The word “DIET” always seems challenging, especially if you are aiming to lose a lot of Kgs. For those of you who have undergone this challenge of weight loss programs, have you ended up being a victim of diet mistakes in order to see fast results in almost no time? For this sake, today we will discuss different diet mistakes that I usually see on daily bases in my clinic with tips on how to avoid them

1) Relying on Crash Diets

Determined to lose 5 kg fast, you turn to a crash diet! Perhaps all what you are going to eat per day are some fruits, salads, or soup. You slash your daily calories to fewer than 1,000 – which is considered a very low calorie diet and sure enough, the kilograms will melt away. However, there are 2 things to consider, first, you will lose water and muscles at first; second, when you eat so few calories, you train your metabolism to slow down putting your body in a starvation mode and once you return back to eating normally, you will regain the weight very fast.

Tip: remember that nothing beats a well-balanced healthy diet plan. I always recommend a loss of 4 kg/month, which is considered a healthy rate. Bear in mind that a good diet is the one that contains all five food groups (vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins, and dairy) and that you can apply for life without feeling deprived.

2) Skipping Breakfast

I often hear people saying that whenever they have breakfast they stay hungry the whole day, or, they would rather skip breakfast and spare those calories for other meals. Moreover, smokers usually feel less hungry in the morning so they would tend to skip breakfast. Well, well…! This habit results in insatiable hunger for the rest of the day, which may lead to unplanned snacking at the office or having a super-size portion at lunch or worse… at dinner. In fact, studies have shown that people who have breakfast every morning are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

Tip: try to have breakfast within 1h from waking up, this will provide your body with energy and boost your metabolism. Moreover, it will help you control your other meals portions throughout the day. Make your breakfast balanced with complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fibers which will keep you full all morning. For example: you can have a slice of wholegrain toast with peanut butter, banana and chia seeds, wholegrain toast with avocado and eggs or with low fat cheese/labneh, oat pancakes topped with low fat Greek yoghurt & berries, or some fruits with muesli/granola and low fat Greek yogurt…

3) Losing Track of Your Snacks

Maybe you count calories meticulously at every meal, but how about all those nibbles in between? There’s the bag of chips or cookies at your desk, the little slice of cake at an office party, the taste of your son’s ice cream cone. All of those mindless munching add up and could ruin a well-planned diet. If you’re serious about counting calories, you may want to use a notebook to keep track of each bite.

Tip: make a plan to have at least 2 snacks during the day, in the morning time and in the afternoon in a way that you will be having 3 main meals and 2 snacks in between. Make sure to have smart choices such as 1-2 fruits/day, 1 cup of low fat milk or low-fat yogurt or fruit yogurt, some raw nuts (100 calories), 6-7 pieces of rice chips, 3 rice cakes with low fat cheese, peanut butter with a banana, 5-6 medium size dates, or 2 slices of avocado and honey. Studies have shown that people who eat several small meals and snacks a day are more likely to control hunger and lose weight.

4) Sipping Too Many Calories

When counting calories, many of us tend to overlook what’s in our drinks. This is a big mistake when you consider that some fancy coffees and alcoholic beverages have more than 500 calories per portion. Even the calories in fruit juice and soft drinks can add up quickly. What’s worse is that liquid calories don’t curb hunger so you’re not going to eat any less after a high-calorie drink.

Tip: aim for 8 cups of water per day as it’s free of calories and will provide you with lots minerals. Follow my advice and replace calorie rich coffees that contain full fat milk, sugar, toppings, or caramel with black coffee (with a drizzle of fresh low fat milk) . Consume some herbal teas which are also free of calories. Also try to cut on soft drinks and fruit juices as they are rich in sugars.

5) Being Inactive

When you don’t exercise, you place the entire burden of weight loss on your diet. Besides, activity will definitely speed-up your results. Find an activity that you enjoy, so if the treadmill seems tedious, try swimming, ballet, biking, or table tennis, all of which burn more calories than walking. Try different activities until you find one you want to do on most days.

Tip: aim for 150 min’s per week at least, divided on 3-5x/week (45 mins-1h each day).

6) Taking Diet Supplements

Many diet pills and weight loss products are considered as dietary supplements, which are usually not regulated by authoritative bodies. This being said, it is not guaranteed that the used ingredients are safe for human consumption. They might also interact with medications that you may be taking, not to mention otherside effects that they may cause.

Tip: my advice is to avoid any diet pills for weight loss as they may harm your body. Following a well-balanced healthy diet combined with exercise is considered a healthy lifestyle to adopt. However, having green tea, hot peppers, almonds, and eggs in moderation might have a positive influence on fat-burning capabilities.

Feeling more empowered to start “dieting right”?! Go ahead and apply the above tips for better and sustainable results.

 

Author

Janine Jundi
Janine Jundi
Licensed Clinical Dietician LD, BSc in Clinical Nutrition and MSc in Human Nutrition from NDU, Lebanon.
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