“My life is a constant battle between my love of food and not wanting to be fat!” It’s a common dilemma with every foodie who wants to lose weight since he gives up his favourite foods in a bid to attain a perfect physique. Most dieters who are unable to view any change on the weighing scale often wonder where they are going wrong despite diligently following every rule in the diet book. They often get bogged down by questions like: I am eating soup and salad for dinner, still my weight refuses to budge or I work out regularly still weigh the same.
We at bon happetee, believe in feeding the foodie within you without compromising your weight loss efforts, so first, let’s understand the barriers that come in your way. And then, find solutions to overcome them as well!
- 4 pm hunger and cravings
It’s 4 pm and you can feel the butterflies in your stomach doing a rigorous bhangra. The cravings occurring between lunch and dinner are possibly the biggest barrier faced in your diet plan for losing weight because these cravings occur on a daily basis. Having access to fast foods and packaged foods that are high in salt, sugar or fat doesn’t make it any easier! And since these foods satisfy our taste buds, it is easy to over-indulge! All in all, these cravings give a serious blow to all your weight loss efforts. But, try to understand the reason behind them. These 4 pm cravings occur because you have either skipped breakfast or eaten a very light lunch like a fruit plate or a bowl of salad. How to combat those hunger pangs that kick in the evening and don’t get satisfied with green tea and 2 biscuits recommended by the nutritionist in your meal plan for weight loss? The easiest way would be to eat a king-sized breakfast and eat a proper lunch that consists of dal, roti, rice, and sabzi. By eating a proper breakfast, you are revving up your metabolism (which means high-calorie burning) and keeping hunger pangs, including craving for junk food or desserts, arising later in the day in check.
But sometimes you still feel like having that evening snack and a fruit or some curd just won’t do the job. At times like these, the best way to satisfy these cravings is to eat home-cooked food because nothing is junk when cooked at home. If you are at home, you can whip up a wrap (using a leftover chappati at lunch and veggies) or bhel or a sandwich. For office, you can carry your favourite homemade parathas, theplas or boiled corn and reheat them in the microwave. And if it isn’t possible to carry some snack to work, you can have grilled sandwich, dosa or bhel puri available at the office cafeteria and share it with your colleague. Sharing your meals is a good way to bond with your colleague and keeping your food intake in check. But yeah, make sure you eat a proper snack when hunger strikes because if you don’t satisfy those hunger pangs then, they are definitely going to make you overeat at dinner and possibly a dessert later.
- Late night snacking
Late night snacking is a sneaky habit which is a sure-shot way to make you fat because eating late at night means conversion of food to fat. I recollect the dietary recall of one of my clients who would end up eating a late night snack once in a while and his weight refused to budge. While assessing his eating habits, I noticed that the days he was binging on late night snacks were also the days when he had eaten a very light breakfast or missed his mid meals in the morning or evening. In such a situation, eating a proper breakfast and small frequent meals every 2-3 hours could easily solve the problem.
You’ve eaten a large bowl of vegetable soup and a plate full of salad at 8:30 pm for dinner. You rejoice because you’ve eaten a light dinner. It’s 10 pm and you find yourself rummaging through the refrigerator for ice-cream and kitchen shelves for chips or biscuits because you’re HUNGRY. Late night hunger pangs are a common occurrence while you are adhering to a soup and salad dinner. Without roti and rice at dinner, you’re inviting late night snacking because soup and salad simply fill your stomach without satisfying your hunger. The wiser choice would be to eat your roti or rice in a limited quantity instead of opting for no-carb dinner. Yes, your dinner must be light but it must include roti/rice since these cereals are a powerhouse of energy giving carbs and fiber which keep your digestive system working like makhan.
Sometimes staying up late or watching late night TV can also make you indulge in munching. Hitting the bed early or simply brushing your teeth (Yes you heard it right!) can help keep this late night munching in check. And finally, if you still feel like eating that late night snack, don’t suppress it because that hunger may come in the way of a good night’s sleep. Fruits, milk, nuts or buttermilk are your best bets when hunger at night hits in!
- Skipping breakfast:
A lavish dinner or a breakfast buffet? Surely, you would prefer eating a lavish dinner over breakfast, wouldn’t you? While we can whet an appetite for a dinner of dal, roti, sabzi, rice, papad, pickle and even dessert, we grimace at the thought of eating a single paratha or half a bowl of poha for breakfast. Not having time for breakfast because you have to rush to office or because you are not hungry as you had munched on a couple of cookies late at night (as you had skipped dinner) or simply because you don’t feel hungry in the morning – there are umpteen excuses for skipping breakfast. Not having this super-important meal is possibly the most common barrier to weight loss.
Skipping breakfast implies not only overeating at lunch but also craving for fatty and sugary foods, which puts you at risk of gaining rather than losing weight. Time to stop making excuses and get the upma, poha and puri bhaji (yes, you heard it right!) back on the breakfast menu. After all, you want to kick-start your day on a power-packed and tasty note and lose weight as a side-effect, don’t you?
- Calorie and food restricted diet that ignores taste
Oats, upma or aloo paratha? Ask any person on a weight loss diet to choose between the two for breakfast. Chances are he will opt for aloo paratha because it tastes better than the nutritious oats upma.
Most weight loss programs ignore the taste factor and get into the complicated jargon of calories and nutrients, which is the main reason why they fail. Soup & salad may score high on nutrients but they surely don’t tantalize the taste buds. After all, food is not just about nutrients but palatability & taste as well. Since these foods are labelled as diet food, it is easy to overeat them. Overeating implies that the extra calories get converted to fat and subsequent weight gain, which means all your weight loss efforts go down the drain. Instead of the bland tasting oats, upma, if you were recommended eating a single aloo paratha wouldn’t it make your weight loss much easier?
- Social functions, frequent eating out
“The toughest part of a diet isn’t watching what you eat. It’s watching what other people eat”!! Food remains the focus of any social gathering right from a picnic or kitty party to a wedding. We tend to gauge any social event, not on the basis of ambience or occasion, but on the food spread and quality of food, don’t we? Such parties come in the way of our weight loss because it’s difficult restricting our food intake with such an impressive array of scrumptious dishes.
So, how do we to sail through our weight loss when the party season is on in full swing? Scan through the entire spread and opt for the healthier food choices. You can definitely reward yourself by eating a bite or two of the scrumptious brownie that everyone is raving about later 😉 And if you want to party guilt-free, just follow our tips and you can party your heart out!
- Eating your food too quickly
You’re on a weight loss program and are eating frequent meals, avoiding fried food and desserts and still haven’t lost weight? While focusing on healthier food choices, we tend to overlook the other important aspects of our eating habits like chewing or the time taken to finish a meal. And guess what? Chewing your food fast could end up making you fat. Confused? Well, it takes approximately 20 minutes for the hormones in the stomach to send the signal of satiety to the brain. Chewing your meals properly gives ample time to the brain to register that you are full and as a result, you end up eating less. When you gobble your meals, you are very likely to end up overeating which derails all your weight loss efforts.
- Taking exercise as a license to overindulge
So I have eaten an extra scoop of chocolate ice-cream at last night’s party. No problem. I’ll walk for an extra 20 minutes tomorrow morning to burn the calories. Isn’t that the thought process that goes in your mind every time you overeat? Along with certain changes in your eating pattern, exercise is an inevitable part of your weight loss program because exercise helps you burn calories, which is why we tend to over-exercise every single time we go overboard. Time to burst the bubble – You are never going to attain your dream figure even if you exercised throughout the day if you are constantly indulging in junk food or eating dessert post-dinner every night.
By overestimating the calories burnt while exercising and underestimating the calories eaten we end up creating a major hurdle in our weight loss journey. A calorie burnt can be a calorie burnt but a calorie eaten is not a calorie eaten. The calories which we consume depend on so many other factors and besides it’s the quality of calories which you consume that matters and not the quantity. For example, you get the same number of calories from a serving of potato chips and vegetable grilled sandwich, it’s not rocket science to understand that which type of calories is suitable for your body! So eat mindfully and don’t govern your eating pattern by the calorie in v/s calorie out formula!
Now that we have discussed all the possible barriers and solutions that you will be required, I am confident that your weight loss should be a smooth-sailing one. We have developed an app that chalks out interesting customized food combinations/menu plans and helps you dig into your favourite foods from time to time without any guilt. You can eat your way to weight loss without getting into the complicated jargon of calories. It’s time to break the barriers and achieve your weight loss goals smartly and easily with our diet plan app.
Following a good diet is a lot easier than it seems – Stop counting calories, carbs, protein etc … this app scores your meals on a scale of 1-10 and that’s all you need to count. Play it like a game for 5 mins daily and lose weight by achieving scores of 8 and above.
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.