If you have been trying to lose weight for a long time but to no avail, you might be making some common mistakes. According to experts, people might be trying to achieve a rapid weight loss instead of following a systematic diet and exercise regimen.
Obesity or excess weight invites many health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, kidney diseases, hypertension, polycystic ovarian disease, sleep apnoea, joint pain, liver disease, infertility etc. and it is important to lose weight or fat over the period of time to prevent from the risk of these chronic diseases, says Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker, Laparoscopic and Bariatric surgeon, Saifee Hospital, Apollo Spectra, Namaha and Currae Hospitals, Mumbai.
“Weight loss is not just the result of eating less and exercising more. Unfortunately, misleading crash diets, weight loss products and celebrity weight loss journeys trending on the internet have a deep impact on the minds of those suffering from obesity,” she adds.
Dr. Bhasker explains some common reasons why people do not lose weight or struggle with maintaining the weight loss:
1. Following very low calorie diets:
People often feel that eating less would lead to less calorie intake which would help in weight loss. But is it true? “Social media is to be largely blamed for this, as it is not a healthy way of losing weight,” says Dr. Bhasker.
Ïn fact a low calorie diet could play havoc with body’s metabolism. “Eating very few calories compels the body to preserve more and decrease the energy expenditure for survival,” says registered dietician, Mariam Lakdawala.
While these diets will initially seem to work but not after a point. When continued for longer periods, these diets also tend to increase cravings for high calorie foods.
2. Abandoning the diet suddenly
“Once the weight stops dropping even after eating less, it leads to demotivation. Cravings and demotivation together often result in emotional or binge eating. A sudden increase in the calorie intake causes the weight to bounce back. Multiple failed attempts of yo-yoing between weight loss and weight gain do a lot of harm to the body. This can result in nutritional deficiencies, excess loss of muscle mass, low energy levels, constant feeling of tiredness and lethargy,” says Dr. Bhasker.
3. Not consuming enough fibre and protein
Self-supervised diets often lack in adequate amounts of protein and fiber. Adding protein and fiber rich foods to your diet increases satiety and energy expenditure. As the body burns more calories to metabolise these nutrients there is a decrease in food cravings and improved sustainability, adds Dr. Bhasker.
4. Relying on just health products
In order to get quick weight loss, many get lured by various weight loss products which are sold as standalone solutions for weight loss. “People feel simply by replacing meals with powders, consuming 2-3 cups of green tea or taking fat burners will do the needful. It doesn’t work that way as treating obesity needs a more holistic approach which cannot be temporary,” says the doctor.
Tips to lose weight slowly but steadily:
1) Aim for a slow but steady weight loss of 0.5-1 kg per week.
2) Eat a balanced diet to prevent nutritional deficiencies. The idea is to lose weight over the period of time and not depriving your body of essential nutrients.
3) Make healthy food choices and build a lifestyle or a way of life that helps you maintain your weight.
4) Every person with obesity will not lose weight at the same rate with same kind of diet. There are individual differences that must be taken into account. Thus, a customised, well-planned diet and exercise regime will result in best weight loss outcomes, says Dr. Bhasker.