AT THE OUTSET, it is important to know that the food plan you choose to follow on a daily basis for long-term benefits is a lifestyle change and not a 'diet'. However, if you want a restricted food regime—which is then a diet—there are certain things you should keep in mind.
These days, there is a plethora of self-proclaimed nutritionists who claim to be experts because they lost a tonne of weight. This does not qualify them as experts.
Do: Consult a qualified nutritionist
Don’t: Fall for quacks
Nutrition is a subject wherein people have a lot of information but lack knowledge. With TV commercials and online advertisements, it is easy to fall prey.
Do: Get your values checked and then visit a medical nutrition therapist, who will help you supplement as per your needs
Don't: Supplement over the counter
Make your healthy meal pattern a lifestyle modification. Compliance to the plan is what will give you results.
Do: Follow the plan with consistency
Don’t: Overdo the plan or binge eat
Starvation has a boomerang effect. The body needs a basic amount of calories to go through the day. When you starve, you lose weight, not fat.
Do: Take small frequent clean meals
Don’t: Skip meals or starve
Consuming fat can help lose fat. Fat has been tarnished for way too long. However, all fat is not bad fat. For example, omega-3 is one such fat which helps burn fat.
Do: Embrace healthy fats
Don't: Consume saturated fats, trans-fats
Cravings are natural. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. It is OK to satiate your craving with a small portion. This will help you stay on track.
Do: Keep yourself well-fed to avoid drops in energy levels, which will lead to cravings
Don't: Hound yourself. Exert portion control on your cheat meal. Do not make it an entire cheat day and jeopardise all the effort you put in
Eating out can be a challenge. But do not let your diet stop you from socialising. Making the right choices while you eat out is important.
Do: Ask for substitutes and dressings by the side. Walk through a buffet before you load a plate. Eat mindfully and be aware of the choices you make
Don’t: Eat out of boredom or because you are sitting at the table for longer. Do not give in to peer pressure
Share the sin
Desserts can be a weakness. A teaspoon or two will not make much of a difference. However, if you have sweet tooth, you are likely to consume more than that.
Do: Share your dessert. This way there is no guilt but you are satiated
Don’t: Be greedy and eat an entire portion of dessert.
—Chanduwadia is chief dietician, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.