Starting a diet is a common way to get healthier, but it’s not just about what you eat; it’s also important to avoid some habits that can get in the way. One big no-no is eating without thinking, like munching on snacks mindlessly.
Those quick-fix diets that promise fast results might sound good, but they often don’t work in the long run. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can slow down your body’s natural calorie-burning process and lead to overeating later.
And eating when you’re feeling upset or stressed, rather than hungry, can be a problem too. To make your diet journey a success, it’s important to stay away from these habits and focus on making healthier choices.
Some of the bad habits people follow while dieting is:
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. People take it as an unimportant meal, thinking this would reduce their calorie intake for the day.
This leads to slowing down of the metabolism and overeating later, which would lead to weight gain. Having some fruits along with yogurt or some homemade cereal bars is always a good idea for those on a diet.
It also affects one’s cognitive functioning. Skipping breakfast may put you at higher risk of certain diseases like cancer, type-2 diabetes etc.
Eating too quickly
It is often said that eating too quickly means eating too much. Since our brain needs some time to catch up with our stomach, it is always advisable to eat slowly and chew our food properly.
Taking small bites, chewing food properly, and putting your cutlery on a small break while eating would help your body to process food properly; hence you would eat only as much as required and not overeat.
Eating food too quickly may result in not only obesity but also some serious consequences like insulin resistance, high blood sugar etc.
Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is the best medicine to lose weight. It has been found in many studies that people who sleep for less than five hours a day tend to gain more weight than people who sleep for around seven to eight hours per day.
It is important to go to bed on time and not stay awake for long hours. A night of good sleep keeps both your body and mind fresh and helps them work properly. One needs to establish a proper sleep routine and follow it.
Cutting too many calories too quickly
When one thinks that it is too important to lose weight, one wants it instantaneously. This leads to cutting too many calories too quickly, one may lose weight that way, but it won’t be as one wants.
If we cut on calories, our body burns fat, which would eventually lead to the burning of muscles and slow your metabolism. Hence it is always advisable to not want to lose weight too quickly but go with the flow. Losing a pound or two per week is always considered good.
Calories never provide the entire picture of what you are consuming in a day. Instead of regulating what you eat on a day based on your calorie intake, one should start practising ‘calorie awareness’.
Avoiding all the carbohydrates
We always associate carbohydrates with weight gain but this is not always true. Our body digests Carbohydrates found in highly processed food very quickly, which leads to eating too often. But the good carbohydrates found in beans, brown rice etc, take time to digest and can help one reduce weight as it has fiber which keeps us fuller for a longer time duration.
Hence, one should intake good carbohydrates instead of avoiding them completely.
Following a gluten-free diet
Though it has become a trend in recent times to eat a gluten-free diet to stay healthy, it may work as wonders for those who are gluten intolerant but may lead to a lack of nutrients in the body of all those who aren’t struggling with celiac disease.
Food that contains gluten also contains flour, which is a good source of B Vitamins, iron etc. It is, therefore, advisable not to avoid gluten completely or go for a gluten-free diet.
Cutting out a whole food group:
Different food groups contain different nutrients that are required by our bodies. For example, meat and fish are good sources of protein, iron, and zinc, and fruit and vegetables are rich in fibre and vitamins.
Cutting on any one or more of them is never a good idea as it leads to your diet being unhealthy because of a lack of one or more nutrients in it.
Trying to eat healthy all the time
It is always advisable to eat healthy food, but there should always be a space for some unhealthy food. Overemphasizing a healthy diet may lead to an unsustainable lifestyle, also, it may become difficult to ignore all the cravings.
And if you lose control, you may end up eating way more than eating in the first place. Hence, it is good to satisfy some, if not all, cravings in the first place.
Eating too many proteins:
Though protein is one of the most important nutrients and plays an important role in building muscles, eating too much protein is never a good idea as it may lead to weight gain and dehydration.
One should avoid eating too much protein in a meal rather than prefer to eat throughout the day. Eating excess protein is never good because our body would either store it as fat or excrete it. Taking the right amount of all nutrients throughout the day is always preferable.
Going on a Detox.
Our body is meant to detox itself and we do not have to do anything in particular for it. Just eating a balanced diet with all the nutrients in the right amount serves the purpose.
Going on a cleanse or detox is never a good idea as these diets have a low content of nutrients in them which may disrupt one’s glucose level in the body and metabolism. This may lead one to have less energy in the body.
One may also suffer from frequent bowel movements and gastrointestinal distress. It may also lead to one intake less amount of less protein than required by the body. Therefore, it is never a very good idea to go for detox when on a diet.
Poor Meal Planning
Time is one of the biggest barriers to healthy eating, but last-minute decisions often lead to fast-food and pizza delivery. Taking a few minutes to plan out weekly meals before shopping for the week will save you money, calories, and time in the long run.
Too Much Added Sugar
Aside from the candies, cookies and soda that Americans already eat too much of, sugar is lurking in places you might not expect, like whole grain cereals, salad dressings, condiments and bread.
Take inventory of the total sugar in your diet and find ways to cut back on those empty calories.
Eating on the Run
Leaving the house for a busy day without packed snacks or meals sets the stage for diet disaster. You’ll resort to meals that are too processed, too heavy, and too much on your waistline.
Giant Portion Sizes
You think you can eyeball portions but have you ever really measured out your morning cereal, spoonfuls of peanut butter or olive oil for cooking? Overdoing portions can cause a calorie overload. Just do it a few times to give yourself some perspective.
Too Many Liquid Calories
It’s easy to forget that calories from soda, juices and other sugar-sweetened beverages count! Sip on calorie-free beverages like water, unsweetened teas and seltzers in place of high-calorie drinks.
Not Eating Enough Throughout The Day
Less definitely isn’t always more! Not taking in enough calories throughout the day tanks energy levels, spikes hunger, and leads to overeating later on when you’re tired and ready to eat everything in sight.
Avoid stuffing yourself into the afternoon and evening by spreading out calories starting with a healthy breakfast.
The odd snack here and there may only feel like a light bite but these extra bites tend to add up pretty quickly, and soon enough you can add up to hundreds of extra calories a day to your diet.
That’s the equivalent of inviting an extra ½ pound to your waistline every week. Snacking is one of the bad habits that stop you from losing weight, and so in turn you should avoid snacking.
We can all be guilty of passively eating at times, perhaps you are at your desk at work or watching TV while you eat, however, this type of distracted eating may add to weight gain as it can prompt you to eat more.
If you don’t pay attention while you are eating, you are not savoring your food and controlling your intake.
In conclusion, when you’re on a diet, it’s important to stay away from bad habits. Don’t eat snacks without thinking, avoid too much sugary stuff, and don’t eat because of emotions. Watch how much you eat, drink enough water, and aim for a balanced diet. By avoiding these mistakes, you can make healthier and long-lasting changes to your eating habits and stay well.
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“Mindfulness, meditation, and positivity – these three words describe me the best. I founded “BeHappyHuman” blog dedicated to spreading happiness and inner peace through mindfulness and meditation techniques. As a self-taught practitioner, I have been exploring these practices for the past decade and my passion lies in sharing their benefits with others. My mission is to help individuals achieve greater happiness.