Five common mistakes to avoid in search of perfect body shape, weight

By Susan Kogi On Thu, 30 Apr, 2020 16:52 | 2 mins read
'Your husband needs you now more than ever before. You cannot afford to betray him.' [PHOTO | FILE]
Evidence from several South African hospitals already suggests that alarmingly high levels of obesity - along with hypertension and diabetes - in younger Covid-19 patients are linked to many fatalities.[PHOTO | FILE]

This Covid-19 partial lockdown period has brought with it huge pressure to achieve certain goals thanks to the self-help messages circulating on social media.

Many people are conscious of the need to limit just how much weight they put on while working from home while others would like to shed the extra fat.

However, the quest for a perfect beach body has left many barking the wrong trees in terms of diet.

Nutritionist Maryann Wanza takes us through some of the common mistakes people make on the wellness journey.

Obsession with the hour-glass figure

Sorry ladies. But the much-coveted figure 8 may not become a reality to because of differences in body structure.

Common general categories of body shapes include rectangle, pear (triangle shape), apple (inverted triangle shape) athletic and hour-glass.

Factors such as diet, exercise, lifestyle and genetics all contribute to your body shape.

Nutrition misinformation

The internet is flooded with nutrition articles that offer all sorts of wellness tips and solutions including how to ‘miraculously’ obtain a flat tummy overnight.

Some players in the food industry have also been accused of promoting false nutritional information to promote the sale of their products.

Wanza emphasizes that one needs to be cognizant of seeking the right information to avoid botching it up.

“If you are seeking a diet plan, always consult a licensed professional. A lot of diet information being shared out there is inaccurate and may just make things worse for you.”

Skinny outside, fat inside

Research shows that one in four skinny people are ‘metabolically fat’ because of diet, soft drinks, lack of sleep and unhealthy habits.

Wanza says that looking good on the outside does not mean that it’s all rosy in the inside.

“Just because you are skinny does not mean that you can involve yourself in unhealthy eating habits. You could be clogging your veins with cholesterol and it could be just a matter of time before you get a stroke and leave us wondering why it happened to you since you looked so healthy,” says Wanza.

Taking extreme measures

So you are done with taking a shower and it’s that time for your daily self-loathing ritual in front of the mirror. The stomach roles, flabby arms, cellulite on your thighs and backside…. all seem too much and bingo. Starvation is the key.

“Starving yourself is not an effective way of losing weight because you could be depriving your body of very vital nutrients. Cellular starvation is detrimental to your health.

Also, not eating enough will make you turn to snacks. The high level of sugar and fat contained in the snacks will lead to more weight gain making you feel worse than you felt before and now you’re back to square one,” says Wanza.

Emotional eating

Some people eat not just to satisfy their hunger but to feel better when faced with stressful life events. During such times, many overindulge in sweet foods and snacks (ice-cream being a good example) in a bid to feel better.

“Food is measured in energy and consuming more than one needs leads to weight gain, not leaving out the guilt that comes with overeating. If you always turn to food for comfort whenever you are faced with tough times, you need psychological help and by the way, this is not something to be ashamed of. Seek help.”

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