The premium in being attractive leads many of us to embark on weight loss programs. We often equate looking good with being slim and losing weight tends to be a New Year resolution for many. Brands like Kellogg’s capitalize on this thought process when they come out with products that apparently help lose 4-5 pounds in 2 weeks. The failure lies in not understanding that mere weight reduction is not sustainable in the long run and brings more problems than what it resolves. An overall change in our thinking process is mandatory with the focus shifting from sudden weight loss to conscious weight management.
Let us discuss a few myths associated with weight loss.
Myth: Choosing the proper diet is the key to successful weight loss
Reality: While a diet might help you lose weight in the short run, the real challenge lies in sustaining the weight loss. It is normally seen that the weight lost during dieting returns with a vengeance once you are back on regular food. The key to losing weight and keeping it off lies in what you eat. The emphasis should be on eating a nutritious meal and following a proper diet and exercise regime rather than fad diets like a fruit only diet which are short term.
Myth: Regular Cardio workouts help burn fat and thus lose weight
Reality: Cardio work outs like the treadmill burns fats only while exercising. At other times, the fat burn is at normal levels. Focusing on strength training and building lean muscle is a better means to successful long term weight loss. Increasing muscle mass helps consistent and long term burning of calories and thus more sustained weight loss.
Myth: Avoiding particular food items in your meals will help in weight loss
Reality: Rather than avoiding particular food items bring about a change in food habits. A Monomeal, lemon diet, etc. all sound great but are only short term. Cutting back on fried food is definitely helpful but for consistent weight loss is easier with more frequent meals and smaller portions rather than three big ones. This is because when you eat more frequently, your stomach does not send out hunger signals. Thus a smaller portion of food will suffice and gradually the reduced portion becomes the norm.
Myth: Weight loss is all about looking good
Reality: More than looking good, weight loss should focus on feeling good. Ailments like high blood pressure, joint problems, erectile dysfunction, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels and heart related illnesses are commonly associated with obesity. Losing weight will make you healthier and after all health is wealth.
Myth: There is no relationship between obesity and fertility
Reality: Obesity in men affects sperm count while it adversely affects menstrual cycle in women, both of which are serious fertility related problems. Obese women are also more prone to miscarriages. Overcoming obesity is thus of great importance in overcoming infertility.
Myth: Children should be chubby and plump
Reality: Being plump and chubby does not translate into health. A preference for processed and fast foods among the younger generation has lead to a marked increase in cases of childhood obesity. Replacing these food items loaded with calories and lacking nutritional content with healthy alternatives and inculcating healthy food habits will ensure a healthy population.
Myth: Being overweight has no bearing on sexual life
Reality: Obesity has been linked to life style diseases, hormonal imbalances, sexual dysfunction and a lack of sexual stamina. Losing weight and maintaining the weight loss will help in tackling all these issues. Overcoming obesity is thus the key to a fulfilling sexual life.
Obesity can be easily overcome by taking a few simple and concrete steps. A proactive step would be restructuring our lifestyle with emphasis on weight management and sustained weight loss in the long run rather than focusing on just a short term weight loss. Adopt a fitness program that includes both diet and regular exercise. Work on improving muscle tone, increasing metabolic rate and reducing calorie intake. All these efforts will help not only in weight reduction but also in stress management and a healthier life.