Every New Year arrives for many of us with a sense of déjà vu – broken promises of a ‘Diet’.  Why are these promises broken? In most cases it is because “Fad Diets” never work. Self- experimentation and wrong nutritional guidance can play havoc with your health. The following are some of the common mistakes / myths about weight loss:

  • Skipping meals – Most often this is either breakfast or lunch due to lack of time and hectic work schedules. One can never lose weight by missing meals. In fact, starvation increases the level of stress hormones and encourages the body to conserve the energy by turning it into fat.
  • Eating only soups / salad / boiled food / single food diets – These are non-sustainable diets in the long run. You will be amazed at the variety one can get to eat in a well-planned diet and still manage to reduce weight.

  • Internet misinformation – Not all information on internet is reliable. It’s always better to seek professional help from your doctor or dietician.
  • Unrealistic expectations – Drastic weight loss plans boomerang and result in equal or more weight gain once you are “off “the plan. Weight loss has to be essentially loss of fat from the body. Else, one can end up losing muscle mass, bone density and body water, resulting in hair loss, dry skin, anaemia, chronic fatigue, irritability, mood swings and osteoporosis, just to name a few.
  • No two individuals are same. Many of us can have various underlying problems like hormonal imbalance, hypothyroidism, vitamin / mineral deficiencies etc., which need to be addressed in a customized, holistic fashion.

Instead of going on a diet, let’s make a resolution to become healthier, happier and fitter people. Nourishment, not deprivation is the key. Weight loss should just be a very natural by-product of this process.

Geeta Shenoy
Consultant dietician and nutritionist