Friday, January 30, 2015

10 Myths about Fitness/Eating Healthy. A Max Bupa health insurance initiative.

image credits: Google Images
 Do you guys remember those badges that came with Herbalife? "Lose Weight Now, Ask Me How", they said. I may have tried close to every fad diet on the planet before coming to an informed and practical conclusion that there are no short cuts to fitness. Everything is long term, and one needs to modify their lifestyle and stick to their routine. Here are the top 10 myths on my list about fitness and eating!

1. You cannot workout while on your period: This is one of the most common (and irritating) myths ever. An intense cardio workout can help you beat the period pain as well as reduce the flow making your life easier. All the hormones that are released as soon as we start PMSing are actually beneficial for an amazing workout. If you are a lifter, you will notice that you can actually lift heavier weights during this time of the month! And to think of it, you probably won't feel all that guilty about that huge slice of chocolate cake you rightfully devoured!

2. You need to starve yourself to lose weight: Let me start by saying that 'losing weight' is actually the wrong term. You wanna lose fat. We need to be more aware about muscle weight and fat weight. Losing pure fat from the body is the best way to get leaner and fitter. I know many people who go on water diet, juice diet, the infamous General Motors diet, Atkins and what not, but the fact is that the lesser food your body gets, the more fat it stores thinking that you're probably starving. It saves fat as a viable source of energy in case you have to starve for days together. If you want to lose fat, you have to eat often. Think about 8 small meals a day. This way your metabolism will also be better.

3. Weight lifting makes women bulk up: No, people. Women are designed to look a certain way, and weight lifting will only make us leaner and fitter. I know women who are heavy weight lifters yet petite. If you do want to bulk up, there is another way to go about it. But the gist is that naturally you will not bulk up if you lift weights. Weight lifting also comes with an after burn which means you actually burn way more calories than your normal cardio routine, up to 24 hours after exercising that particular muscle group.

4. Fats are bad for your health: I should have probably put this one up as the number one myth. People avoid Oil, Butter, Ghee, Cheese like the plague - but get this right, to lose fat, you need to eat fat. The good fats that come from dry fruits are essential for the body. Think about Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle on top of your salads (never cook with extra virgin olive oil, it is poisonous when heated). Ghee is an excellent lubricant for our joints and is great for health. Of course, all these must be consumed in limited amounts and not as an overdose.

5. Fat Free food means no calories: Fat free labeled foods probably contain more calories than the full fat versions of many boxed products, if not equal. The fat that is removed from these foods is often replaced with Sugar, and that is the worst kind of overload you want to be putting inside your body. We must make it a habit to read the nutritional content of whatever we purchase from the stores, and check how many grams of what it has. Oftentimes you can see that foods say they are low carb, let's say they have 4 grams of carbohydrates but check the line below it for how much of those 4 grams is derived from sugar, and you will be shocked. This fat free marketing gimmick is truly shameful!

6. Slimming Pills aid weight loss: The next time you see a slimming pill ad on TV, please switch the channel. They must be taken under medical supervision and only if nothing else works in the favour of your fitness goals.

7. Margarine is healthier than Butter: I am tired of watching my loved ones lean over to a "lite" spread over the real butter, just because they think it is healthier. While Margarine may have fewer calories than butter, it is high in trans fats which are very harmful for the body. You're better off eating the real deal!

8. Eating Fruits after a meal is a good habit: Another common mistake in today's households that is causing far more harm to our health than we can imagine. Consuming fruits immediately post dinner or lunch is very bad for the health. Fruits are high in natural Sugars that instantly convert into triglycerides if consumed immediately after a meal. The ideal time to eat fruits is as your first meal, as soon as you wake up, since the body needs a sugar hit after all that repair mechanism it went through all night while you were sleeping. If you'd like to consume fruits during a day, have them as a meal on their own, 2 hours after you have had your previous meal.

9. Carbohydrates are bad for health/fat loss: Carbohydrates come in two forms. Refined and Unrefined. The Refined carbs are the ones laden with Sugar (Refer No.5 above) and must be avoided by all means. If not avoided, they must be consumed in limited quantities. The Unrefined carbs are actually good for health. These include fruits and vegetables, which are rich with fiber, minerals and antioxidants and must be consumed on a daily basis.

10. Vegetarians do not get adequate protein as they do not eat meat: This is not a fact. Vegetarians do need to consume a wide variety of legumes, peas, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds and soy to make up for it, but that definitely does not mean they lack in protein!

This wonderful initiative was started by Max Bupa health insurance, who has taken it upon themselves to educate the world, and go around busting myths and make everyone's life easier. You can check out their website where all the queries are updated in real time. Their very cute mascots Sathya and Mythya tell us why Health Insurance is a necessity these days, and I couldn't agree more with them. Seriously guys, there is no use of anything if one is not covered for health. They have made some really cool videos as well, you can have a look at one of them right here!

That was my list of 10 myths. Do you have any? I'd love to know! Do leave me a comment!

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