Everyone who has ever tried to lose weight has thought, “If it wasn’t for that one bad habit, I can achieve my goal easily.” Most of us have one or more of these common “bad habits” that could be standing in our way of losing weight. Here’s what they are and ways you can tackle them.
Even if you want to be the most determined dieter possible, if your stomach is growling all the time, chances are you will end up eating whatever is served to you. Sudden reduction of calories overnight may sound like a good diet plan for quick weight loss, but in reality, it may not work because you cannot expect the body to adjust its calorie requirement overnight.
The solution: In the first week, start with a basic normal diet plan that has the right balance of carbs and proteins and try and increase your fibre intake through salads and fruits. Ask your dietician to give you a list of ‘go-to’ foods for the first few days so you can deal with these hunger pangs with the right choices, such as a cup of yoghurt or an extra fruit or even a cup of milk at night. Over time, your body will gradually be able to adjust to the new calorie plan and you will be able to stick to it and see results.
Most of us can zip our lips to any food except something that gives us a sugar rush. After all, you don’t need to be hungry to indulge in a bit of chocolate or that piece of cake.
The solution: Often, having a vitamin deficiency can make you feel low on energy, and eating something with a bit of sugar will help you feel better. Sugar can actually be very addictive. If you have a sugar habit, and are used to having some amount of refined sugar in your daily intake, cutting it off completely may actually give you a sugar low for some time. Try to reduce your sweet intake slowly and replace bad habits with good ones. Instead of having several sugary cups of tea all day, reduce the size of the cups first and then the number. Eat at least two fruits a day so your body gets some sugar, but in a healthy form. Soon enough, you will be able to control your cravings a lot more.
LONG GAPS BETWEEN MEALS
Sometimes we get so lost in our daily routine—whether it’s a meeting that took forever to end or a traffic jam—that it makes us skip meals. The end result of any meal being skipped or postponed is usually a binge, as that’s the time your brain craves simple sugars, so all you can think of are quick sources of energy that are not necessarily healthy.
The solution: Keep a small healthy snack option handy at all times. It can be a few nuts, fruits or even a bag of green tea or a roasted snack. You may not have the time to eat an entire meal, but you need not stay hungry for four-five hours at a stretch. Having a small snack of 100-150 calories will keep your energy levels up for a little longer and help you make a healthy choice later.
Following a diet plan is not a matter of only a few days. To get substantial results, you need to be at it for at least three-six months, till your habits change for the better. However, eating the regular fare can get boring sometimes and may make you want to binge eat high calorie junk food from time to time followed by guilt pangs.
The solution: Give yourself some leeway. Instead of waiting to reach that point of frustration when you eat a lot of food that will hurt your weight and your health, give yourself a moderately high-calorie cheat meal every once in a while. Remember, planning this cheat meal is very essential. Decide what the meal is going to be (something that you crave) and decide the quantity you are going to eat in advance. It would be foolish to believe you can eat unlimited quantities of a high-calorie food and still lose weight. However, eating a moderate quantity once in a while won’t hurt and will keep you motivated to stick to your diet plan. If you feel like you do not have self-control, try to find a way to cook the food you crave in a healthier manner and enjoy it.
Being social can sometimes be a curse, especially if you are trying to lose weight. You may not even want to eat outside, but are left with no choice due to a loaded social calendar.
The solution: As most dieticians will tell you, don’t arrive at an event on an empty stomach. If you are eating at a restaurant, try to choose a restaurant that can modify the meal they serve you according to your requirement. Try to satisfy your hunger by filling up on something healthy first like a soup or a salad, and save the rest of your appetite for a homemade low-calorie snack. If there is going to be more than a single ‘outside’ meal in the week, choose which one you have to eat out at and which one can be avoided.