Most of us maintain a strict diet to ensure weight loss. Sometimes, however, we realise we are not losing weight no matter how hard we try. There is no change in our body. To address the issue we got into a conversation with nutritionist Huda Shaikh. A certified diabetes educator and the founder of NutriBond, Shaikh gave us a detailed look into what consists of a healthy diet and what we can do to ensure a balanced intake of food.
1. What does a proper diet mean?
A proper diet or a balanced diet is one which gives you a good blend or combination of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), fluids, and enough calories. It imparts energy and provides nutrients needed for proper growth and functioning of the body along with boosting immunity and ensuring healthy development.
As per the NIN (National Institute of Nutrition), there are 4 food groups: cereals, millets, pulses; milk and milk products, dairy, and dairy products; meat, egg, and fish; oils, fats, nuts, and oilseeds. So one must include these to make sure you are getting enough energy and nutrition.
A healthy diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables (3 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit), whole grains (5-6 servings), lean meat (1 serving a day), pulses (2 servings) nuts and seeds (in portions, 1 serving a day), dairy and dairy products (3 servings a day) and at least 3-4 liters of water a day.
To put it down simply 50-60% energy needs to come from carbohydrates, 20-25% from proteins, and 15% from good fats (omega 3 and omega 6).
Keep the consumption of empty calories (aerated drinks, juices, chips, burgers, etc.) to a minimum.
2. How does it help our body?
A balanced diet or proper diet helps in maintaining one’s ideal weight that would in turn prevent the chances of attracting diseases. It can help in preventing non-communicable diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, dyslipidemia, certain types of cancers, and skeletal issues. Moreover, it enhances your immunity, brings all-round development, delays aging, alleviates one’s mood, improves memory, enhances gut health, and induces good sleep.
3. Why do we not lose weight even when we are on a strict diet?
There can be several reasons why there is a strict diet doesn’t always result in weight loss:
- You are stressed pretty often.
- If you are overeating, then it is not mindful eating.
- You are not consuming enough protein in the diet.
- Your water intake is low and you drink aerated drinks or juices often.
- You don’t get enough rest or sleep throughout the day.
- You are eating very often (small and frequent meals doesn’t mean you need to eat every hour) which means you eat even when you are not hungry.
- You are starving yourself and skipping meals too often.
- You are often tempted to take up fad diets/crash diets.
- You are not exercising or exercising very little.
- You are opting for health products that are marketed as healthy but are not fit for your health (low-fat, diet food, low-carb).
- Your diet lacks fibre.
- You don’t read labels and buy a product just because it makes certain claims.
Diet and weight loss go hand-in-hand as long as we are maintaining a stability between what we eat and how we exercise. Balancing between the two will certainly ensure that you achieve the body structure you are striving for.
Note: We always ensure that our community is at the top of things when it comes to staying informed about nutrition and its importance to our body’s growth. Read more articles on nutrition right here.