Forget about the fad diets – those are bad and we all know it. But you might not be aware of some unintentional things you’re doing that are messing with your healthy eating plan. We list down some of the most common 11 habits that you need to avoid:
1.Consuming too little calories during the day
It is tempting to resort to insane calorie restrictions to lose weight. But, is it ever healthy? You might lose the weight but it won’t be sustainable in the long run. When you lose weight, your body burns fat. Deprive yourself of too many calories, though, and your body will start burning muscle instead of fat. This can then slow down your metabolism since your muscles are the part of your body that are most metabolically active.
So while you might be thinner, you might end up being “flabby” too, thanks to all the muscle you’re losing. We recommend dropping no more than one to two pounds per week for sustainable weight loss.
2.Going on a detox
The truth is, our bodies have their own unique cleansing mechanism built right in. There is no need to adopt any form of juice detox or cleansing plan. Your body is well equipped to cleaning itself and ensuring you return to health after eating “bad food” for weeks.
3.Cutting out carbs completely
The problem isn’t with carbs as a whole but the wrong kind of carbs that result in weight gain.
Highly processed carbs that are found in foods like crackers, white rice, pizza, and mashed potatoes are digested very quickly, Ansel said. This means that you’re more likely to get hungry right after eating these kinds of carbs, causing you to overeat and possibly gain weight.
But eating healthy carbs — the kind that are found in quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and beans — can actually aid in weight loss because they’re loaded with fiber. Fiber fills us up, therefore keeping us fuller for longer.
4.Opting a gluten free diet without having Gluten Intolerance
While cutting out gluten can work wonders for those who struggle with Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity, it can backfire for those who have no reason to avoid gluten. Most foods that contain gluten also contain flour that is fortified and enriched with B vitamins like folate and iron. Studies have shown that by not eating these foods, we can become deficient in those nutrients.
Skipping meals results in overeating. So imagine this, you wake up and skip breakfast. Somehow, you also end up skipping lunch, by the time you sit down for dinner, you’re ready to inhale food. That level of starvation can lead to you making bad choices in terms of what to eat and how much.
6.Eating many small meals throughout the day
Although it may seem like you’re eating less by grazing all day instead of eating actual meals, all you’re really doing is messing with your body’s natural feelings of fullness and hunger. Your body is programmed to eat, spend some time digesting, and then get hungry again. Eating every few hours is not only unnecessary, but it also derails this process.
Plus, it’s harder to eat healthy when you’re constantly eating smaller snacks as opposed to a larger meal. Getting all the nutrients you need into all the mini meals you’re eating takes careful preparation and planning that not many people are willing or have the time to do.
You can count calories all day long and still be eating foods that aren’t healthy for you. Besides the fact that calorie counting often becomes an obsessive habit, it also doesn’t guarantee that what you’re eating is healthy.
8.Trying to eat clean all the time
The importance of a cheat meal cannot be stressed enough. Trying to eat 100% healthy all of the time likely won’t be able to sustain that lifestyle, and will end up overindulging at some point when their cravings become too hard to ignore. Eventually you’re going to have dessert, and when you do it’s going to be a lot more than you would have had if you just let yourself have an ice cream cone in the first place when you wanted it.
9.Not getting enough sleep
Skimping on sleep not only leaves you feeling tired and in a brain fog the next day, but it can also negatively affect your waistline. A recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found people (particularly women) with worse sleep quality (or a lack of sleep) ate more — including more foods with added sugar — throughout the day than those who slept well. Sleep deprivation can mess with hormones responsible for regulating hunger levels, leading you to overdo it the next day.
10.Not focusing on your hydration
It’s easy for hydration to fall by the wayside when you’re busy with work, exercising, parenting and eating healthy. However, if you’re dehydrated, your body can confuse thirst for hunger, leading you to overeat (not to mention dehydration can leave you feeling dizzy, tired, confused and can cause headaches).
11.Eating in front of the TV
Let’s be honest. We all do this. Bingeing on “Friends” or something else on Netflix has become a regular activity while we eat. What ends up happening is that while we mindlessly scroll through social media, checking our email or watching a TV show, we tend to overeat. When we’re distracted while eating, it takes longer for our bodies to register we’re full. We also don’t taste the food as well because we are more focused on what’s on the screen than on our plate.