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Obesity is the underlying cause of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, increased cancer risk, and much more. Even traditional healers knew that some diseases have a higher association with obesity.
However, in 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) went a step ahead and became the first professional organization to recognize obesity as a disease in itself1.
It means that diabetes should not only be managed but aggressively treated. The primary purpose of managing or treating obesity is to improve health, wellbeing, quality of life, and more.
However, many people forget about the primary goals of fighting obesity, and instead, they focus more on improving their looks and achieving fast results. That is why even some may join boot camps lasting just a couple of weeks and promising rapid and considerable weight loss.
However, doctors warn that losing body weight at the expense of well-being is not the right strategy. Any weight loss problem that may harm health is counterproductive. It beats the whole purpose of weight loss.
Thus, one needs to know about common mistakes or pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Not eating enough, eating too much
These two situations might be contradicting, but both are not so good for health. Of course, cutting down total calorie intake is the single most effective way of fast weight loss. However, not eating enough and cutting down on calorie intake are slightly different concepts.
Cutting down calories means just limiting calorie intake within the normal range. In some cases, one may even go for a very low-calorie diet, but such diets are only good for a few weeks and under medical supervision.
There are many reported cases of deaths or other severe complications caused by highly restrictive diets practiced without medical supervision. Not eating enough may cause extreme stress on the body, heart, mind, and so on. It may exacerbate certain health conditions. Prolonged practice or restrictive diet may lead to malnutrition and weakness.
On the other hand, if one eats too much, it is logical that weight loss efforts would not work. Quite often, people practicing various diets fail to consider hidden sources of calories like beverages, snacks, etc.
Thus, remember that calorie intake must be optimal or a little less than standard requirements for weight loss. However, avoid starving your body of nutrients. Similarly, overeating will make all other weight loss efforts useless.
Not paying attention to food sensitivities
Of course, food sensitivities in themselves will not lead to weight gain. However, the indirect effect of food allergies and intolerances could be weight gain.
Experts say that food intolerance or sensitivities can lead to significant inflammation, which can interfere with weight loss programs.
There are many issues like it may cause an increase in appetite, or one may need to give up any dietary measures. Moreover, it considerably increases the risk of any health issues.
Therefore, it is good to have a list of all the foods that one cannot tolerate. It means even foods that cause minor issues.
Drinking your calories
Calorie counting is essential when on a diet. However, many people fail to realize that beverages are also a considerable source of calories. Not counting these calories may be a mistake that may become a limiting factor in a weight loss program.
Most people would likely have multiple beverages a day. Just take an example of a cup of juice. It generally has close to 250 calories. It means that two large cups of packed juice may have calories almost equal to a meal.
People may drink tea and coffee multiple times a day. These beverages promote weight loss. However, if you like sweetened beverages, they may also provide a considerable number of calories a day. And still, these calories remain unaccounted for.
Now add to these alcoholic drinks. Most low alcohol drinks are high in sugars. Thus, sweet wine, semi-sweet wine, and beer are pretty high in calories.
So, let’s say a person has a glass or two of packed juice during the day, a few cups of coffee, and a drink in the evening. A person may end up drinking anywhere between 500 to 700 or even more calories.
Perhaps the best way to fix this problem is to keep an accurate record of all your beverages during the day.
Not sticking to your diet
Planning is easy; sticking to it is more challenging. Diet is not a religion, and one can make exceptions. However, some people make frequent exceptions, which may be the cause of the failure of the weight loss program.
For example, some may switch to a keto diet, and yet consume many carbs, making frequent exceptions and thus fail to induce a keto state resulting in the failure of the diet. Similarly, others may switch to a plant-based diet but make frequent exceptions. In the same way, some may compromise too frequently on their plan of intermittent dieting.
Thus, a dietary plan alone is not going to help. Likewise, making exceptions too frequently and not sticking to the diet will not work.
Just make sure that you make no exceptions, at least for the first three months, to fix this issue. After that also, an exception should be made only on weekends, but not too frequently.
Not staying hydrated
Some people do not drink enough water, but it is the best way to stay hydrated. Not only that, it may help regulate appetite and boost metabolism. Drinking enough water is essential for the success of any weight loss program2.
During weight loss, the body also produces lots of toxins, and adequate hydration is essential to promote detoxification of the body.
One of the good ways to ensure that you are staying hydrated is to have a habit of drinking water at fixed times of the day, like a cup in the morning and a cup of water half an hour before each meal.
To conclude, a weight loss program does not have to be stressful. Its ultimate goal is to improve health and wellbeing and feel energized. However, few things must be done right to have the best results.
Rosen H. Is Obesity A Disease or A Behavior Abnormality? Did the AMA Get It Right? Mo Med. 2014;111(2):104-108.
Thornton SN. Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss. Frontiers in Nutrition. 2016;3. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnut.2016.00018