FITNESS There are many myths about fitness and diets. What’s right and what’s wrong? NINA REDDY
It’s not the reality shows on television that irritate me ; it’s those unreal ones that try to push health products on naïve people looking for quick solutions! How can a machine that’s rolling around your body remove body fat and give you a well toned body? A magic drink promises to melt your fat and give you a figure that you’ve been dying for! How unreal can we get? The universal truth is: The only way to get there is to adopt a healthy lifestyle; uninteresting but true! Who has not been confused by conflicting reports about what to eat? Let’s clear up five very common nutrition myths.
1. Calcium ensures strong bones:
Most adults should consume between 1000 and 1300 mg of calcium a day to stay healthy. This includes bone health. However even this should not be considered an insurance policy against bone loss. It’s only when exercise, vitamin D and hormones pair up with calcium does good bone health becomes reality. Too many calcium supplements alone can damage kidneys and contribute to kidney stones, say health experts.
2. Turn your back on the brew:
This is my personal favourite. The first thing I crave as soon as I open my eyes in the morning is hot steaming coffee. So I’m glad to bust this one! Recent research does not vilify coffee: rather it finds health benefits in this brew! Coffee consumption has been associated in some research studies with lower risk of diabetes, stroke and Parkinson’s disease. Pregnant women, people with heart problems or sleep disorders or should consult their doctors; but most of us can enjoy our morning coffees fearlessly!
3. 1200 calories a day yet I don’t lose weight:
Few people are good at estimating the exact portion of their food. This can cause underestimation of actual intake. Result? Heartache and disappointment. Get a competent dietician to help you reach your goals. Also remember to note where those 1200 calories are coming from. Suppose it’s a juicy burger with fries? Calories right but nutrition wrong!
4. Water is as good as a sports drink
This myth needs clarification. Though water is a good hydrator for most people, athletes do not figure in this lot. Highly competitive athletes may experience significant reduction of glycogen stores and dehydration during an intense prolonged competition or work-out. Sports drinks provide carbohydrates as well as electrolytes and fluid that replenish critical energy reserves and delay fatigue. If you’re exercisisng for less than an hour and at moderate levels, water will suffice but higher intensity work-outs may require replenishment with sports drinks.
5. Low-carb diets are best for weight loss
Several studies have researched and compared popular weight loss programmes but none emerged as a clear winner! This may be because most people who adhere carefully to all restrictions lose weight initially. But the minute they go back to old habits, it all comes back with a vengeance! So the earth-shattering truth thats is so boring is that those people who adhere to a balanced diet and regular physical exercise are the most successful at losing weight and keeping it off — regardless of what diet they follow! A diet that comprises low fat food combined with plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains continues to have a high success rate.
The author is the Director of O2 Health Studio.
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