1. Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast is a sure shot way of moving towards unhealthy weight loss. Breakfast skippers tend to make up for those lost calories by eating more and choosing the wrong foods later in the day.
2. Follow a Low Caloric Diet
Commercial packaged juices, steamed veggies, fruit diet, soup and salad meal all boastfully form a part of the low caloric regime. But in reality, these prove to be weight loss sabotages’ rather than accomplishments:
► Juices – Stripping fruits and veggies off their fiber and nutrients lowers their nutritional value and makes them high Glycemic index foods which eventually lead to fat gain. It is best to choose seasonal whole fruits instead of packaged juices.
► Steamed veggies- Steamed veggies in the long run can make one feel sick because of the bland taste. This is a highly unsustainable eating pattern and a short term weight loss gimmick.
► Fruit diets - Fruit diets are unnatural and can only be followed for a short duration. The body needs proper carbs, protein and fat to assimilate anything from the fruit. If only on a fruit and veggie diet, the nutrient assimilation from the fruit is poor.
► Puffed rice snack – From the common weight loss food, dry bhel or kurmura, one derives absolutely no nourishment and the absorption and assimilation of whatever small quantity of nutrients available is also poor. Such meals set in nutrient deficiencies.
► Soup and salad meal – This combination proves to be the most common disaster nowadays. The salads loaded with low fat dressing loads the body with preservatives and salt. The veggies in the soup are cut, mashed, blended, strained, and boiled indiscriminately ensuring that there are no nutrients left at all. Even though one feels full with the meals, it might leave you reaching out for a coffee or a dessert later. Also with this kind of a diet, one forgets specific nutrient deficits that come along with it, the most common being calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. So although one would surely lose weight, the charm, energy levels, alertness, strength and sleep will also be lost in the bargain.
► Artificial sweetener – Since it is zero caloric, one tends to ingest artificial sweeteners in larger quantities. Sweeteners contain chemicals which affect brain functioning, lead to hormonal imbalances, cause insulin insensitivity, and have many more side effects. At the same time, it confuses the mind and makes one eat something sweet post the sweetener added food or beverage. By no means does it satisfy the sweet tooth.
3. It’s OK Not to Exercise as I Hardly Eat Through the Day
Exercise is no substitute to a weight loss diet. Firstly, not eating appropriate quantity of food only creates havoc and no good at all. It puts the metabolism down, causes acidity, bloating, lethargy, headache, irritation. Exercise is the crust of a weight loss and health maintenance plan. Exercise makes one build muscles that burn more calories through the day. For best weight loss results and improved blood sugar control, the American Diabetes Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. According to Lisa Merril, a dietician, after a month’s weight loss, one loses 75 percent from fat and 25 percent from muscle without weight training.
4. Breakfast Cereal is the Healthiest Food
Cereals with milk are really not the healthiest breakfast option as thought by people. A hot home-made breakfast stands much above the instant meal in terms of satisfaction and nutrition.
Instant cereals do not satisfy the taste buds and leave one feeling hungry through the day. It lowers the energy levels and eventually makes one reach out for a high caloric snack or sweet. Cereals also contain preservatives, sodium, additives and emulsifiers which weaken the body’s ability to assimilate and absorb food, leading to poor nutrient stores.
5. Nuts are Fattening
People have this common notion of nuts being fattening. But in reality, nuts carry the good fats, vitamin E, proteins, B vitamins, fiber which are rather heart protective and conducive for weight loss. If had in restrictive amounts they can be highly satiating foods.
Nuts are healthy when eaten in the right quantity and at the right time. Peanuts, whole Bengal gram, almonds and walnuts should be picked up over other so called “low caloric snacks”.
6. Abandon Food Groups
Studies show that a winning weight loss strategy includes enjoying all the food groups. A balanced diet helps one feel full and stay full. Different foods are rich in different macro and micro nutrients. The body functions best when all the nutrients are given to the body in optimal amounts. Eliminating any one can deprive the body of essential nutrients.
In the quest for weight loss, eliminating certain food groups could backfire and cause certain undetected nutrient deficiencies.
7. Weigh Yourself Each Day
Weighing daily does not capture an accurate picture of the true weight. Body weight is affected by water retention. It is more important to track the fat percentage weekly (through a weighing scale or a body fat analyzer). One might be losing weight (water, muscles) and not fat and therefore should aim for “fat loss” than just “weight loss”.
8. Resort to Weight Loss Pills
It takes a lot of hard work (proper food choices and the traditional daily exercise routine) to lose weight and keep it off permanently. While many weight loss supplements claim miraculous weight loss benefits, science does not seem to support such claims. Dietary weight loss supplements are not marketed as stringently by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as drugs, and are not required to prove their effectiveness or safety before being marketed.
9. Cut Out the Carbs
Carbs are considered the villains among nutrients since long as many people load their diets with way too many refined carbohydrate sources, such as breads, snacks and junk foods made of white flour and refined sugars. These foods contain low nutrient carbs which only add unwanted calories to the diet. One can enjoy carbs in moderation as long as the focus is on nutrient-rich sources that are minimally processed like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and dairy products. The body benefits from an array of nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
10. Less Fluid Intake is Absolutely Fine
Drinking enough water is the most essential for body functions such as transporting nutrients, maintaining blood volume and removing waste products. Fluids also help to fill the stomach faster, thereby signaling to the brain that the person has eaten enough. Around 2.5 to 3 liters of fluids is a must for an adult each day.
11. Choose Only Low Caloric Snacks
Some low caloric snacks popularly running in the super markets nowadays may not be as helpful as they appear. When cutting down on calories it is more important to make every calorie count by choosing nutrient rich foods (foods containing vitamins, mineral, phytonutrients) that the body needs to stay healthy. Nutrients raise the metabolic rate and act as catalysts for metabolic reactions in the body. The low caloric snacks (baked, roasted) usually contain similar amounts of fat (shortening agents) and preservatives as the standard products but in the hidden form. Also since the low caloric snacks are considered healthy, there is a natural tendency to overeat and not exercise thinking it would take care of their weight loss.
Low fat butter contains less saturated fat but contains trans fats which impairs fat metabolism, whereas the essential fats in homemade ghee, butter actually improve fat metabolism
Low fat cheese is processed to an extent that it gets stripped of all its nutrients (calcium, protein) and is also low in essential fatty acid, conjugated linoleic acid, which is necessary to improve fat metabolism.
12. A Complete No To Eating Out
A healthy eating plan is for life and not something one can go “on” or “off”. Creating a bank of extra calories to make room for something one craves for is the wisest way to treat oneself. By cutting back on calories earlier in the day and making sure to squeeze in exercise, one can usually fit in a special treat of 100 to 200 calories easily.
13. Eat Fewer Meals but Neglect the Portion Size
Doubling up on portions means doubling up on calories. The prime principal of weight loss is to eat small quanta of food through the day. People generally fall back to just a 2 or 3 meal pattern but in the bargain eat large portions at each meal. Due to extreme hunger larger portions of wrong foods are picked.
It is essential to chew slowly, eat with full attention and keep a check on the amount of food dished out at each meal in order to practice portion control.
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