Among all the people I have met so far, I have still to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy a good meal. And, among all the people who enjoy a good meal, I have still to meet someone who indulges in his or her choice of food and drink without a twinge of guilt. How we wish we could savour all the food we like and not gain an inch. But alas. That’s not how it works, for most.
Wherever there is food, there are truths and myths attached to it. Take for example, the often heard and read about statement “Drinking water is good for the body and health” which is a truth, as drinking water allows for proper digestion, helps keep the body hydrated, flushes out toxins and thus improves the appearance of your skin by making it radiant and healthy, among other benefits. Whereas the widely believed and followed “Water with lemon and honey drunk on an empty stomach will make you lose weight” is far from the truth, as it does not aid in losing weight. Though it still doesn’t stop people from drinking it anyway, despite the sore throat, it causes in some.
It’s amazing how some people can conveniently twist truths to form myths to suit themselves and their palate. Here are my, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, answers to some highly inventive health myths food lovers would like to believe and ardently follow with a guilt-free conscience, much to the horror of their dieticians, friends and bodies.
I’ll skip breakfast when I want to lose weight.
Ever heard of a car operating with its fuel tank empty or appliances working without electricity or you going shopping without your wallet? So, what makes you think that you’ll deprive your body of the most important meal of the day and hop, skip and jump through it, eh? Skipping breakfast will only ensure that you’ll be ravenous enough to be eating from everyone else’s plate, besides your own, throughout the day. Thus you will only end up gaining weight instead of losing it. And, just to refresh your memory, the basic idea was to lose it, wasn’t it?
If I eat something when no one is watching I won’t gain calories.
I have news for you. Calories are smarter than you are. Irrespective of whether anyone is watching you eating, or not, calories cling to you. And they cling really badly.
Fat-free equals calorie free.
I was under this misconception too for a while, until my nutritionist informed me otherwise. Even if a certain food is fat-free, more often than not it is loaded with other stuff like, sugar and proteins which do contain calories. So there! Always remember, nothing edible is calorie free, except plain water.
If I talk and gesture animatedly while I eat, I’ll be burning calories.
And, probably knock over the glass of water in front of you too. You’ll also have everyone sitting around you viewing your molars and pre-molars masticating food, and hence put forward a fine display of sloppy manners. And yes, you won’t lose calories, just friends.
Dark chocolate is good for health, so I can indulge in it as much as I feel like.
Yes, dark chocolate has health values [Surprise. Surprise. ] It has been suggested that antioxidants in dark chocolate may reduce the risk of many kinds of illnesses, from heart disease to cancer. But, there is absolutely no need to eat a whole chocolate bar. Experts say that all that is needed is about one square a day [sorry to disappoint you]. And, please do note: the square should not be as big as your living room.
Hot coffee burns fat.
Putting school lessons to use, are we now? Heat melts fat, does not equal to hot coffee burning fat. So drink up and get buzzed on all the caffeine you wish, while repeating to yourself “Only exercise can burn fat.”
I can plan my own diet as there is nothing much in planning one.
I think I can plan my countries constitution too but I don’t. And, that’s because we have qualified experts to do it. In the same way, there are health professionals who have slogged away at studying for years to learn what is good for your body and your health. So, why not leave the diet planning to those experts?
Milk is healthy, so also are other milk products like cheese and ice cream.
Ooohhhh… aren’t you a clever one? And, such a smart researcher too. Go on then and load up on the “milk products”. And end up resembling the very animal the milk for the “milk products” came from.
Chocolate is good because it releases endorphins, the feel-happy hormones.
Well, so does exercise… and chilly peppers.