If your child is following any of these diet rules, they need to be stopped now.
By Payal Kothari
Thanks to the abundantly available information on the Internet, there is growing confusion about what to eat and what not to. The old myths also seem to add more confusion because they spread like wildfire and just don’t seem to get busted, despite clear scientific evidence.
Here are six myths that have been debunked by scientific research.
Myth: Eat a low fat diet…
…because fat per gram is nine calories. Avoid fat! This is the most dangerous diet and nutrition advice ever given and followed. I have seen girls lose their beautiful hair strands, get brittle nails and experience focus related issues in school, sports and at home as well.
The good fats such as Omega3, 6 and 9 are essential for the brain and functioning of all organs. Kindly eat your nuts, seeds, ghee, olive, and truffle and avocado oils. The brain is made up of fat, so it’s a no-brainer to eat your fats, which is immensely beneficial.
Myth: Eat many small meals
It is often suggested to eat many small meals throughout the day to keep a high metabolism, whereas eating 2-3 proper meals has exactly the same effect on the body. For busy preteens to carry small meals or frequently eat meals are very tough because they are constantly on the move.
Myth: Eat a low-carb diet to lose weight
It’s believed that low carbohydrate consumption will help to lose weight. In fact, carbs are needed to run the physical functions of the body-routine chores, activities such as climbing stairs in school or even taking a shower. What is concerning is the kind of carbs being consumed by preteens these days. To drink that sugary Frappuccino, they avoid the good carbs such as fruits, vegetables and grains. Eating simple carbs may add calories but complex carbs are required to run your body’s everyday routines.
Myth: All calories are created equal, no matter where you get them from
Thus eating a bagel, waffle, pancake instead of that fruit or a traditional meal is what is happening these days. Skipping meals to relish the refined flour is causing obesity or borderline diabetes in teens. Blackish skin around the neck, underarms or back is a sign of high sugar levels. Eat fruits instead of refined sugar and refined flour.
Myth: Losing weight is all about eating less
Starving for a long period, inducing purging, obsessing with looking slimmer than peers or siblings is on top priority. The best way preteens know or copy is to starve which is highly dangerous and depressing. Eating the right foods, such as homemade, healthy yet delicious meals at the right time and in the right amount is advisable.
Myth: Thigh gap is a sign of a fit and toned body
To get a thigh gap (the gap between the inner thighs) and to widen it, girls are ready to go to any extent, even starve or do ridiculous amounts of workouts. You can get a thigh gap with adequate amounts of protein, a routine in meals and by playing sports consistently.
Debunking these myths and having a healthy happy relationship with yourself, food and exercise can change the way you feel and behave. It can help you focus and have a fit and toned body.
(The writer is an Integrative & Functional Nutritionist. Follow her on payalkothari.com or on Instagram and Facebook @Payalkotharinutrition.)