When it comes to weight loss advice, there's a good chance you've heard some of these strange, slightly batty or just woefully inaccurate tips. Dietitian Sam Cowan sets the record straight on the following 5:
Swap fruit for rice malt syrup
Made popular by the ‘I Quit Sugar’ movement, which demonises fructose, rice malt syrup has a very high Glycaemic Index (GI) score of 98/100. What does this mean? Rice malt syrup will send your blood sugar and insulin levels skyrocketing, followed by a steep drop. This can wreak havoc on your stamina and mood, and is especially problematic for people with diabetes. Most fruits have a low GI score, resulting in a more sustained energy release. Plus, they have the added benefits of fibre, vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants!
Drink ‘bulletproof’ coffee (with butter)
If you think adding butter to your coffee will help your body burn fat, think again! Eating more fat to lose more fat is nonsense. Truth is, regardless of what foods you eat, unless you consume less calories than your body burns through each day, your body fat stores will never be touched. And remember, whilst the hype says saturated fat is ‘not as bad’ as we once thought, it is certainly not a license to eat copious amounts, and like most things, should be eaten in moderation. If you still think adding butter is healthier than adding milk to your coffee – read myth-buster number 3!
You should avoid grains and dairy to improve your health
Paleo enthusiasts preach cutting out all grains and dairy foods – but why? Evidence shows that people who eat wholegrains and unsweetened dairy foods have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, bowel cancer and osteoporosis , to name a few. If we consider one of the world’s healthiest populations, the Mediterraneans, wholegrains and dairy are included in their traditional diet. Cutting out major food groups can increase your risk of nutritional deficiency, and leave you feeling deprived! If you suspect you have an allergy or intolerance to dairy or grains, that’s a different story. Speak to your GP or Accredited Practising Dietitian to learn more.
You need to eat every 2 hours to boost your metabolism and lose weight
Eating every 2 hours is not realistic for many people. And, unless each small meal is carefully considered and prepared, you will likely exceed your daily calorie requirements – outdoing any small benefit to your metabolic rate. Studies show that both six small meals and three larger meals can support weight loss. The trick is to focus on a meal plan that fits into your lifestyle and is tailored to your energy needs and weight loss goals.
You shouldn’t have fluids with a meal
If we chose to avoid drinking water at mealtimes, I bet most of us would become dehydrated! And we would need to say goodbye to soups and a glass of wine...I don’t think so! Fluids during at meal will not interfere with the digestion of foods, as some blogs will have you believe. Fluids can also help regulate appetite and prevent over-eating at meals.