I have been piling up weight like a triathlete during an off-season bulking phase for the last few months. My hormones seem to be all over the place. And my skin has created a mind of its own, and I cannot sleep well either. I was not so worried until I decided to go out for a picnic, and for the first time in several months, I decided to dress up. To my surprise, all my favourite pants felt tight at the waist.
I want to blame the pandemic in every way possible, but my diet has immensely changed. Now that I am working from the house, I bake a lot, and I find myself snacking more frequently during the day. I am not the uncommon one here, am I? According to OnePoll’s recent survey, 76% of respondents shared they have put on up to 16 pounds during their time in self-isolation.
Most of the healthy habits I once embraced have disappeared, and now I plan some fancy dinners, bake and drink more alcohol. My new diet is bringing chaos to my body. I have gained more weight.
There is no shame in gaining two or three pounds. But it becomes a slippery journey if you don’t watch out: 3 pounds turn to five, and five to ten. Here, all manner of health issues surface. Being fat-shamed is not one of my biggest concerns in these unprecedented times, but excellent health is.
If you mindlessly snack due to stress, boredom, or even anxiety, think about rewriting your health story. Start by taking care of your weight, and by doing so, you need to understand how much your diet affects your weight.
Does Your Diet Affect your Weight?
Yes, your diet turns out to be a significant player in how much you weigh. Your weight maintenance is determined by the number of calories you eat or drink so that the body burns over time. It’s a simple procedure: calories in = calories out.
When you consume more than the body burns, your weight goes up. You can maintain, gain or lose weight by the number of calories you consume. Nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and foods high in fibre will lessen your calorie intake a lose a few pounds.
Calorically dense foods spike the scale in favour of weight gain. They include,
- Proteins: a deep-fried chicken with skin, salmon, or other oily kinds of seafood, milk, eggs, and pork
- Fats such as olive oil, butter, nuts, high-fat cheese, and mayonnaise help you add pounds.
- Carbohydrates like potatoes, white rice, sweet potatoes, and pasta are weight gainer foods.
Instead of constantly snacking on potato chips, get yourself an apple. Timing your meals and snacks will also promote weight management.
How Much Does Diet Affect Your Weight?
One of the most disappointing things is putting on some pounds, and you are not sure how it’s happening. Obesity has now reached epidemic proportions worldwide. While there are other causes of weight gain, such as lack of sleep and stress, diet plays the most extensive role.
Diet can increase the odds of reaching an older age without chronic health issues. Avoiding weight gain will keep chronic diseases at bay. To maintain weight, you have to be selective in what you eat.
There has been plenty of research on how diet affects your weight. Shelley Wood, MPH, RDN, a clinician at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in California, says to preserve heart function and health, you would benefit from avoiding foods with sugar, sodium, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fat.
Wood stated, “it’s imperative to avoid these foods if you have high cholesterol. If you are contemplating eating a lump of high sugar, salt, or fatty food, your best bet is to choose something else.”
The good news is that many foods that help prevent chronic diseases also help with weight control.
Foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts are suitable for the heart, while foods like redefined grains increase disease risk. The best advice for weight control will always be to eat fewer calories and exercise more.
Research suggests that eating patterns and diets may make it easier to keep calories in check while others are bound to make people eat more. Let’s review the latest research from the Havard School of Public Health, which suggests that the same diet quality message applies to weight control.
Dietary Proteins and Weight
It is hard to tell if one should eat lots of protein since they tend to be low in carbohydrates and high in fats. There are reasons why eating a higher percentage of calories from protein may help with weight control:
- Proteins tend to make you fuller, on just a few calories, unlike carbohydrates and fats.
- Unlike other macronutrients, proteins take more energy to metabolise and get stored. It could help you with the energy you burn every day.
- During weight loss, proteins help you hang on to lean meat muscle, and they can help you boost energy.
High-protein foods are healthier than others, but a high intake of processed and red meat can be associated with colon cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. You can replace red meat with poultry, nuts, and fish to prevent heart disease and diabetes. This diet strategy is reasonable for weight control too.
Carbohydrates and Weight
When it comes to weight, carbohydrate quality is more important than carbohydrate quantity. The glycemic index is food that is rich in rapidly digested carbohydrates. These carbohydrates cause a fast and furious rise in blood sugar and insulin that causes hunger to tip, leading to overeating.
Rapidly digested carbohydrates include; white bread, white rice, processed breakfast cereals, white pasta, millet, potatoes, and sugary drinks. They all increase the risk of heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes.
Nuts and Weight
Once upon a time, nuts were considered taboo for dieters. However, studies find that nuts do not lead to weight gain but may help with weight control. Nuts have a lot of calories also high in fat.
Nuts are rich in proteins and fibre, which may help you feel fuller and less hungry. You are less likely to have heart attacks if you are a nut-lover.
Fruits and Vegetables, Whole Grains and Weight
Whole grains and fruits have a mild reaction to blood sugar and insulin, which helps keep hunger at bay. Whole grains play a better role in controlling weight gain than fruits and vegetables.
The fact is that fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain calories too. What happens is that when you increase your intake of these foods, they cut back on calories from other foods. Fibre may be accountable for the foods’ weight control profits since fibre slows down digestion, helping to limit hunger.
THE EFFECT OF DIET ON YOUR WEIGHT
A pound per year may seem too slow again for you to notice, but one that can add up over time to obese, leading to health complications. I am convinced that I’m bound to regain my shape and fit in my pants again.
Are you convinced? Food choices matter when it comes to weight. It can be frustrating to diet when the results don’t remotely match the effort. It could be possible that you are on the wrong diet.