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When it comes to weight loss, we tend to get so carried away that we end up trying every trick in the book, written or recommended, by every and any Tom, Dick, or Harry.
All this—without even knowing, or thinking about the real consequences of adopting foolish weight-loss plans—just to make those extra pounds go away.
So, eating less, or restricting your diet, or simply eating clean won’t yield any results. You have to ensure that you avoid making these 5 diet mistakes that can actually make you gain weight:
1. Your diet’s unrealistically restricted
Ladies, regardless of what the headline says, the term ‘weight loss diet’ is the real problem. It gives off a vibe that says, “follow this diet and lose weight quickly” in most cases. Thus, we end up setting unrealistic goals like losing the weight we’ve probably gained over a few years in just a matter of days or months. The result? Well, overtly-restricted diets that throw you in a drastic calorie deficit, leaving you feeling hungry, fatigued, and cranky all day. GM Motor is a classic example of one such diet. It’ll make you lose weight in a week, but you’ll feel like a dead body walking around with no energy and gain the lost weight back once you’re off the diet much faster. Hence, the best way is to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Another problem with restrictive diets is how they end up cutting food groups out. A gluten-free diet, low-carb diet, or a ketogenic diet that involves consuming a high quantity of fats and protein are great examples of such problematic diets. According to research conducted at the John Hopkins Medicine, the human brain needs 130 grams of carbs to function properly. So, when you cut out carbohydrates, you’re basically hampering your brain function. That’s not it. Eliminating food groups from your diets can cause nutritional deficiencies in your body, render you physically weak, and even slow down your metabolism eventually—making you gain weight.
2. You’re placing too much faith in diet foods and sodas
Many packaged foods and chips come with the label of ‘diet’/ ‘no-fat’/ ‘sugar free’. Now, these are nothing but marketing antics that fool you into buying these high-calorie foods that are also loaded with sodium (the added preservatives and salt). This ultimately only raises your overall calorie intake and sodium increases water retention, making you feel bloated.
As for the sugar-free items, you’ve got to know that according to a study published in the journal Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism, the aspartame present in the artificial sweeteners used to replace sugar in such products can make you gain weight by drastically raising your blood glucose levels and ultimately saving that extra glucose as fat.
3. You eat too many empty calories
By empty calories, we mean foods that don’t have a high nutritional value but are still high in calories.
From canned juices to sugary beverages to sweetened teas to even cookies, biscuits, and chips—you can restrict yourself throughout the day, but you could still be increasing your calorie intake by innocently continuing to consume sugary beverages or simply snacking on a packet of chips after having a salad for dinner.
4. You think ‘fats’ are the real enemies
Your body needs nine types of essential fats from food as it cannot produce them on its own. When you ‘consciously’ decide to stay off fats, thinking that they might make you ‘fat’, you’re only denying your body what it really needs.
That said, you obviously have to steer clear of trans fat which usually comes from the oily/junk food that we love so much. However, good fat such as omega-3 fatty acids can help you stay fit and even lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your body, thus boosting your heart health.
5. You skip meals
Whether you’re just too busy to eat on time or starve yourself so that you eat less and stay in a calorie deficit, skipping meals is a terrible idea when it comes to weight loss, says a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Basically, when you don’t eat for too long, the blood sugar levels decrease and you feel fatigued because your body cannot function efficiently without the energy that it gets from the food you eat. This throws your body into the ‘survival’ mode, wherein, it starts breaking down muscles to derive energy. Losing muscle means your metabolism is going to slow down eventually and so will your weight-loss journey. That’s not it.
Skipping meals can also make you crave high-calorie foods because when you’ve starved yourself for so long, your body asks for a ‘reward’. At such times, you tend to give in to your cravings since your brain’s not even functioning at its optimum capacity.
So, eat small meals at regular intervals instead of staying hungry.
Ladies, if losing weight is your goal, you’ve got to know that it is important to do so in a healthy way.