Healthy eating facts

Article Nov 28, 2012

Will you lose weight on a low-fat diet, or can you eat what you like as long as you work out? Here’s the truth

MYTH! Everyone has a weight-loss limit

There’s no such thing as a weight-loss limit. If your weight stays the same, it simply means the energy you consume is equal to the amount of calories you’re burning, and so your metabolism slows down. If all of a sudden the scales aren’t shifting, don’t be tempted to eat less food, as plateauing is a perfectly normal part of loosing weight. You can kick-start your metabolism by eating more protein, mixing up your exercise regime and, most importantly, sticking with it! The important thing is to be realistic about your weight loss – find out the healthy weight for your height and build, and aim to maintain it.

MYTH! Exercise is more important for shedding pounds

I’m afraid no matter how long you slog in the gym, diet is the key player when it comes to slimming your waistline. While exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle and maintaining weight loss, new research from the US suggests weight loss boils down to 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent exercise. The recommended amount of weight to healthily lose per week is 0.5-1kg. Usually, it’s easier to do this by cutting out a few unnecessary snacks than hitting the treadmill for an hour.

MYTH! Ditch dairy to drop weight

Dairy will not cause you to gain weight; in some cases, it may even help you lose it! A new US study has found calcium in dairy can increase weight loss. Some people lost more weight by eating dairy compared to those who cut it out or took weight-loss supplements. Calcium can boost your metabolism and prevent fat stores forming. Dairy has a reputation for being high in fat but you simply have to eat the right sort –you can’t gorge on ice cream. Instead, stick to low-fat natural yoghurt, semi-skimmed milk and cottage cheese.

MYTH! Low-fat foods are healthy

Low-fat foods can contain just as many calories as their full-fat counterparts. Sugar replaces the fat to make them taste good. This means you get the calories, but not the healthy (yes, healthy!) benefits of fat. I follow the saying, ‘eat fat to lose fat’ – good fats such as unsaturated (mono- and polyunsaturated) fats give you energy, help with tissue repair and transporting vitamins around your body. If something, such as a biscuit or dessert, has been made low-fat, chances are you shouldn’t be eating it on a weight-loss plan anyway. Instead, opt for small portions of foods containing healthy fats such as avocado, cashews, almonds
and olive oil.