Losing weight is by no means an easy task, but it is not so difficult if you know what you’re doing. Some people have certain misconceptions and theories regarding nutrition and weight loss. These myths become a barrier to their weight-loss plan and discourage them from pursuing their goal.
Myths And Facts About Nutrition
Often, in the eagerness to lose weight, people make some elementary diet mistakes by following a nutrition myth. It’s time to debunk these myths and reveal the truth about weight loss and ways to boost your metabolism.
1. Not All Calories Are The Same
Yes, it is a fact that different types of calories burn differently.
Diet-conscious people must be aware of the calories they consume. Your body processes different types of food in many different ways. The calories that are most easily burned during digestion are the protein calories. Digestion burns about 20-30 percent of all protein calories, about 6 percent of all carbohydrate calories, and 3 percent of all fat calories.
Since protein calories are burned rapidly even without exercising, the major chunk of your calorie intake must come from protein in order to promote weight loss.
For instance, if you consume 1000 calories of chicken and 1000 calories of ice-cream, you will gain more weight with ice-cream as it contains fat. Just 3 percent of fat from the ice-cream would burn during digestion, as opposed to 20-30 percent of the protein in chicken. This process is called the Thermal Effect of Food (TEF).1
2. Eating Small Meals Throughout The Day Increases Your Metabolism
This is one of the oldest diet myths in the fitness industry.
A common nutrition myth is that you can boost your metabolism by eating once in every 2-3 hours. This is absolutely untrue, as irrespective of how many meals you eat in a day, your metabolism rate will still be the same. Eating smaller meals at frequent intervals does not guarantee weight loss.
If you are serious about your diet, then you should be particular about what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat. It is important to create a meal frequency regimen that works for your schedule.
One benefit of eating once in every 2-3 hours is that it prevents you from overeating as you won’t be starving before your next meal. A study conducted in 2005 found that eating on a regular schedule can help balance insulin levels right after meals.2 But, it neither helps you lose weight more quickly nor increases the rate of your metabolism.
3. Low-Calorie Diets Aid Faster Weight Loss
This is another misconception some people have and it’s time to debunk the myth.
Theoretically, it is true that if you eat less, you lose more weight. But, consuming fewer calories than what your body requires to function normally decreases your metabolism (RMR – Resting Metabolic Rate), which makes it much harder to lose weight and burn calories. Research shows that when diets are lower than 1200 calories, your RMR decreases the most.3 So, even if you are on a strict diet, ensure that your calorie intake is not too low.
4. Late Night Snacking Causes Weight Gain
This is another incorrect opinion that some people have.
Some celebrities have propagated the theory that they lost weight after they stopped eating beyond 6 p.m. The truth is your body does not accumulate any more fat at night than it does at other times during the day. Your body gains weight based on what you eat and the quantity of intake. It’s not dependent on what time of the day you eat it.
Studies have shown that eating late at night does not lead to weight gain. A 2016 study found no relationship between late meal times and risk of obesity.4 Late night eating becomes a problem only if that last meal involves over-consumption of calories.
But, some studies show contradicting results that suggest that timing your carbohydrate intake can make a difference in weight. The study found that people who ate desserts along with breakfast lost more weight over time than those people who chose to completely avoid dessert.5 The important point is to not indulge in sweets daily but to minimize the cravings.
|↑1||Westerterp, Klaas R. “Diet induced thermogenesis.” Nutrition & metabolism 1, no. 1 (2004): 5.|
|↑2||Farshchi, Hamid R., Moira A. Taylor, and Ian A. Macdonald. “Beneficial metabolic effects of regular meal frequency on dietary thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and fasting lipid profiles in healthy obese women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 81, no. 1 (2005): 16-24.|
|↑3||Lennon, Doris, Francis Nagle, Frederick Stratman, E. Shrago, and S. Dennis. “Diet and exercise training effects on resting metabolic rate.” International journal of obesity 9, no. 1 (1985): 39-47.|
|↑4||Coulthard, Janine D., and Gerda K. Pot. “The timing of the evening meal: how is this associated with weight status in UK children?.” British Journal of Nutrition 115, no. 9 (2016): 1616-1622.|
|↑5||Endocrine Society. “‘Dessert with breakfast diet’ helps avoid weight regain by reducing cravings.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625125050.htm (accessed August 30, 2017).|