Whether it is for health reasons or just getting in shape, weight loss is a lifelong journey for many urbanites.
While obesity and the “three highs” are not uncommon these days, watching your weight is certainly the right thing to do. And there are numerous ways to lose weight. Some people skip breakfast, some walk to work, and others follow diets used by celebrities. Now, the question is: how do you know what you believe is true?
In this article, I will debunk common weight loss myths and help you sort fact from fiction, so that you can manage your weight more effectively.
Standing has a negligible impact on weight loss
Office workers typically spend six to eight hours a day siting at their desks, which has a negative impact on their health. Not only does it increase the risk of heart diseases, strokes, and diabetes, but it also causes other health problems like back pain and muscle degeneration.
That is why more and more employers are providing height-adjustable desks for their employees as a means to encourage them to stand more at work. Some even stand in meetings in the hope of losing weight. According to some foreign studies, spending more time standing does slightly lower blood sugar and body fat, implying that standing is better for your health than sitting for long periods.
However, standing will only burn a negligible amount of fat and thus has little to do with weight loss. So, if you aim for a measurable result, you will need to exercise more after work.
16:8 intermittent fasting is not for everyone
Many people are practicing 16:8 intermittent fasting due to celebrity influence in recent years. The diet involves eating within an 8-hour window and fasting for 16 hours a day.
It is worth noting that 16:8 intermittent fasting is not for everyone, including people with stomach problems, liver diseases, or diabetes, and patients using medicines for long-term conditions. In addition, overeating during the 8-hour window may be harmful to your body. Or if you eat whatever you want and consume more calories than you need, fasting within a time frame will not help you lose weight.
If you work in labour-intensive jobs or follow intense training plans, you should also be mindful that long-term 16:8 intermittent fasting may cause you to feel hungry and tired. To reach and maintain a healthy weight, you can start by having a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly.
Keto diet can be counterproductive
The keto diet has taken the world by storm in recent years. It is one of the most attractive diet plans because of its simplicity—all you need to do is cut carbohydrates and switch to meat and other foods.
However, overeating “allowed” foods is undesirable. For instance, too much fat in your diet can raise your cholesterol. When you don't get enough carbohydrates, you may also experience a reduction in feelings of fullness and experience constant hunger. As a result, you may overeat and even gain weight.
In fact, many factors can play a role in obesity and the three highs. Cutting starch is of very little help and may cause other health problems such as a slower metabolism and low levels of energy. To effectively maintain a healthy weight, you can seek help from health professionals like a nutritionist, who will develop the perfect eating plan for you.
Do research and seek support on your weight loss journey
Learning that you have obesity or the three highs can be a difficult experience, but you should never procrastinate on combating them. Instead, take actions to change your lifestyle. Remember, do research and understand the potential risks before going all in, so that you can be sure you are on the right track.
You can also seek support from others by inviting your friends to exercise with you and asking your doctor to check your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels regularly. By continuous monitoring, you can spot trends and develop a health plan that suits your needs. I hope whoever reads this article will stay determined and on track in the battle against obesity and the three highs.
Watch the clip and learn more about the myths and facts about weight loss.
The above content is reviewed by Dr Alexander Chiu - Chief Medical Officer of AXA Hong Kong and Macau.
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