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The 5pm carbohydrate curfew—no bread, pasta, rice, potato biscuits, cakes, chocolates, soft drinks—is recommended by fitness trainers as the best way to shed kilos. (The 5pm carbohydrate curfew—no bread, pasta, rice, potato biscuits, cakes, chocolates, soft drinks—is recommended by fitness trainers as the best way to shed kilos.)
The 5pm carbohydrate curfew—no bread, pasta, rice, potato biscuits, cakes, chocolates, soft drinks—is recommended by fitness trainers as the best way to shed kilos.
(The 5pm carbohydrate curfew—no bread, pasta, rice, potato biscuits, cakes, chocolates, soft drinks—is recommended by fitness trainers as the best way to shed kilos.)

Fact or fiction?

Oil olive cuts risk of heart disease, walnuts make you brainy, honey and lemon are weight loss warriors—we asked experts to decode the science behind these beliefs

When it comes to health and nutrition, the information available over the Internet can be misleading, or simply confusing. While new studies on nutrition are released every day, some age-old myths and beliefs continue to hold sway. We look at some of these and try and find out if there is any merit to them.

Avoid carbohydrates after 5pm, shed weight

The 5pm carbohydrate curfew—no bread, pasta, rice, potato biscuits, cakes, chocolates, soft drinks—is recommended by fitness trainers as the best way to shed kilos. A study published in the ‘International Journal Of Obesity’ in 2013 found that people who ate the bulk of their carbohydrates earlier in the day lost more weight than those who did so later in the day. It stressed that when you eat is an important aspect of weight loss. In the study, researchers followed 420 overweight adult men and women in Spain, where lunch is the main meal of the day, for a period of 20 weeks. They found that participants who ate their main meal earlier in the day—before 3pm—lost more weight more quickly than participants who ate their main meal after 3pm. Researchers concluded that eating later in the day may stall weight-loss success.

Ritika Samaddar, head of department, dietetics, Max Healthcare, Saket, New Delhi, says it is not that simple. “There is a lot of propaganda about carbs these days. Weight reduction is about calorie intake and how many you burn. It is basically the distribution of carbohydrates, proteins and fats throughout the day which will determine how much weight you will lose," she says. “Ideally, your body needs about 50-60% of the total calories coming from the carbohydrates and how and when you consume these should be well distributed through the day," she adds.

This belief is “over-simplified", according to Hetal Pandya, head nutritionist, Fortis Hospitals, Mulund, Mumbai. “It’s the amount of calories you take in your dinner. You must have your protein and fibre in your dinner. So people who say no to carbs are losing weight because their calorie-intake has decreased, not because they are consuming lesser carbs. After all one ‘chapatti’ is only 80 calories," she says.

Lose weight with honey and lemon in hot water

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