A lot has been said about losing weight, such that it can be hard to sort fact from fiction. Let’s uncover the truth to some common weight loss myths.

1. A rigorous exercise routine is the only way to lose weight

This is not true. Successful weight loss involves making small changes that you can

stick to for a long time. That means gradually having a change of eating habits and being more physically active in your daily routine. Adults should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity – such as fast walking or cycling – daily, and those who are overweight are likely to need more than this to lose weight. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved by a combination of eating less and moving more.

2. Healthy eating is more expensive

It may seem that healthier foods are more expensive, but I’ll demonstrate with these points –

Bottle of soft Drink – N150 and above     Bottle of water – N50/N70

Bowl of ice cream – N500                                   Bunch of bananas – N200/N250

Loaf of white bread – N250                                 Loaf of wheat bread – N250

My Point is if you try replacing ingredients with healthier alternatives, you’ll probably find your meals will work out costing less.

3. Carbs always make you add weight

Eaten in the right portions (because you actually need carbohydrates [carbs]), and as part of a balanced diet, carbs will not, on their own – without the likes of oily stews etc. – make you add weight. Eat whole grain and whole meal carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole meal bread and sweet potatoes to increase your intake of fiber whilst getting your carbs on. As long as you have a physically active lifestyle, you won’t put on weight. P.S – don’t fry starchy foods when trying to lose weight, oven-bake them instead.

4. Skipping meals/Starvation is the best way to lose weight

Skipping meals is not a good idea. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to reduce the amount of calories you consume and increase the calories you burn through exercise. But skipping meals altogether can result in tiredness and can cause you to miss out on essential nutrients. You will also be more likely to snack on high-fat and high-sugar foods, which could result in weight gain.

5. Foods labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced fat’ are always a healthy choice

Be cautious – If a food is labelled as “low-fat” or “reduced fat”, it means that it contains less fat than the full-fat version, not necessarily “low-fat” … and certainly doesn’t automatically make it a healthy choice: Always check labels to see how much fat it contains. Some low-fat foods may also contain high levels of sugar … which converts to fat in the long run thereby depicting the “low” purpose.

6. Cutting out snacks can help you lose weight

Snacking is not a problem when trying to lose weight: it’s the type of snack. A lot of people need a snack in-between meals to maintain energy levels – which is fine, by the way, especially if they have an active lifestyle. Choose fruit or vegetables instead of crisps/fries, chocolate and other snacks that are high in sugar, salt and fat.

7. Drinking water helps you lose weight

Water does not cause you to lose weight, but it does keep you hydrated and might help you snack less. Water is essential for good health and wellbeing. Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger – if you’re thirsty you may snack more.

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