If I am thin, then I am also healthy, right? Nope. This statement is not necessarily true. There are several misconceptions many individuals have concerning weight, losing pounds, and what is healthy. Here is the truth about four myths concerning your body weight.
Myth: Children must lose weight to shed obesity.
Fact: BMI determines overweight and obesity, not actual weight.
As children grow, they accumulate body weight, naturally. But how much is too much and what is considered excessive and hazardous to one’s health?
In a recent study published in the medical journal Lancet, scientists at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found that some kids can outgrow obesity around puberty even if they do not actually lose weight. The researchers developed a mathematical model to differentiate between extra pounds that cause obesity versus a healthy weight gain.
This model is an accurate assessment of how many calories children consume as well as how efficiently and quickly they burn those calories for energy. Obesity is a measure of the ratio of height to weight, a factor known as the body mass index or BMI. As children grow, they utilize the stored fat to form muscle tissue. So, those with a high BMI are not actually overweight. The researchers advise that we should teach our kids about balanced meals and portion control, as well as encourage as much physical activity as possible.
Myth: You cannot be fit if you are fat.
Fact: Fitness is not correlated with body weight.
A person’s level of physical fitness does matter when you consider overall health, but the actual body weight does not. In 2012, researchers found that being overweight or obese poses no greater risk for dying from heart disease or cancer than if you are of a normal weight. This is only true if someone is metabolically fit, however. When it comes to premature death, it is not about how many pounds a person tows around, but what type of fat the body contains.
Visceral (dangerous belly fat) tissue is more metabolically harmful than other types of fat. This fat is embedded deep into the organs and muscles, and it releases harmful agents that disturb the body’s energy cycle. Lean people who have high levels of visceral fat in their tissues are more at risk for premature death than overweight individuals who carry subcutaneous fat.
Myth: As long as you exercise, you can eat whatever you like.
Fact: Empty calorie foods do not offer the nutrients your body needs to work out.
Maintaining a healthy weight is not just about eating a set number of calories. Cutting down on calories does lead to weight loss, it’s true. However, consuming fewer calories and exercising is the best way to drop pounds. To get the right nutrients, you need to eat a well-balanced diet, avoid trans fats and excess sugars, and consider calorie density.
Drinking 150 calories from a can of soda will take a half hour of intense exercise to burn off. You can undermine weight loss efforts when you do this. Instead, it is important to get calories from foods that are nutrient-rich so that you can maximize exercise performance while improving overall health status.
Myth: It is best to exercise with long bouts of low-intensity activity.
Fact: It is best to mix short bouts of high-intensity activity with lower intensity activities.
Fitness experts promote high-intensity workouts for weight loss. The body will burn more fat calories than carbohydrate calories during lower training intensity. However, to increase cardiovascular benefits and burn more calories overall, you need to engage in higher intensity activities. The safest approach, therefore, is to mix in short bouts of high-intensity exercise with lower intensity activities.
The most effective weight loss strategy involves both high and low-intensity exercise. This is because each type of exercise promotes weight loss in very different ways. While different, these ways complement each other. The high-intensity exercise gives you quick fat burning while the low-intensity exercise gives you a better capacity to produce more weight loss.