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I've Got To Eat!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

You’ve been on a diet for the longest time, but aren’t losing weight or seeing the results you expected. Take this quiz to know if your eating habits are secretly sabotaging your weight-loss programme, says Sunny Rodricks

Going on a diet doesn’t just mean eating less (or less often). If you’re sneaking in calories — and most of the time we don’t even know it — you won’t hit your weight-loss goals. So, we’re bringing you a quiz to help you find out if your eating habits are doing more harm than good.

1.            How much and how frequently do you eat?

                a) I eat at least three balanced meals a day... and two snacks during the day.

                b) I eat lots of food but prefer keeping proteins, carbs and fats out of my meal.

2.            How often do you take “just a bite” when you’re cooking, if you walk past the kitchen or while preparing lunches?

                a) I prefer saving my bites for the special foods (cakes, pastries and desserts), without which I don’t think I can live!

                b) I take quite a few bites during the day, or even when I am cooking or preparing lunch for the kids.

3.            With what kind of foods do you surround yourself with?

                a) I surround myself with healthy foods and indulge in cookies on special occasions.

                b) I prefer aerated drinks, potato chips and lots of chocolates. Is that bad?

4.            Do you eat packaged and ready-to-eat foods, foods that need little preparation or fresh foods that need to be turned into healthy meals?

                a) I prefer eating fresh and home-cooked meals, preferably organic.

                b) I do eat foods such as ramen noodles and bakery products. I guess they have ingredients like emulsifiers and MSG in them, but they are included in my  cheat meals on a daily basis.

5.            Do you eat desserts or avoid them completely?

                a) I prefer eating a healthy breakfast with a sweet treat as a side dish.

                b) I prefer not to eat any type of sweets as this can hamper my weight-loss goals.

6.            How do you keep yourself hydrated?

                a) I prefer drinking plain water. I boil it rather than opting for bottled water.

                b) I get my hydration from bottled water. And sometimes, I drink it from the tap.

7.            Are you a slow eater or do you gulp down your food?

                a) I eat slowly, putting down my spoon in between bites. I try to stretch my meal to cover about 20 minutes, and stop eating when I am medium full.

                b) I am a super quick eater. I need to catch up on gossip and watch the previous night’s football match highlights in my lunch break. So, it’s usually nom nom, done!

Mostly As: It seems you and your body are in complete sync with what you are doing. You are taking good care of your diet by eating healthy foods and surrounding yourself with healthy options. By not eliminating desserts you are ensuring that the weight loss program doesn’t go in the wrong direction. Keep yourself hydrated and your ‘three meals and two snacks a day’ plan should help you reap the benefits of your hard work very soon. If you’re still not seeing any significant weight loss, it could be due to other reasons, such as not getting enough exercise, or a host of other possibilities.

Mostly Bs: It seems as though all your efforts to lose weight are in vain. By surrounding yourself with junk food like chips and by eliminating desserts completely, you are only creating more obstacles for your weight loss. Eating too fast, drinking bottled water and eating foods high in ingredients such as MSG and emulsifiers are your undoing. Make sure that you get proteins, carbohydrates and fats, as well as micronutrients that are essential for the healthy functioning of your body. Those little “bites” that you have while you’re cooking or preparing lunch add up! So, save your bites for special occasions.

STAY ON TRACK

Weight loss diets are difficult to stick to; add to that the misery of beating food cravings and it can turn the whole weight-loss process into a gruesome affair. Follow these simple tips to stay on the fitness track!

Stay well hydrated

Make sure that you’re getting plenty of water. People often confuse feelings of thirst for those of hunger. If you feel hungry or crave a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and waiting for a few minutes. If your cravings subside, you were thirsty and not hungry. Drinking water before your meals could also reduce your appetite slightly.

Get more sleep

Not getting enough sleep disrupts the hormones that let you know when you’re hungry, as your appetite is largely affected by hormones, which fluctuate throughout the day. Additionally, sleep deprivation leads to poor appetite regulation and much stronger cravings. So eat healthy meals and sleep well.

Eat more protein

Adding extra protein to your diet will do no harm to your body.

Rather, it will help you to feel fuller during the day and control your cravings. Eating more protein also helps reduce your appetite, so you don’t overeat. Fill up on foods rich in protein such as seafood, white meat, milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, beans and soy. 

Prepare a meal plan

Whether you are a working professional or a college student, it’s always helpful if you plan your meals for the week in advance. By knowing what you’re going to eat for lunch and dinner, you’ll not only eliminate the factor of spontaneity and uncertainty, but also opt for a healthy meal rather than packaged foods. And, you are unlikely to be tempted to eat unhealthy foods or junk foods at the office.

Avoid stress

Stress can lead to food cravings, and a lot of people overeat when they are stressed, destroying their own weight-loss plans. Stressed individuals eat significantly more calories, and experience more cravings. Stress also increases your levels of cortisol, a hormone that can make you gain more weight, especially in and around the belly area.

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