Italy is widely recognized as the birthplace of the Mediterranean diet and a global exemplar of healthy eating. However, like any other country, individuals in Italy frequently make errors in nutritional judgment that culminate in unbalanced diets with either an excess or a deficiency of calories. Often, people resort to seeking dietary guidance on the internet instead of consulting a specialist, which can lead to further errors. In this article, we will scrutinize the most common nutritional mistakes made by those aiming to lose weight. Our objective is to provide a comprehensive understanding of these mistakes and their implications.

  1. Eliminating Carbohydrates

A widespread misconception is that cutting out carbohydrates is the quickest way to shed excess pounds. Unfortunately, this approach deprives the body of essential micronutrients, fiber, and B vitamins. Unless you’re following a specific regimen under the guidance of an expert, such as a ketogenic diet, eliminating carbohydrates is unnecessary and counterproductive.

  1. Counting Calories

Focusing solely on calories is not enough when evaluating foods. To lose weight or maintain proper nutrition, we need to consider other nutritional values and our individual body’s needs. It’s essential to assess the nutritional quality of our food, including the intake of sugars, fats, and carbohydrates. Your calorie requirements vary depending on your level of physical activity.

  1. Skipping Meals

Skipping meals, if not monitored, can be a risk factor for eating disorders and may disrupt metabolism, potentially leading to increased calorie intake at the next meal. Opting for a single large dinner or frequent snacks is generally a poor choice and may not be necessary for effective weight loss.

  1. Misusing Legumes and Potatoes

A common mistake is using legumes and potatoes as side dishes, often seen in DIY diets. Legumes are sources of protein and carbohydrates and should be used as substitutes for high-protein foods like meat, fish, eggs, or cheese. Potatoes, on the other hand, are carbohydrates and should be considered an alternative to bread or pasta. Vegetables should be a regular part of every meal due to their fiber content, which contributes to satiety, reduces sugar absorption, promotes healthy digestion, and nourishes intestinal flora.

  1. Not Drinking Enough Water

Adequate hydration is crucial for our overall well-being. Drinking water won’t directly lead to weight loss, but it can help you feel full faster, reducing hunger. Consuming about 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily can also help you avoid sugary juices and carbonated drinks, which can affect your diet negatively.

  1. Neglecting Essential Fatty Acids

Healthy fats are vital for our health and play roles in blood clotting, cardiovascular and immune system function, and energy reserves. Eliminating fats from your diet is a mistake. Instead, prioritize “good” fats of plant origin, like those found in olive oil, oily fish, nuts, and avocados, while avoiding industrial products often high in added sugars.

  1. Preferring “Light” Foods

Food labeled “light” must have 30 percent fewer calories than the original product. However, it’s crucial to compare labels carefully to ensure no added sugars or hydrogenated fats. Fewer calories do not always mean healthier.

  1. Relying on the Internet Instead of a Specialist

Relying online to determine your diet can be problematic, as what you find may not align with your particular dietary requirements. While the internet can be a helpful resource, it is best to avoid fancy DIY diets, as they can be ineffective or even cause nutrition imbalances and weight gain. To achieve a healthy weight and better overall health, it is recommended to consult with a specialist who can provide tailored advice.