the best way to lose weight
Gluten-free diets are only necessary for those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and they are not a diet to lose weight.
Gluten is a protein content of some cereals. Thus, gluten-free products are richer in carbs and calories that may make you gain weight in time. In addition to this, such foods are also fiber-poor and consequently, can’t provide the right feeling of satiety.
Palatable foods are always unhealthy
Thinking that healthy foods are unsavory and that refined, sugary and fat ones are tastier, is a by-product trick by our taste buds.
In fact, refined sugars, sweeteners and artificial fats may change the way taste buds work. Once we get accustomed to healthy foods, we also rediscover the true taste of food and we learn how to prepare dishes that enhance their natural taste in every way. The right herbs and spices furtherly enhance the organoleptic qualities of every food.