“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper!” – Adelle Davis, American Nutritionist and Writer
With nutritionists, dieticians and health experts world over swearing by the ‘dine like a pauper’ health formula, even you start following it. But are quickly disappointed as instead of losing weight, you find yourself gaining weight!
What could be going wrong with your Dinner?
You are choosing the healthiest food options available and making an effort to eat right foodyet you find yourself unable to lose weight and instead find yourself gaining more weight! So what could be wrong, you wonder?
The answer lies in not what you eat, but the way you are eating it! Most of us love to dine in big groups where conversation flows in abundance, but did you know that dining with lots of company is one of the reasons as to why you are becoming fat.
Following is a list of some ‘bad’ dining habits that contribute to your weight gain,
Bad Dining Habit No. 1 – Mindless Eating
Mindless eating is a very common ‘bad’ dining habit that goes unnoticed by many, leading to weight gain. Mindless eating occurs when an individual eats food while distracted by the TV, Radio, Computer or some other such attention grabber.
Distracted eating mostly leads to over eating, as one does not keep count of how much food is ingested. Other times distracted eating leads to under eating, which makes the individual feel hungry soon after dinner and increases cravings for more food – and that results in consumption of sweet or junk food.
Mindless eating also tends to occur when you snack whilst cooking, such as popping a bit of peas or munching on those ‘Bhajiyas’ while deep frying them. This can increase your calorie count significantly.
How to avoid – One can avoid mindless eating by turning the TV or Radio off while dining. As for the eating while cooking is concerned, one needs to make conscious efforts to transfer the cooked items straight to the utensils and not to their own mouths!
Bad Dining Habit No. 2 – Using Large Dishes
Portion control is most often cited as an effective way of controlling your weight. However the presence of big dinner dishes in your kitchen can lead to portion control going out of the window, as a large sized plate amounts to almost double the food on the plate and in your stomach.
And with dinner being the last meal of the day, food takes time to digest as one’s metabolism slows down considerably during the night. This means that fewer calories have been burnt, and if seen in the long term this leads to weight gain!
How to Avoid – An easy way to avoid this is to smaller sized cutlery.
Bad Dining Habit No. 3 – Eating in a large group
Another bad dining habit that actually leads to weight gain is that of eating in large groups. No one enjoys dining alone and when presented with the opportunity of dining with a large group of family or friends, no one refuses!
While dining with others is a great way to socialize, it also leads to the individual losing track of what is being eaten and most times indulging in over eating. Moreover sitting at the table with people who keep on ordering for more food can pose problems, as the ordered food will keep on finding its way on to your plate!
How to Avoid – The best way to avoid over eating when in a large group is to first order a soup instead of the entrees and follow it up with a salad or small portions of the main course.
Bad Dining Habit No. 4 – Having a variety of options to choose from
Most people end up overeating in the buffets served during weddings or parties.But with many blaming the large plate that is offered to them, they miss out on another important reason that fuels the feeding frenzy i.e. the variety of food items on offer in the buffet!
The human brain and taste buds are hotwired to become satiated after eating a certain amount of same food. However with the option of many food items being on offer, we keep on trying item after item, which results in our taste buds remaining far from satiated and our calorie count getting on the increase!
How to Avoid – When faced with a buffet, make a mental short list of what you like best from among the myriad display; and eat only those items. You can also start by drinking 2-3 glasses of water before meals which would make it impossible to overeat and which will also help with digestion.
Bad Dining Habit No. 5 – Eating too Fast
Hurried eating or scrambled eating leads to over eating in most cases, however it also has another health risk that is acid reflux. Eating too fast or gobbling up food results in the food being chewed a fewer number of times than necessary i.e. it is not broken down properly before it reaches the stomach, leading to indigestion and gas. Moreover hurried eating makes it a lot more difficult to keep track of what’s being eaten and thus leads to an increase in the calorie count and weight.
How to Avoid - Hurried eating can be avoided if one sets timings spent eating and adheres to them; this practice also helps in better digestion of the food.
Bad Dining Habit No. 6 – Skipping Dinner altogether!
While the adage ‘Dine like a Pauper’ holds merit, it does not amount to skipping of the dinner altogether;. as food is the body’s primary source of fuel, and without it or in the face of its paucity the body cannot function normally. Many of us skip dinner, especially when we return home late or are caught up with work.
People who regularly skip dinner put themselves at the risk of an off balance metabolism and a body that has entered into starvation mode – meaning it begins to stash away the fat for future use, which leads to weight gain instead of the desired weight loss.
How to Avoid – You need to discipline yourself to respond to this clock by ensuring you eat when the clock calls for it. Without such a regimen, you may be well past the right dinner time, but may not even become conscious of it; by the time you realize it is too late, and you decide to skip dinner.
So now that you know of the ‘bad’ dining habits that can make you fat, we are sure that the TV sets willbe switched off while you dine!