Trying to lose weight can be frustrating, especially if you’re giving it your all but the scale is moving downwards at a snail’s pace. Don’t let this get to you and grab the opportunity to improve your lifestyle and hone your eating habits for a healthierlife instead.
Dietitian Dr. Ghina Farouk sheds some light on the most common diet mistakes people make and how to improve your weight loss effort. “If you’re eating less and choosing a healthy food option but not losing weight, then there is a problem with your diet,” she said. “I highly recommend everyone to visit a dietitian and a nutritionist before undergoing any changes in their daily diet plans, whether they’re aiming to be healthier or to lose weight.”
1. Eating Fake Foods
One of the biggest problems with dietingis eating fake foods, according to Farouk. “Canned foods and pre-packed weight loss products such as shakes, soups and bars might sound convenient and easy but they might not be helping in your weight loss plan in the long run,” she said. She added you wouldnot feel satisfied or full after eating those types of foods because they are processed. “There are healthier choices such as fresh foods and home cooked meals that will provide your body with the fibre and vitamins that are needed to keep you full and energised,” she said.
2. Not Getting Enough Rest
According to Farouk, people who aren’t making enough time to relax and get enough sleep are also foiling their diet ambitions. “Sleeping less than five hours a night can slow down your metabolism and alter your hormones, which will affect your weight loss efforts.” She went on to say sleeping less will also make you tired during the day and this leads you to eat more. “A recent study shows people who are sleep deprived consume around 500 extra calories a day,” Farouk said.
3. Working Out Too Much
Going to the gym too often is another big mistake people who want to shed some weight make. Farouk said you need to go to the gym and be active, you need to burn that fun and sweat it out butexercising too much might also backfire. “Many people think if they spend more time at the gym, they will lose more weight in a shorter time. This is not true because your body gets exhausted and you will feel frustrated,” the dietician said. She explained 80% of your focus should be on nutrition and the remaining 20% on exercise. She also said you only need to go to the gym every other day or five times a week, not more because “you need your muscles and body to rest and focus on gaining energy and nutrition.”
4. Avoiding Carbohydrates
You probably think common sense dictates that when you’re on a diet, you should always order one of the salad choices on the menu, but some variation is beneficial. “Salads have zero carbohydrates and you need them to control your hunger pangs. You should change and tweak your diet with a healthy soup or a sandwich every once in a while,” Farouk said. “Add lentils, brown rice or quinoa to your greens. It’s also important to forget about adding any kind of cheese and consider the kind of salad dressing you are going to have. Remember to ask for your dressing on the side and control your quantity.”
5. Thinking Eating Healthy Allows You To Eat A Lot
Control your portions even if you are making healthier choices. Farouk advised making some changes like switching from white bread to whole wheat, using butter instead of olive oil, munching on nuts instead of chips and ditching sugary juices for fresh ones. But she said eating big quantities isn’t justified, even if you are consuming better foods. “Always remember even though they are a healthy choice, they are not low in calories and having too much is as unhealthy as the high-calorie choice,” she said.
6. Eating Dinner Too Early
Another major oversight is eating dinner early, mostly before 6 p.m. and then only drinking water for the rest of the night. “This is one of the most common mistakes, people eating early and sleeping late. You should have dinner only three hours before you go to bed and not more. This will allow your body to process the food easier and faster when you are awake,” the dietician said. She explained not eating for a long period of time will make you tired and your body will demand fuel, leading you to indulge in a midnight binge. “Manage your own schedule of eating, sleeping and exercising and just make sure to stick to it. Remember if you eat early, you should sleep early,” she added.
7. Skipping Meals and Snacks
Skipping meals and cuttingout snacks is another diet mistake, according to Farouk. “To keep your metabolism at its peak, you need to eat every three to four hours. And you need to eat more often in small portions and make sure these petiteservings are healthy and fat free,” she said. It’s best to eat around five times a day. That’s the three basic meals, which are breakfast, lunch and dinner and then you need to snack between them with a fruit, a vegetable or yogurt, the nutrition expert said. Skipping breakfast is particularly bad. “You should never, ever skip breakfast because this is the meal that will provide you with the needed energy to get through the day,” Farouk added.
8. Failing To Drink Water
Forgetting to drink water may be the most important piece to the weight loss puzzle. Water helps the body metabolise and burn fat, a function for the liver, which cannot be totally productive or metabolise fat efficiently if you are not drinking enough water. “You need to drink water to detox and get all those toxins out of your body and help you sweat more at the gym,” Farouk said. “For every cup of coffee or tea you have you should drink a glass of water.” Quite simply, it’s nature's appetite suppressant that doesn’t have any calories, fat, or cholesterol.”