Common nutrition mistakes that people usually make
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of one’s health so avoid Common nutrition mistakes that people usually make. However, there are a lot of things that can have a negative impact on your health and slant the scales in your favor. Taking good nutrition is necessary for the body in order to enhance good health and growth and it will nourish our body.
Let’s be honest, nutrition can be confusing. It doesn’t matter what topic you research, you will always find contradictory information telling you to do different things. Although some nutrition topics are more debated than others, many people are still confused about some of the foundational nutrition principles and are making common nutrition mistakes that are preventing them from reaching their goals.
There is a LOT of nonsense going around in nutrition. So, here are the most common nutrition mistakes that people are making, that people seem to be repeating over and over, and some simple tips on how to ensure you’re on the right track.
1. Paying Attention to Calories but not Food Quality
The foundation of any good diet begins with the quality of the food that you eat. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, run faster, improve digesting, support aging, or simply eat better, the quality of the food that you eat is more important than how much you eat, when you eat, or what supplements you take.
Unfortunately, too many people focus on calories instead of the quality of the food making up those calories. Eating 1,800 calories in the form of processed food will not provide the same nutritional benefit as fresh, nutrient-dense, whole foods.
It’s important to understand that not all calories are created equal and the body is a lot more than a simple math equation. Everything that you eat affects all aspects of your physical and mental health; from your stress level to your sleep habits to the state of your skin to your digestive health and so much more.
The quality of the food that you consume impacts your hormones, which are the master regulators of your health and weight, as well as your hunger cues and cravings, which will ultimately impact what you eat next. So, instead of only counting calories, start counting the chemical and ingredients in your food, and focus on food quality over quantity alone.
2. Paying Attention to Food Quality but not Calories
If you want to learn to eat well, you need to focus on food quality first, but you need to focus on total food volume as well. Yes, olive oil, avocado, kale, and chicken are all healthy whole foods, but that doesn’t give you free rein to eat as much as you want!
Remember, even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, especially when it comes to weight loss. Although a person may be consuming a diet rich in whole foods, if you are not monitoring how much you are eating you can slow down your progress.
This is especially true for sources of fat in the diet, given that fat contains twice the amount of calories per serving as carbohydrates and protein, so an extra spoonful here and there can quickly add up over time.
Whole foods are far more satiating than processed foods and can, therefore, help to better navigate your own hunger cues, however, over-consumption of whole foods over time can still impede health goals, especially when it comes to weight loss.
3. Over consuming Natural Sugars
Yes, fruit, fruit juice, dried juice, maple syrup, and honey are natural sweeteners and much better options than refined sugars, however, there is still a limit to how much you can or should consume. All forms of dietary sugar, whether they are natural or refined, break down into glucose (sugar) by our digestive tract, and our body can only handle so much sugar at one time.
When consumed in the presence of fiber, such as fresh fruit, the absorption rate of sugar to the bloodstream is much slower, but when consumed in concentrated formats, such as fruit juice, dried fruit, maple syrup, or honey, they are quick to hit the bloodstream which can have a negative impact on one’s overall blood sugar and health.
It is certainly best to consume more natural sugars than refined sugars, however, it is also best that natural sugars be consumed in the presence of fiber.
As a general rule of thumb, it is best to consume more fresh fruit than concentrated sources (such as dried fruit and fruit juice), and also consume more vegetables than fruit, which generally contain less sugar and more fiber per serving, to help mitigate the damaging effects of all forms of sugar.
4. Under eating Protein
No, protein is not the cure-all solution to health, but a large majority of people continue to under consume protein on a daily basis. If your diet looks a little something like; bagel for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, granola bars and crackers for snacks, and pasta for dinner, it’s easy to see how many people are missing protein in their diet.
Although protein is often only seen as important for athletes and bodybuilders need, in truth, everyone needs protein. Proteins are molecules found in our food that are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of life.
Although most popular for muscle building, these amino acids have many different roles in the body including acting as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies. The protein in our food also helps to replace “worn-out” cells, transport various substances throughout the body, and aid in growth and repair so without adequate protein intake, our bodies can’t function optimally.
Not only does protein has physical functions in the body, but protein is the most satiating macronutrient, meaning that it will help to keep you fullest the longest, balance your blood sugar, and minimize cravings.
Although the exact amount of protein required will vary from person to person based on their goals, as a general rule of thumb, you should consume a source of protein, animal or plant-based protein, at every meal.
5. Avoiding all Forms of Fat
Eat fat, get fat, right? Not quite. The idea that fat, especially saturated fat, is bad for you is the root of hundreds of other nutrition myths and is more damaging to your health than beneficial. Not only does the consumption of fat not impact weight at a linear rate, but saturated fat has been proven not to be the dietary evil it was made out to be.
In fact, the consumption of whole food sources of fat in the diet has been shown to improve cardiovascular risks, strengthen the immune system, improve brain health, improve lung health, improve liver health and support nutrition absorption.
Therefore, avoidance of whole food forms of fat in the diet does much more harm than good. On the contrary, it is the man-made refined and processed forms of fat, that we have been lead to believe are “heart-healthy”, such as vegetable oils, margarine, and butter alternatives, that are the most damaging to our health.
So, instead of opting for fat-free, low-fat, and non-fat options, and opt for natural fats such as butter, red meat, dairy, and animal fats, consume them in appropriate amounts, and avoid the man-made fats instead.
6. Relying on Supplements Instead of Food
It’s important to understand that supplements are 1% of the health equation. Yes, there may be specific periods of time where supplements can provide a much-needed boost or support, but assuming that supplements make up for a poor diet is misled.
Just as the name implies, supplements are a supplement to a healthy diet, not a replacement for it. Although the supplement industry promises silver bullets and quick fixes, that is not the reality of the situation.
Not to mention, the human body does a much better job at digesting, absorbing, and assimilating nutrients from whole foods as opposed to those that come in a capsule.
Humans have adapted to get nutrients from whole foods since most nutrients require enzymes, synergistic co-factors, and organic mineral-activators to be properly absorbed, which is not always the case with supplements.
Moreover, most studies show that standard multivitamins provide little to no benefit and can actually cause nutrient imbalances since manufacturers often use the cheapest ingredients possible to create their formulas.
So, before you go and spend all of your disposable income on powder and pills, do your best to address your actual food choice if you want to create real, long-lasting health changes, and supplement strategically, with high-quality supplements, only as needed.
7. Thinking that Fresher is Always Better
Of course, frozen pizzas and microwave dinners are a less than ideal choice, but when it comes to a whole food, frozen is just as good as fresh. Freezing food is simply a method of preservation, much like pickling, fermenting, and curing, that is used to keep perishable foods for longer periods of time.
Freezing whole foods does not diminish their nutritional value, in fact, it’s quite the opposite, it helps to preserve them. Although it might be ideal to eat fresh foods all year round, that is not the reality of the seasons.
Freezing seasonal fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood is simply is a way to help extend the lifetime of the harvest. Not to mention, frozen fruits and vegetables are often picked at the peak of ripeness making them more nutrient-dense than those that were picked pre-ripe and flown thousands of miles to land “fresh” on the grocery store shelf.
So, whether it’s frozen meat, frozen seafood, frozen fruit, pickled veggies, or fermented foods, there are many methods of food preservation that can actually help to maintain, and even increase, the nutritional value of our food.
8. Thinking that One “Bad” Meal Destroys Everything
The key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle is consistency. One meal, one day, or even one week of indulgence will not undo weeks, months, and years of balanced choices. Eating well is about the long game, not the short game, and if you focus too narrowly on one treat or one meal you can lose perspective.
Creating a balanced diet that works the long-term includes indulgences, they are built into the program, they are not separate from it. Of course, frequency matters, but just because you eat a cookie, some pizza, a slice of cake, or all of the above does not mean that you’ve “undone” any of the work that you have done up to that point.
One treat, one meal, one weekend away, is not going to revert any healthy choices you’ve made, it’s simply going to help you create balance. What is important to avoid is the decision to throw in the towel, binge eats, and allow one treat to take you completely off course.
To use an analogy, if you tripped and fell down one stair would you throw yourself down the entire flight? No, you’d catch yourself and keep going. The goal of eating well is about progress and consistency, not perfection. So, instead of beating yourself up, enjoy your treats, move on, and then get back to real food.
Drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages before going to bed-
This can interfere with your sleep cycles and have an adverse effect on your health, it can also lead to sleeplessness, which could be detrimental to your long-term health. The best solution for this is consuming caffeine before noon each day, as it takes at least 8 hours for its effects to go away.
Eating too much sugar and starchy carbs-
Eating too many starchy carbs and sugary foods can lead to weight gain and obesity, this increases the risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and fatty liver disease. Sugary foods also spike blood sugar levels which may lead to mood swings or mental confusion.
Skipping breakfast and cutting out whole meals-
Some people believe that skipping breakfast and cutting out whole meals will lead to weight loss. Scientists, however, disagree, we wanted to know whether or not skipping breakfast and cutting out whole meals would lead to weight loss, so the study was conducted.
The results show that people who skip breakfast and cut out whole meals do not lose more weight than those who eat
Not eating enough proteins and fats—
Protein is essential for building muscle, repairing cells, and maintaining a healthy body, proteins are made up of amino acids that are used for many important bodily functions.
Our bodies also need fats to maintain an optimal weight and to supply energy, proteins often come from plant sources, but it is possible to get them from animal sources as well.
Too many meals that contain too many calories-
Sometimes people think that they are eating healthy when they are actually consuming too many calories, for example, a meal may contain a whole pizza worth of calories, but the person doesn’t realize this because the meal is “healthy” in their eyes because it’s full of vegetables.
Not eating enough Protein—
When it comes to losing weight and being able to stick to a healthy diet, protein is the king of nutrients. Adding protein to your diet is the simplest, most effective and most delicious way to lose weight with minimal effort.
Studies show that protein both increases your metabolic rate and helps reduce appetite. Because protein requires energy to metabolize, a high protein diet can increase calories burned by up to 80 to 100 calories per day.
Protein is also the most fulfilling nutrient, by far. One study showed that people who ate 30% of calories as protein automatically ate 441 fewer calories per day. In other words, you can easily increase calories out and reduce calories in, just by adding protein to your diet.
Protein can also help fight cravings, which are the dieter’s worst enemy.
In one study, 25% of calories as protein reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and cut the desire for late-night snacking by 50%. If you want to lose weight, sustainably, with minimal effort, then consider making a permanent increase in your protein intake.
Not only will it help you lose, it will also prevent or at least significantly reduce weight regain, in case you ever decide to abandon your weight loss efforts.
Not cutting back on carbs—
Cutting carbs is a very effective way to lose weight. When people do that, their appetite tends to go down and they eat fewer calories automatically.
Studies have shown that eating a low-carb diet until fullness can make you lose about 2-3 times as much weight as a calorie restricted low-fat diet.
Not only that, but low-carb diets also have all sorts of other benefits for health, especially for people with obesity, type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome… which are incredibly common (and serious) health problems.
In fact, NOT recommending a low-carb diet in these instances is a mistake, because these problems can sometimes literally be reversed on a real food based, low-carb diet.
But… if you don’t want to go low-carb, then that’s fine too. Just make sure you eat quality, fiber-rich carbohydrate sources from whole, single ingredient foods. If you stick to real foods, the exact composition of your diet becomes less important.
Still eating a low fat diet—
The universal advice to eat a low-fat diet was never based on good science. It was originally based on a few poorly conducted observational studies, animal experiments and misguided political decisions.
Even though there was no evidence that saturated fat caused heart disease at the time (and still isn’t), some scientists were convinced that it was harmful and that a low-fat diet would prevent heart disease.
This has been the official position of the governments and mainstream health organizations around the world for decades. At the same time, rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes have skyrocketed. Since then… many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet.
The biggest and most expensive diet study in history, The Women’s Health Initiative, randomized 48,835 women into groups… one ate a low fat diet, the other group continued eating the standard Western diet.
After 7.5-8 years, there was only a 0.4 kg (1 pound!) difference in weight and there was no reduction in heart disease or cancer. Many other studies have led to the same conclusion… the diet that is still being recommended by the mainstream simply does not work.
It is a simple biochemical fact that carbs raise blood sugar. This keeps the diabetic patients dependant on blood sugar lowering drugs
Although low-fat diets may be okay for healthy people, they are a complete disaster for people with obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. In fact, low-fat diets can adversely affect some key risk factors for metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
Thinking that fruit juices are healthy—
Fruit juice is often perceived as healthy… it must be, because it comes from fruit, right? Well, not always. Sometimes “fruit juice” is actually just fruit flavored sugar water. There may not even be any actual fruit in there… it may just be water, sugar and some chemicals that taste like fruit.
But even if you can get your hands on real, 100% fruit juice, you still shouldn’t be drinking it (or at least not much).
The problem with fruit juice, is that it’s like fruit except with all of the good stuff taken out. Whole fruits do contain some sugar, but it is bound within the fibrous cell walls, which slows down the release of the sugar into the bloodstream.
But fruit juice is different… there’s no fiber, no chewing resistance and nothing to stop you from downing massive amounts of sugar in a matter of seconds. One cup of orange juice contains almost as much sugar as two whole oranges.
The sugar content of fruit juice is actually very similar to sugar-sweetened beverages like Coca Cola. So… eat whole fruit, but avoid fruit juice if you’re trying to lose weight.
Not eating real food—
When it comes to optimal health, people tend to get lost in the details. They miss the forest for the trees. Even though “nutrition” as an academic discipline can be incredibly complicated, eating healthy can and should be simple!
Keep in mind that humans and pre-humans have managed to survive and be healthy for millions of years. Yet, we only learned about calories, vitamins, macronutrients and all that stuff very recently. Knowing about this stuff has NOT made us healthier.
What healthy, non-industrial societies that maintain excellent health all have in common is that they eat real, unprocessed foods that resemble what they looked like in nature.
Multiple studies have examined such societies and noted almost a complete absence of Western, lifestyle-related diseases like obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So if it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it! As long as you stick to whole, single ingredient foods, the rest of the details become much less important.
Thinking that you need to eat 5-6 times per day—
Many people seem to think that it is best to eat 5-6 small meals per day. They say that you need breakfast in the morning to “jump-start metabolism” and then eat every 2-3 hours to “stoke the metabolic flame.”
It is true that eating can raise your metabolic rate slightly while you’re digesting and metabolizing the food However, it is the total amount of food you eat that matters, NOT the number of meals.
This myth has actually been tested and refuted repeatedly. Controlled trials where one group eats many, smaller meals and the other fewer, larger meals find no difference between groups. It’s not natural for the human body to be constantly in the “fed” state.
The human body is well equipped to handle short periods of famine and there are studies showing that a cellular repair process called autophagy starts to occur when we fast for a short while.
Throwing away the yolks —
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Just think about it… the nutrients in a whole egg contain all the building blocks needed to turn a single fertilized cell into an entire baby chicken.
There’s only one problem… the yolks also happen to be high in cholesterol. Because egg yolks are high in cholesterol, people believed that they would raise cholesterol in the blood. For this reason, mainstream nutrition professionals often recommend that we limit our egg consumption to 2-6 whole eggs per week.
However, most of them say we can eat more eggs than that… as long as we make sure to throw away the yolks. This is pretty much the worst thing you could do, because the yolks contain almost all the nutrients. The whites are mostly just protein.
Many studies have looked at whole egg consumption and blood cholesterol levels… in 70% of people, eggs have no effect . In the other 30% (termed hyper-responders), egg yolks raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and turn the LDL particles into the large, fluffy kind… which is not harmful.
In fact, many studies, some of which included hundreds of thousands of people, have looked at whole egg consumption and heart disease risk in healthy people and found no association between the two.
Additionally, let’s not forget that eggs have many amazing benefits. They’re loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants… almost every nutrient your body needs.
They’re also very high in choline, a brain nutrient that 90% of people don’t get enough of (47). Then they contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, powerful antioxidants that are highly protective for the eyes and lower the risk of several eye diseases.
Eggs are also among the most weight loss friendly foods you can eat. Replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can increase fullness and make you eat less for up to 36 hours, helping you lose weight.
To top it all off, eggs are cheap, easily prepared and taste amazing. Really… whole eggs are pretty much nature’s perfect food. Throwing away the yolk is the absolute worst thing you could do.
Thinking that all that matters is calories—
The excessive focus on calories is one of the biggest mistakes in the history of nutrition. It is the myth that it is the caloric value of foods that matters most, not the foods that the calories are coming from.
The truth is… calories are important, but that doesn’t mean we need to count them or even be consciously aware of them. Humans were the healthiest and leanest way before they knew that calories existed.
It’s important to realize that different foods have different effects on the hormones and brain centers that control what, when and how much we eat… as well as the number of calories we burn.
Here are two examples of why a calorie is NOT a calorie: Protein: Eating a high protein diet can boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and significantly reduce appetite and cravings. Protein calories have a different effect than carb or fat calories.
Many studies show that different foods have varying effects on feelings of fullness. You need much fewer calories to feel full from eggs or boiled potatoes, compared to donuts or ice cream.
There are many more examples of foods and macronutrients having vastly different effects on hunger and hormones. The myth that calories are all that matters for weight (and health) is completely wrong.
Replacing natural fats like butter with processed vegetable oils and margarine—
Mainstream nutrition has gotten many things wrong. However… the horrible advice to replace natural fats like butter with refined vegetable oils and processed margarine may be the worst.
Seriously… just look at the ingredients list for margarine. This stuff isn’t food, it’s a combination of chemicals that looks and tastes like food. Margarine, not surprisingly, increases heart disease risk compared to butter.
The same can be said about vegetable oils… multiple studies show that they contribute to heart disease and kill people. The studies say that these processed fats and oils increase heart disease risk, so it makes sense that we should avoid them if we don’t want to get heart disease.
It’s a no-brainer, right? Well, apparently not… the mainstream nutrition organizations are still telling us to eat them, even though these studies have been out for many years. They just don’t get it.
When we replace traditional foods like butter and meat with processed pseudo-foods, we become fat and sick. How many doctors, nutritionists, PhDs and decades of work does it take to figure that out?
Eating too many health foods—
Every passing year, more and more people are becoming health conscious. For this reason… the market for so-called “health foods” has grown rapidly in the past few decades.
The marketers have taken notice and brought all sorts of foods that are supposed to be healthy to the market. On these foods, you will find labels like “organic” and “gluten-free.“ The problem with many of these foods is that they usually aren’t healthy at all.
Organic sugar is still sugar and gluten-free junk food is still junk food. It is best to avoid processed, packaged foods… even if they are found in the “health food” aisle. Always read labels… you‘d be surprised at some of the stuff they put in foods, even the so-called health foods.
Not getting information from trusted sources–
Perhaps one of the worst things about nutrition these days, is all the misinformation and incompetence. The media are particularly at blame here for making scary headlines based on weak and highly flawed science.
The problem is that most people don‘t know how to interpret studies or differentiate the good information from the bad.
Common nutrition mistakes that people usually make and how to fix it
From time to time, we all knowingly and willingly make nutrition missteps. We choose fries instead of a side salad. We have a second scoop of ice cream. We grab takeout when we’re too exhausted to look at the stove. It happens, and it’s okay.
Arguably more dangerous are the nutrition blunders you don’t even know you’re making. We asked three local dietitians to share the most common misconceptions and mistakes clients make—because, chances are, you’ve fallen victim to the same ones.
Mistake No. 1: Believing all calories are made equal.
“Just as you don’t want to judge a book by its cover, you don’t want to judge a food by its calorie content. Four hundred calories of a chocolate cake are not the same as 400 calories of quinoa, tofu, and veggie bowl.
The fix: Read ingredient lists and nutrition labels, but don’t focus your energy on the calorie count. Rather than focusing on calories, look at the big nutritional picture, stressing that protein and fiber will help keep you full and satisfied.
Mistake No. 2: Giving salads a health halo.
Foods with a “health halo” are often perceived to be more nutritious than they are. Granola bars, sports drinks, and flavored yogurts are notorious members of this club, but salads—particularly restaurant salads—can be offenders, too.
Today’s salads may use healthful ingredients but are super-sized, loaded with items like fruits, nuts, grains, and cheese. Salad dressings also wear that health halo. An olive oil vinaigrette can have as many calories as a ranch or Caesar dressing.
The fix: If you can, make your salads at home rather than going out. If you simply don’t have time, order as if you were compiling ingredients in your own kitchen. Follow this formula: choose lots of greens and non-starchy veggies, one serving of protein, and one extra, [such as] cheese, nuts, avocado, or fruit.
Use your favorite dressing, but drizzle, don’t pour. Don’t go fat-free as a little fat improves the absorption of the nutrients in the salad.
Mistake No. 3: Making short-term changes instead of lifestyle swaps.
The number one thing that people forget is that whatever step they take to improve their diet, improve their health, they have to keep doing. If you hit a milestone or hit a victory and then they say, ‘Okay, I’m done.’
The fix: Get the word “diet” out of your vocabulary, and start thinking in terms of lifestyle. We recommend making sustainable switches—choosing whole foods over processed snacks, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, focusing on a food’s overall value rather than one nutrient, adopting a fitness plan—rather than following the latest fad diet.
That’s especially important because every plan won’t work for every person. We see people who are very successful who are Paleo, and I people who are totally vegan and that works best for them. Figure out what works for you, and stick with it.
Assuming that your choices are better than they actually are—
From fruit juices to canned vegetable soup, breakfast muffins to seven-grain bread, it’s easier to think your food choices are healthier than they really are, experts say.
If a label says ‘Seven-Grain Bread,’ it sounds pretty healthy, right? But unless that label also says ‘whole grains’ it’s not necessarily going to be the healthiest bread choice you could make.
Likewise, many folks think that eating a can of vegetable soup is as nutritious as downing a plateful of veggies — not realizing how few vegetables are inside, and how much of the nutrients are lost in processing.
Another common mistake: Substituting fruit juices for whole fruits.
Are fruit juices healthier than soda? Yes. But they are also concentrated sources of sugar that don’t give you anywhere near the same level of nutrients you get from whole fruits. What’s more, if you’re trying to lose weight, you won’t get the same sense of fullness from a glass of juice that you will from a piece of fruit.
Instead, you’ll just take in a whole lot of calories — and still, feel hungry.
The solution: Whenever possible, eat whole, fresh, and unprocessed foods. Even when you eat them in smaller amounts, you’re likely to get a well-rounded group of nutrients. When buying packaged foods, put in at least as much time into reading labels and selecting products as you do when choosing a shower gel or shampoo.
Don’t just assume a product is healthy — even if it’s in the health food section of the supermarket. You’ve got to read the labels.
Being confused about carbs–
A national fascination with low-carb diets has many Americans eliminating carbohydrates from their eating plans in record “grams.” But before you reconstruct your personal nutrition pyramid, there’s something you should know.
There are carbs that are very, very good, and some that are less good, but your brain and body must have some carbohydrates every day.
Moreover, because complex carbohydrates (those rich in whole grains and fiber) keep you feeling full longer, they also help you to eat less — and lose more!
But eliminating this important food group isn’t our only carb-related mistake. Just as troublesome is the belief that all no-carb or low-carb foods are healthy, or that you can eat them in any amount.
Much like the low-fat diet craze, where everyone thought that if a meal had no fat, it had no calories, similarly, people have come to believe that if it has low carbs you can eat as much as you want and not gain weight. And that is simply not true. Eat enough of anything, and you’ll gain weight.
The solution: Experts say you should never cut any food group out of your diet — including carbohydrates. Equally important, is to learn which carbohydrates give you the biggest bang for your nutritional buck.
It’s a lot harder to run amuck when you are including carbohydrates like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains in your diet.
Eating too much—
Whether you’re filling your plate with low-fat, low-carb, or even healthy, nutritionally balanced foods, overestimating how much food your body needs is among the most common mistakes, experts say.
“Many people believe they should feel not just satisfied after a meal, but stuffed. I think many of us have lost touch with the sensation of having had enough food.
People also tend to believe that they can eat larger portions if all the food on their plate meets the guidelines of their current diet — such as low-carb or low-fat — and that, of course, is also not true.
The solution: Remain conscious of portion sizes. Weigh and measure standard portions, at least at first, so you’ll know what the amounts should look like. Never use restaurant portions as your guide — they super-size everything.
Not eating enough – or often enough–
While overeating and undereating may seem like contradictory nutrition mistakes, they are related.
If you don’t eat at regular intervals throughout the day, you risk disrupting your blood sugar and insulin levels, which in the end can promote fat storage and lower your metabolism — both of which lead to weight gain.
The solution: Eat something every four hours and never let yourself “starve” from one meal to the next.
Taking too many supplements–
“People tend to forget that a vitamin pill is a supplement — it’s meant to complement your diet, not act as a stand-in for the foods you don’t eat. What’s more, taking too many vitamins can end up sabotaging your good health.
Every vitamin and mineral and phytochemical in our body works in concert with one another, and it’s easy to knock that balance off if you are taking concentrated doses of single nutrients or even groups of nutrients.
Any diet plan that claims you must take a high-potency supplement to meet your nutritional needs should send up a red flag.
It means that the eating plan is not healthy, and it also means you are going to miss out on the synergistic health effects that can only come from whole foods — including not only helping you to feel fuller longer but also preventing cellular breakdowns important to preventing disease.
The solution: Both experts recommend taking no more than one all-purpose multivitamin daily. Don’t supplement your diet with individual nutrients without the guidance of your doctor, nutritionist, or another health expert. Keep in mind that anyone from the health food store is usually not a health expert.
While most folks believe nutrition is all about food, it’s also about how your body uses food — and that’s where regular exercise comes in.
Without adequate exercise, you cannot maintain a high enough metabolic rate to burn your food efficiently. A pill can’t do that for you; foods alone can’t do that for you. Exercise is the only way to achieve it.
The solution: Make exercise a regular part of your life. And don’t get hung up if you can’t do it at the same time every day. If you miss your routine in the morning, don’t wait until the next day and try to do twice as much. Instead, try to fit in some exercise — even if it’s just a little bit — every day.
Believing everything you read about nutrition and weight loss–
Just because someone writes a diet book or a nutrition guide does not mean they are an expert.
If you’re turning to a book for guidance, look to the author’s credentials and ask yourself: Is this person a dietician; do they have an advanced degree in nutrition? Or are you buying this book because it’s written by a celebrity who you think looks good?
Even if an “expert” is behind your nutrition or diet plan, it’s important to make sure the plan is based on solid research.
Has the plan been tried on 20 people or 200 people? Have the results been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal — or is it based solely on anecdotal reports? These are things that I fear many people don’t pay attention to before paying attention to what is being said — and that is a huge mistake.
Perhaps even more important: Experts say there is no one diet or nutrition plan that is right for every person.
Actually, dieters need to stop blaming themselves when a plan doesn’t work for them. It’s not them. It may not even be the plan. It’s just not the correct match.
The solution: Before following a particular diet or nutrition plan, check the credentials of the author or creator. Look for plans that are backed up by published medical data, and supported by the opinions of many experts in the field.