Misconception 1: Oils classified as ‘good oils’ promote good health and will not cause weight gain, no matter how much you eat. Fact: The term ‘good oils’ refers to oils that have less of saturated fatty acids and more of unsaturated fatty acids. These kinds of fatty acids are known to promote heart health. However, all oils have the same energy value (9 kcal of energy/gram). Hence the more oil you take, the more energy you feed the body and this increases your risk for weight gain.
Misconception 2: Some people can stay fat even though they hardly eat anything Fact: Weight gain occurs when energy gained from food intake exceeds energy used up as a result of physical activity. Although one’s genes may predispose him/her to obesity, what you eat, how much of food you eat and the extent of physical activity are the overriding factors that dictate the extent of weight gain. Your weight is a result of high energy intake and less physical activity.
Misconception 3: Skipping meals accelerates weight loss Fact: Skipping meals is not the right way to lose weight. It subjects the individual to impulsive high calorie snacking which leads to weight gain. Healthy weight loss involves following a personalized structured meal plan with some amount of physical activity. Meal plans usually prescribe about 3 regular meals/day with portion sizes of foods clearly stated.
Misconception 4: Some bulky starchy foods like Fufu and Banku cause weight gain. Fact: Fufu and banku and other bulky starchy foods are healthy carbohydrate foods which can fit into a healthy eating plan that promotes weight loss. What matters is keeping the total food calorie intake at a controlled level that promotes weight loss. This involves knowing the right portion sizes of fufu or banku as well as that of any other food item eaten. Structured personalized meal plans often prescribe the right portion sizes for the different foods to help promote weight loss.
Misconception 5: Alcohol consumption does not lead to weight gain Fact: Alcohol contains energy and it is the second highest after fat, in energy density. Alcohol does contribute to weight gain. For effective weight loss, alcohol consumption must be minimized and correctly worked into meal plan or completely halted.
Misconception 6: Drinking excessive water causes obesity Fact: Water does not contain any calories and hence does not contribute to obesity (accumulation of excessive body fat). In healthy subjects the body normally regulates the amount of water in the body by excreting any excess through urine and sweat. Water retention in the body in certain clinical conditions, may cause transient weight gain but not obesity. Drinking enough water is one of the ways to control food intake when on a weight loss program. Water can be used to prepare some light calorie foods like tea, a variety of light vegetable soups which have very low energy density and thus fit into a weight loss diet.
Misconception 7: weight loss can be achieved through quick fixes The proven scientific and healthy approach to weight loss is via the diet and increased physical activity. This usually takes a couple of weeks to months depending on weight loss goals. Quick fix approach is never sustainable, may lead to water loss or muscle firming and not fat loss. Others cause increased heart rate which can be fatal bind/block some percent of fat or starch from being absorbed, etc. In the absence of the quick fix treatment, weight is re-gained at a fast rate. Quick fix treatments usually employ the use of weight loss steam baths, machines (eg. electric stimulating machines), drugs, creams and not diet and physical activity/exercise.