Good habits gone bad
We often have rules about what we should and should not be doing when trying to lose weight. What if you found out you were sabotaging your own success with these rules? It sounds like a contradiction but you may have a healthy bad habit.
Watch out for these troublesome areas:
Only shopping the outer supermarket aisles
We often hear that the healthy stuff — fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy — are located in fridges and the outside aisles in a supermarket and the “bad” stuff such as the processed and packaged foods are usually found in the centre of the store.
But Jo-Anne Dembo, Diet by D’Zyne principal dietitian, said it was not that simple.
“Who said the salami from the deli counter was healthy? If you skip the middle aisles you will miss out on nutritional food choices such as dried and canned beans, rice, pasta, high-fibre breads and wholegrain cereals and canned fish, ” she said.
Loads of good fats
A gram of fat was a gram of fat, regardless of whether it was “good” or “bad” fat, Mrs Dembo said. A large avocado, for example, had about 40g of fat.
“Although this is predominantly healthy fat, it equates to about a full day of fat intake for the average female. Nuts range from about 50 to 80 per cent fat. Just because the fat content of nuts is mostly healthy does not mean you can polish off the packet.”
She suggested just small amounts of healthy fats daily, such as a spread of avocado on a sandwich and a handful of unsalted nuts as a snack.
Banning treat foods
Although tempting to do when dieting, adopting an “all or nothing” approach and treating favourite foods as forbidden fruits could do more harm than good.
“Most people who ban certain foods from their diets tend to crash and burn at some point, leading to overindulgence of that food. Give yourself permission to eat your favourite treats and have the occasional small indulgent moment, ” Mrs Dembo said. “How much and how often is the key to managing your weight goals.”
Fruit for breakfast
This may not be filling enough for many people, according to Margaret Hays, dietitian at The Nutrition Specialists. In fact, she said fruit alone might actually stimulate appetite.
“It hasn’t got any protein in it so it doesn’t make you feel full; especially if it is a high-GI fruit like watermelon. The glucose in it digests very quickly, unlike low GI which will keep you full for a long time.”
Add some yoghurt or nuts to boost the protein or make a milky fruit smoothie, which would keep you satiated and prevent you reaching for the high calorie sugar hits by mid-morning, she said.
Having a light lunch
“You’ll be hungry and reaching for chocolate or biscuits or another quick ‘pick-me-up’ afterwards. And often you’ll have more calories than if you’d had a more substantial lunch in the first place, ” Ms Hays said.
A salad and other light lunches are fine but remember to add protein and a little carbohydrate to make it much more satisfying.
“Also, a lot of women who are on their own during the day don’t want to dirty the kitchen so they’ll just have a cracker with some vegemite on it. I suggest they plate up dinner from the night before, so you don’t have to worry about making anything, ” she said.
Obsessing over calorie counts
“I think this is quite a restrictive way of eating. It takes away some of the enjoyment of food, ” Ms Hays said. “I’d rather look at food groups, see how they are being spread throughout the day, making choices based on the timing of foods and making sure you are eating regularly instead of snacking.”
There was no magical number of calories that would guarantee weight loss success. Since everybody had different metabolisms, different activity levels and different body make-ups, the oft-quoted 1200-calorie limit (5040Kjs) might be unsuitable for your body’s needs, she said.
Give yourself permission to eat your favourite treat foods and have the occasional small indulgent moment.
For more on diet and weight loss visit dietbydzyne.com.au or call (08) 9201 5100 to book for a consultation with one of their accredited dietitians.
© The West Australian