common diet mistakes

Dieting is not just about eating less or starving yourself to meet unrealistic goals. Healthy dieting involves making informed food choices. It is advised to consult a dietician or nutritionist whilst planning a diet. Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has advised to include protein in every meal and snack. She says, egg, soy or whey protein can serve as nutritious meal replacement smoothies. We have compiled a list of 9 common dieting mistakes and how to avoid them:


1. Not drinking enough water

Water is important for burning calories and managing your appetite. If you are under-hydrated then your metabolism slows down and results in slower weight loss. Drinking water whenever you feel like snacking can avoid unnecessary snacking. It is also very common for people to mistake thirst for hunger. Whenever you feel hungry, drink water and wait for ten mins, if within that time your hunger dissipates it is an indication that you were thirsty and not hungry.


2. Setting Unrealistic Goals

If you set up unrealistic goals (eg losing 10 Kgs in a week), then you’ll start feeling hopeless right from the beginning and not even start your diet. Contact a nutritionist or dietician who can help you plan realistic diet plans and goals. 

3. Skipping Meals

Skipping meals is one of the most common dieting mistakes. People want to lose weight very quickly and believe that skipping out on meals, especially breakfast, can help lose weight. But, unfortunately, by skipping meals they set themselves up for the vicious cycle of snacking at irregular times because of hunger from skipping meals.

If you start your day with a healthy meal full of protein and fiber then you will not fall prey to over-snacking and will be able to maintain a steady weight loss journey.


4. Crash Dieting:

In order to lose a lot of weight very quickly people rely on crash diets. Crash diets are notorious for restricting your dietary intake to a select few food groups. Crash diets also stress on consuming very limited calories. Some of these diets essentially promote starving oneself to lose weight. This is very unhealthy as you ignore essential food groups and are denying your body the essential nutrients it crucially needs.

You might lose weight very quickly, but crash diets slow down your metabolism. This causes very rapid weight gain after stopping the crash diet. The key to a successful diet journey is consistency in weight loss but at the same time not depriving your body of important nutrients. 


5. Exercise Imbalance:

A very restrictive diet and excessive exercise will retard your metabolism and it will take longer to lose weight. You should follow a balanced workout plan based on how many calories you are consuming and how many you need to burn.
Just dieting and not exercising at all will also not help lose weight. Find a workout activity that you enjoy and can incorporate into your daily routine. The right amount of exercise helps burn calories and boost metabolism. 


6. Ditching Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your body. Carbs belong to one of the main food groups and are important macronutrients. It is a myth that eating carbs will make you fat, it depends on the type of carbohydrate you are consuming. Refined carbs such as white bread and processed sugar must be avoided. Healthy sources of essential complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat, vegetables and fruits should be incorporated in your diet.


7. Poor portion estimation

Switching to a healthier diet but eating large portions of food does not serve the purpose and will lead to an unsuccessful diet. Your ideal diet plan should include all the main food groups but not extravagant quantities of anything. The key to portion control is to pre-plan your meals and eat slowly by taking the time to chew your food, this way you will feel full without having to consume a lot.


8. Snacking too much and losing track of what you’re eating

Mindlessly nibbling snacks all throughout the day despite eating healthy and balanced meals can be very detrimental to your diet. You must not stop snacking completely but be mindful of what you snack on and when you snack. Keeping a food diary is very helpful and will restrict the snacking to well-spaced time intervals.


9. Drinking extra calories:

Concentrating on solid calorie intake and ignoring your liquid calorie intake is a grave mistake. You may avoid soft fizzy drinks but certain kinds of coffee, beverages and even fruit drinks contain a lot of heavy calories and sugar. Keep track of what you drink and how many calories it contributes. Always carry a water bottle when traveling so that you do not end up consuming a lot of sugary beverages to quench your thirst.   

Related blog: Add these healthier alternatives to your diet to achieve better health

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