The 16 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Eat Healthy from The 16 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Eat Healthy
The 16 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Eat Healthy
The 16 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Eat Healthy
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is extremely important to maintain bodily function. Food helps produce energy; it develops, replaces and repairs cells and tissues, protects us against infection, helps us recover from sickness, and carries out chemical processes, such as food digestion, according to research.
You choose ‘low fat’
“Fat is considered sacrilege in the ‘health’ world. Where did this bad wrap come from? Is it because we think ‘eat fat, get fat?’ Or because fat is higher in calories per gram than protein and carbs? For whatever reason, not all fat is bad,” Jason Clark, personal trainer and co-founder of Perform360, says. “In fact, we NEED it or your good cholesterol cops a beating (and we definitely don’t want that). Remember when choosing ‘low fat’ options someone in a white coat somewhere in the world has changed that very product you’re spooning down your throat.”
You say ‘I will start my diet tomorrow’
Clark says that it always baffles him why someone who has had poor dietary habits for 15+ years wants to switch overnight to drinking green tea and kombucha and while eating sauerkraut dressed with seaweed. “I’m sorry to break it to you, but making such drastic changes is NOT sustainable and will most likely set you further back when you give in to temptation while watching The Bachelor,” he says. “I can’t think of a more applicable children’s story than the “Tortoise and the Hare” to insert here. Changing habits is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Iwona Lach/ unsplash.com
You are not full of fresh fruit and veggies
“Are they really that hard to eat? Surely there is something with color that grows from the earth that you like? If so, eat it. Eat it every day to start with if you must,” Clark says. “Increasing your veggies will help provide your body [with] power-charged nutrients to keep you fuller, increase energy and to increase health on a cellular level.” Remember most of us are full and satisfied but starving due to the lack of nutrients, he adds. “That’s a dangerous place to be.”
You have purchased ‘diet’ meals
Big company marketing tactics got you again right? “This craze of “diet, low fat, reduced calories, 97% fat free, fat free, slim, trim, 3% fat, lite, baked and not fried, no added sugar, all natural etc. etc. etc. has to end,” Clark says. “It’s simple - foods that have marketing claims such as these have been altered by that white coat guy in some factory again. Try to use whole foods where possible to avoid all that confusion and hours wasted on label reading.”
You’re counting calories
Stop counting calories and eat real foods. “Not all calories are created equal. You can’t compare a piece of broccoli with a granola bar, or a low-cal pudding (loaded with chemicals and synthetics) to a beautiful colorful organic salad (loaded with antioxidants) that help the body balance blood sugar levels and satisfy your hunger pains at the same time,” Connie Rogers, Certified Integrative Nutritional Holistic Health Coach and Author of Creating Your Life, says. “If it’s in a package and stuffed with preservatives it doesn’t provide the body with necessary nutrients it needs to thrive.”
“Let’s say this one is a mental strategy many have had success with. If you’re at home resting on the couch, or watching a movie, or dining out with friends, generally this environment demands naughty foods, right? It doesn’t have to be that way,” Clark says. “In fact, even calling them ‘naughty foods’ promotes a negative relationship with food. In brief, if you make a conscious decision that you CHOOSE not to have that dessert, or that chocolate, or that ice cream rather than feeling restricted and telling yourself that you ‘can’t’ enables a much better mindset around food.” Your thoughts are your actions!
You have bought into anything celebrity or craze
“Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, ketogenic diet, zone diet, if it fits your macros, gluten free, sugar free, high protein/low carb, high carb/low fat, cleanse diet, soup diet, fruitarian…No wonder we’re all so confused. Even I am looking at some of the fads out there,” Clark says. “To put it simply…The best nutrition plan is one that you can stick to while providing for your body health on a cellular level. Don’t get caught up in the anecdotal evidence that worked for some celebrity, coach, fitness model, friend or family.” It must feel right FOR YOU – learn self-assessment and listen to your body, he adds.
You are drinking too many protein shakes
“Eating foods like whey protein shakes can actually increase weight gain, disrupt digestion, cause acid reflux, constipation, and stomach bloating,” Rogers says. “Additionally, most of these powdered protein shakes contain hidden sugars and tons of sodium. Organic hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seed) can be used instead.”
You’re overeating healthy foods
“Keep in mind, you can overeat even healthy foods,” Rogers says. “I once had a client that was so excited to bring healthy foods for the first time to her business, she sent me pictures. She meticulously made enough for three meals in one lunch.” Leptin, a hormone that reminds us when we’re full, controls appetite and weight, she adds. “When we overeat, even healthy food, we disrupt this natural energy balance, increase stress, insomnia, and cortisol levels.”
You’re using a pill or powder that promises big results in days
“Once again, humans get sucked into the latest super supplement via clever marketing from companies with BIG budgets. If you don’t want your bubble busted again, then please don’t read on. There is no such thing as the ultimate fat loss pill or powder,” Clark says. “It’s simply persistence and consistency.” Stop throwing away your hard-earned money and invest in a quality coach or dietitian to assist with your fitness needs. You’ll end up saving money, he adds.
You aren’t eating carbs
Contrary to what many people believe carbs ARE NOT the enemy. “Having a loaf of bread, 4 scrolls from baker’s delight, bowl of mac and cheese and 8 slices of pizza in one day is too many carbs (unless you’re an ultra-distance runner),” Clark says. “What most don’t realize is that there is carbs in most packaged foods and as a society we consume these like we’re being invaded by another world and need to go into ’lock down.’” Like any food group, if you have too much of something it will throw off your internal system, he adds. “Be mindful and consume in moderation. You need these for liver, brain and muscle function.”
You are on a ‘diet’
If someone says to you “I’m going on a diet as of Monday,’ I’m assuming your immediate thoughts are ‘it’s going to be hard, you’re going to need to restrict yourself, you’re going to be drinking juices all day, you’re not going to fun to hang around anymore,’ etc. etc. etc.,” Clark says. “Can you see the negative connotations to going on a diet? Why not approach it in a way that seems less negative and more pleasurable. “Maybe start with a few simple switches on brands, i.e. table salt for pink salt or increasing water, or having fruit and nuts at snack time instead of cookies and a large cappuccino with caramel syrup,” he adds.
You’re eating organic cereal
Contrary to what many people believe, organic cereal isn’t a health food. “In one box of organic cereal you can find evaporated cane juice, molasses, dried cane syrup, invert dried cane syrup, raspberry and strawberry puree concentrate, concord grape juice, and grape mist – all sugar,” Rogers says. “You can make and enjoy your own gluten-free granola at home, and it takes only a few minutes.”
You use vegetable oils
Many vegetable oils can actually “sabotage weight loss, slow metabolism to a halt, and cause inflammation,” Rogers says. “If that isn’t bad enough, they are devoid of nutrients. The extraction process includes several chemicals and deodorizers, making them an altered inferior product.” They are considered one the most harmful substances we can put in our body, she adds. “You may want to choose an organic oil such as cold pressed, unrefined olive oil, avocado oil, or almond oil instead. These healthy fats are the building blocks for brain health.”
You take too many cheat days
Many people make the mistake of giving themselves permission for too many cheat days. “This type of thinking doesn’t work. The brain is in charge of decision making skills. It’s impossible to make healthy decisions and continue to enjoy healthy foods when still ingesting junk foods,” Rogers says. “Junk foods equal junk thoughts, and junk moods. Your brain needs to be tuned into your decisions and not turned off by them.” When we eat well we stress less, crave less, and addictions disappear because our taste buds actually change, she adds. “You can start by identifying three healthy raw foods you can eat for 30 days and stick with it. Mix it Up! Remember you can create the life you want by how you choose to live.”