Dos and don'ts of dieting


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.

Qualified help

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

Consume fat

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

Eat smart

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.