So, you’re trying to lose those excess few kilos but your efforts don’t seem to be paying off? Read on to find out if you’ve been unwittingly sabotaging yourself with these common diet mistakes.
You skimp on sleep
Whether you’re banging out a work report or watching a few episodes of your favourite Korean drama, depriving yourself of sleep for even one night can trigger hormonal changes that result in weight gain. A recent study from the University of California, Berkeley, found that “a sleepy brain appears to not only respond more strongly to junk food, but also has less ability to rein that impulse in”. Curb that impulse by making it a point to clock between six and eight hours of sleep a night.
You exercise almost every day
Unless you’re a professional athlete, over-exercising can result in the development of more muscle mass than you need. It doesn’t seem like a bad idea, but what happens is, your body will start to burn muscle instead of fat – which causes your body to store more fat. Another reason for exercise-led weight gain could be that you overcompensate on the energy burned with a post-workout feast.
You drink a lot
We’re not limiting it to alcoholic beverages, and we’re certainly not referring to plain water. Unlike calories from solid foods, liquid calories generally lack any nutritional value and barely keep us full. Scores of studies have shown that liquid calories – also known as empty calories – are one of the biggest culprits behind diabetes and obesity. Some of the worst offenders include fruit smoothies, sweetened fruit juices, and any carbonated drinks. Occasional indulgences are fine; accompanying every meal with an empty calorie-laden drink is not.
You only buy low-fat/fat-free products
Here’s the thing: When the fat content is reduced or removed, it needs to be replaced by something so as to retain the taste and texture – and that something is often flour and sugar. And because fat helps keep you full, sticking to a diet with little or no fat results in your feeling hungry sooner. A better alternative is to choose healthier fats that work to satiate you while helping you stay on the right dieting track. They include eggs, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.