If you are someone who has not been able to shed those extra kilos in spite of hitting gym and a steely resolve to be healthy, you might be making some common diet mistakes that could be a culprit behind your expanding waistline. Following fad diets, skipping your meals, multi-tasking while eating, aren’t going to help in long run if you want to maintain a healthy weight.
Also, if you are laidback about cooking and often opt for ready-to-eat meals or picking processed foods is part of your snacking habits, then there is no way you could expect a positive result in your weight loss journey. In fact, one may develop nutritional deficiencies eventually.
“Some of the reasons for developing nutritional deficiencies in the obese are – excessive consumption of processed or ready to eat foods, being on nutrient deficient crash diets, defective storage of certain nutrients due to fat sequestration, obesity related inflammation, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth etc,” says Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker, Laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, Saifee Hospital, Apollo Spectra, Namaha and Currae Hospitals, Mumbai.
Registered dietician Mariam Lakdawala talks about the common diet mistakes people make:
Not cooking meals from scratch
After a long day at work, one may be too tired to fix a meal from scratch, and tempted to opt for ready-to-eat meals. You think you have your portions in control, but considering the long-term side-effects of these foods, one should never fall for these meal shortcuts. These foods are low in nutrition and dense in preservatives and sodium and eventually harm the body.
Opt for foods like whole grains, millets, beans and pulses, locally grown fruits & vegetables and nutrient dense nuts and seeds. Being rich in fiber and protein these foods are extremely good for digestion and decrease the frequency of hunger pangs.
Multi-tasking while eating
Multi-tasking while eating, skipping meals, no fixed meal timings, midnight snacking, binge eating, grazing on food, eating out of boredom, etc. are common mindless eating habits which are unhealthy. These habits lead to inadequate nutrient intake, hunger pangs, sweet cravings, overeating, indigestion and lowers body’s metabolism.
“Being mindful about what, when and how food is consumed and body’s hunger and satiety cues are very important and should be treated as a priority,” says Lakdawala.
Enjoying comfort food
People often find comfort in food and rely on food to make them feel better and vent out emotions by eating what they like. This kind of eating behaviour that is dependent on emotions is called emotional eating. Foods rich in sugar, simple carbohydrates or in fat like chocolates, ice cream, biscuits, chips, etc. are commonly consumed to feel better as these foods have shown to increase the levels of the feel good hormone “serotonin”.
“The best solution to get over emotional eating is to find other ways of venting out or expressing emotions like exercising and talking to a close relative or friend, says Lakdawala.
If you feel following a fancy diet and starving yourself can help you shed those kilos, think again. It can actually worsen your body’s metabolism as a low-calorie diet can seem to work initially but never in long run.
Besides, if you have long gaps between the meals and eating very low-calorie diets, it could increase sudden sweet cravings followed by binge eating episodes as the body constantly craves for energy.