Living healthier is everyone’s goal, but we often go about it in all the wrong ways. Without meaning to, we sabotage our efforts and then wonder why things are going badly as we try to eat better, lose weight, or live healthier lives. Making mistakes is probably going to happen, and this is okay. What we think of as mistakes, however, may not necessarily be the choices you’d think. Let’s tackle the guilt and point out some common mistakes individuals make when it comes to nutrition.
Cutting Out All Indulgent Foods
So you love your potato chips but you know they’re fattening, salty, and lacking in nutrition. Do you, like many others, go ahead and buy big bags and eat the entire thing in front of the television and beat yourself up about it afterward? Try this instead: buy small serving bags. Save them for special events, even if it’s I-can-have-a-little-snack-on-Sundays. This way you don’t deny yourself this item and then obsess about it until you go a little crazy and eat your way through a family-sized bag or two! Cutting out all indulgent foods all at once is a recipe for guilt and failure. Reduce consumption over time instead and build experience at changing eating habits and tastes. It helps to ensure at least some indulgent foods, or simply favorite comfort foods, remain on the menu.
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Only Eating Clean
This sounds like such a great idea, doesn’t it? You’ve made the final decision to eat only healthy ‘clean’ foods, and you’re going to stick to it no matter what! This may be a mistake- especially in the beginning. While going ‘cold turkey’ and only eating clean may be a good idea for some individuals because they avoid tricky foods that trigger bad eating habits, they still need to understand what they’re getting themselves into. Clean eating involves a lot more food preparation. It changes your daily and weekly routine. You can’t just run out to a local restaurant on your lunch break and instead have to have prepared your own freshly prepared homemade meals ahead of time. You’ll need to spend more time at home preparing these clean foods. This can be an excellent thing, but it can also cause enough frustration that someone may abandon their efforts. Clean eating is best done through transition and careful planning over a long period.
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Trying New Diets All The Time
Some diets cut carbohydrates, some cut meat, some control portions, and some have point systems assigned to meals. It’s tough to know where to start, so many individuals find themselves trying multiple diets at once or switching from diet to diet quite quickly. Something has to work, right? Wrong!
The first place to start is to learn why you want to eat better. It may be for serious health reasons or because you don’t fit in your swimsuit anymore. Trying new diets all the time will not only keep you from sticking to something and making progress, but it can also confuse your body as well. You can eliminate some plans from consideration because they just don’t fit: if a man wants to build muscle mass and nutrition, he’s not going to use a diet for new moms trying to lose their baby belly. Talk to your doctor about diet plans, and ask friends who have made serious progress on theirs. This is a good way to start narrowing down the right choices.
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Going On An All-Or-Nothing Cleanse Or Diet
Many diets cut certain classes of foods from their eating plan entirely. This seems like a good idea if those foods are associated with weight gain or poor nutrition. The situation that develops, however, is many foods cut from diets actually have nutrition in them the human body needs, and as a result, individuals may develop nutritional deficiencies due to a lack of minerals or vitamins. Going on an all-or-nothing cleanse or diet can set you up for frustration, resentment, and failure. So if you want to go vegan, for instance, do your research, as there are plenty of non-meat foods that provide iron, protein, and vitamins. Your body will thank you.
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Skipping Meals To Cut Calories
This is probably the easiest mistake to understand, since not eating does mean the calories are not consumed. However, it just doesn’t pay to starve your body into submission. Your body will rebel, and you will experience the awful rebound of diving into foods you’d forbidden yourself. Or, you will find yourself eating larger portions just because you let yourself get so hungry. Hunger by itself is no bad thing; it lets internal systems reset themselves and builds an appetite. Letting it go too long, however, makes you weak, unfocused, and moody. You may be setting yourself up for defeat. Skipping meals to cut calories can be changed into watching how, when, and even why you eat and maintaining a steady eating routine. Easier said than done, yes. If you make a mistake, pull yourself back up and keep working toward your goals. Build a support network to help you stay on track.