It’s hard to decide where to start this, especially when ‘diet’ is probably one of the most searched keywords on the internet. However I’d like to think of this as a post about the basics of being and staying healthy. This is for those who are overweight, underweight, just want to get healthy or want to improve their health.
Personally I’m not a health expert or a dietician, but I have been consistently active since I was at school and over the last 8 years I have done my share of research on diet and health when I first put on a few extra kilos. Along the way I’ve gathered plenty of info which I’ve put to use, figured out what works for me and this usually applies to most people. Since I like to think of myself as a scientific-minded person, fad diets and the latest popular routine don’t appeal to me. My goal is to be and stay as healthy as possible for the rest of my life.
I’m hoping to write this as a series of posts as there’s just way too much to put down all at once, and it can get confusing. So let me start by busting a few stubborn myths out there that just don’t seem to die.
High-protein, low-carb, high-fat, low-fat, paleo, cabbage-soup diets and what not!! All these will definitely help you lose weight in the short-term because any diet that’s restrictive will naturally make you lose the pounds.
However this is just not sustainable, and chances are you will put on all the weight you lost and more when you go off it. Raise your hand if this is you!
The key to a successful ‘diet’ is one that you can sustain for a lifetime. This means slowly and step-by-step if necessary, making long-term lifestyle changes.
This simply does not exist! There is no scientific basis to spot-reduce fat from any one place in your body. The truth is you can only lose weight overall and the first place you tend to put on weight will most likely be the last place you lose it. (Editor’s Note: This is so true!!)
Lifting Weights will bulk you up
Not true! And this applies to women more than men, but men will likely find it almost as hard to bulk up even if they try.
The fact is to build large muscles, you need to be eating huge amounts of the right kind of food, and secondly women simply do not have the hormones to build bulky muscles, namely testosterone. As simple as that.
Weights are your best friend if you want to build a lean strong body. So don’t be afraid of them!
No such thing! It is not physically possible to ‘tone’ a muscle.
What most people think of as toning is actually the process of reducing the percentage of body fat to an extent that your muscles become visible by not being covered with layers of fat. Another reason for lifting those weights!
Even if you become thin enough but your muscles are not worked out, you will only be exposing flabby muscles and no one wants that.
If I exercise regularly I can eat whatever I want
Nope! The long and short of this is that you will lose or gain weight based on a simple principle of calories in versus the calories out.
Of course the human body is a lot more complex than a machine but for the purpose of understanding how to feed your body and keep it in good running condition, calories in – calories out is a good way to start.
As long as you burn more than you eat you will lose weight, but within limits. As most experts say, weight loss is 80% diet and rest is exercise.
Well, that’s just to get you thinking. Next in the series is an introduction to and general advice on diet.
Editor’s Note: I am sure you would have loved the post as much as I loved it! Since a change in diet and losing weight is the top priority on my list, this series is a much awaited for me 🙂