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Dieting is not the easiest challenge to accomplish, especially when we tend to look at food as a way of making ourselves feel better sometimes! But if this becomes a habit, your eating may be focused more on satiating your emotions, rather than your hunger. Answer the following lifestyle quiz set by our nutrition expert to find out what changes you need to make to your eating habits, to help you on your weight-loss journey!
Fact or Myth – Find Out the Truth About These Weight Loss Tips
While restricting unhealthy foods and including healthier options in your diet is the right way to begin your weight loss journey, you may be making certain mistakes in the elements of the diet – or choosing the wrong diet altogether!
1. Fad Diets Are Actually of No Use – Fact
Fad diets are diet plans that promise a drastic drop in body weight in a short while, without incorporating exercise into your daily routine. But they usually result in quick weight loss by means of following an unbalanced, and consequently, unhealthy diet. It may include certain foods that seem to do the trick but eating the same thing over a long period of time becomes unappealing. Apart from this, the results of a fad diet are not long-lasting, and you may find yourself quickly putting back on the weight you lost a short while ago. This occurs because fad diets claim to make you lose fat, while it is usually water weight that you are losing. It can also increase your susceptibility to chronic diseases and harm your overall health.
2. Non-Fat is the Way to Go for Weight Loss – Myth
Don’t judge a book by its cover – or a food item by its ‘non-fat’ label! You may think that the low fat cheese you ate last week was harmless enough, but this is not the case. A lot of foods claim to be non-fat while offering no such benefit. Instead, take note of the calorie count of the ‘non-fat’ food item and compare it to a product without the label. In most cases, the calorie content will be somewhat the same. You can actually go for the real thing, which will offer you more satisfaction, but in smaller amounts.
3. Food Eaten After 9 p.m is Making You Gain Weight – Myth
Here’s the thing – calories don’t go by the clock. Taken in at any point of the day, your body works the same way with food. That said, people who tend to resort to that extra sweet snack right before bed would be better off without it – instead, go for fruit slices or cereal with milk, which are lighter on calories, but still satiate hunger.
4. As Long As You’re Working Out, It Doesn’t Matter What You Eat – Myth
Your weight will always be attributed to 80% of what you eat, and 20% of how much you exercise; which means you can’t make up for eating that slice of cake with an hour on the treadmill. The need to reward yourself with food after a heavy workout can arise, but trying to outrun your diet can become a regular and unhealthy habit, which pulls you back on your weight-loss journey.
5. Diet Drinks May Be Causing You to Put on Weight – Fact
While everything is okay in moderation, even excessive consumption of seemingly healthy diet soda drinks, for that matter, have shown to contribute to weight gain; a relation that is to be explored more. At the moment, researchers believe that the body is still tasting the sweetness from the artificial sweeteners in these drinks, which tend to move existing calories of storage into fat.
Watch: Does Diet Soda Make You Gain Weight?
The experiment conducted in the video seeks to find out what happens in our bodies when we drink diet soda.
- Gabriel Weston from the BBC Earth Lab tests her blood sugar level after drinking diet soda, while her counterpart, Ben, tries the same with a regular sugary drink.
- They test their sugar levels before and after drinking the two sodas. Ben’s rose to 6.5 from 4.6, while Gabriel’s rose from 4.4 to 4.2.
- Some research suggests that the brain takes in the sweet taste and expects calories to enter the body. But since the calorie count hasn’t risen too much, it sends messages across the body to eat more! More research is needed to prove the same.
Lifestyle Quiz – Do You Eat for Your Body or Your Mind?
How often have you found yourself reaching for that bar of Snickers even when you weren’t particularly hungry? We all tend to indulge in emotional eating occasionally; until we see how those occasional binges have contributed to the few extra kilos we’ve put on! Grab a pen and paper to answer this lifestyle quiz, to know if you’re eating to satisfy your hunger or emotions!
1. How easily can you lose weight?
A. Fairly easily if I work on it.
B. It is very hard for me to lose weight.
2. How comfortable are you to plan your meals and cook?
A. I enjoy planning and preparing my meals
B. I don’t enjoy cooking at all and tend to make last minute plans for my meals.
3. How long have you struggled with your weight issues?
A. 2-5 years
B. More than 5 years
Do You Disagree or Agree with the Following Statements?
1. Eating, especially desserts and fried foods, is my way of de-stressing and makes me feel better if I’m anxious.
2. I don’t find the time to get physically active.
3. The number on the weighing scale can affect my confidence if it is not what I hoped for.
4. I tend to avoid social gatherings because of my weight issues.
5. I have no control over what and how much I eat.
6. I usually give importance to others needs over my own.
7. I will eat food if it is around me, even if I am not hungry.
How Did You Do?
If you chose mostly As – You may require a slight dietary modification and physical activity. Make sure to follow a balanced diet and get that body moving!
If you chose mostly Bs – You may be in need of behavioural therapy, in addition to dietary modification and physical activity. You may be low on self-confidence and self-monitoring, and may eat to feel better in your moments of anxiety. Therapy can help you overcome your dependence on food, while changing your dietary pattern and including exercise can help you on your weight-loss journey.
FAQs on Diet Plan – The Expert Answers
The following FAQs on choosing the right diet have been answered in consultation with nutrition consultant Dr Minal Acharya, PhD Nutrition, who is also a visiting faculty at the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS).
1. How Will My Health Issues Affect My Diet Plan?
It is important to review the health or medical problems of the person as they may affect the weight of the individual or ability to lose weight. Certain health conditions that make it hard to lose weight are hormonal disorders like Cushing’s disease, Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and Hypothyroidism, metabolic diseases like diabetes, and eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. Certain medicines also can interfere with weight loss efforts; for example, medication for allergies (antihistamines), high blood pressure (alpha or beta blockers), diabetes (insulin or sulfonylureas) and depression. A diet will then have to be planned, taking these into consideration.
2. Will the Nutritional Levels of My Body Get Affected by Dieting?
Sound weight loss achieved by the correct eating plan is based on a balanced diet, which has the correct quantity of a variety of food groups. Hence, nutritional levels will not be negatively affected.
3. How Do I Control My Hunger Pangs?
Weight loss requires restriction of calories. However, it does not mean that one has to remain hungry. There are some of the effective ways to control hunger pangs while trying to lose weight:
- Have fibre rich foods which take longer to digest, keep you full, and at the same time, provide lesser calories. Include lots of seasonal variety of fruits and vegetables (keep the skin wherever possible), coarse grains, legumes and nuts in your daily diet.
- Have small frequent meals. Divide your calorie intake for the day into small 5-6 wholesome meals, so that you do not experience hunger pangs and are not tempted to grab onto unhealthy foods.
- Stay hydrated. Having adequate fluids helps to curb hunger pangs in between meals. Drink plenty of water. Fluids like low-fat buttermilk and coconut water add to your fluid intake.
- Watch your sugar intake. Studies have shown that foods which are rich in simple sugars, whether table sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, or honey, are addictive. They make your body want more and hence, eat more.
Well, there you have it! Your diet is directly dependent on the lifestyle that you follow – so make slow but consistent changes to your daily routine, and experience the difference yourself!