Obesity is an epidemic, and we all want to escape it. So, if you have put on a few unwanted pounds, the urge to immediately lose them can sometimes cause you to make mistakes. In our over-zealousness and because of all the misinformation flooding the internet, it is very possible that we might unknowingly be committing mistakes, like doing the wrong exercises or eating the wrong things.
To stop you from making mistakes at the dinner table, Bright Side has listed some of the most common diet mistakes. You could be guilty of committing some of these too!
1. Thinking that all calories are equal
All calories are not equal, there are good ones and there are bad ones. The calories that you ingest when eating vegetables are good, while the calories you ingest when you eat a large burger are bad. This is because the amount of insulin released by the body depends more on the type of calories you are consuming, than on the amount of calories you are consuming.
2. Choosing only low-fat or diet food
Processed, low-fat, or “diet” foods are often considered to be the ideal choice when it comes to losing weight, but that might not always be true. Many of these so-called healthy foods are often loaded with sugar to improve their taste.
Therefore, instead of keeping you full, low-fat foods are more likely to make you hungrier, and you might end up actually eating even more. It is healthier to choose a combination of nutritious, minimally processed food products instead.
3. Not eating enough protein
Protein is the single most important nutrient if you are aiming for weight loss. A high protein diet improves metabolism, reduces the appetite, and positively impacts several weight-regulating hormones. It also helps protect muscle mass during weight loss. A study found that a diet containing about 0.6–0.8 grams of protein per lb, may help with appetite control, and improve your body’s composition.
4. Lacking fiber in your diet
Adding enough fiber to your meal can help reduce your appetite by filling you up. Fiber also helps with weight loss by making the body absorb fewer calories from other foods. Studies show that doubling your daily fiber intake can result in up to 130 fewer calories being absorbed. You can add fiber to your food by making little changes to your diet like switching to brown whole grain bread, instead of normal white bread.
5. Eating too often, even if you are not hungry
We are often advised to eat small portions and at multiple times during the day, if we want to lose weight, rather than have big meals 3 times a day. However, this is not true. Eating when you’re hungry and only when you’re hungry is the key to losing weight. This is because eating too often, even if you eat less, can unknowingly lead to too many calories being consumed over the course of the day.
6. Following the advice about never skipping breakfast
Another piece of advice that we often hear is to never skip breakfast, without even taking our appetite into account. This advice is not exactly true. A study found that people who skip breakfast consumed more calories at lunch, compared to those who had breakfast. However, when the calories consumed during the entire day were counted, it was found that they had consumed an average of 408 fewer calories.
7. Drinking packaged fruit juice
People who strive for weight loss mostly stop drinking soft drinks and other sweetened drinks. But they often forget about packaged fruit juices. Even 100% fruit juice is packed with enough sugar to make your weight loss plans go awry. For example, 12 ounces of unsweetened fruit juice may contain about 36 grams of sugar. That’s more than in 12 ounces of soda.
8. Not eating whole, single-ingredient foods
The worst culprits for your weight gain are highly processed foods. Studies suggest that processed foods are a major contributor to the current obesity epidemic. The best thing to do, if you care about your health, is to go for whole food because they are self-limiting, which means that they are very hard to overconsume.
9. Eating a lot and not including fresh fruits in your diet.
Last but not least, eating too much and not including fresh fruits in your diet can also make your weight loss dreams remain dreams. The best fruits for weight loss are watermelons, pears, apples, and grapefruits.
While shopping it is recommended to only purchase food items that you know you can eat while they are still fresh. Stocking up your fridge unnecessarily can cause you to eat more than you had originally planned.
So, which mistakes have you been making? Share your little secret with us in the comments below. Don’t forget to share this article if you liked it.
Illustrated by Anastasiya Pavlova, Daniil Shubin, and Elena Sorokina for Bright Side