Many people struggle to make sustainable changes to their diets, lifestyle and body to see the results they may want. Like many of us, I too have found myself falling into the trap of making common mistakes when trying to eat healthy, but over the years have learned a few tips that have been helpful for me!
In this post, we will explore five of the most common mistakes people make
when trying to eat healthy and offer tips for avoiding them. From skipping meals, to
focusing on restriction, to not eating enough fruits and vegetables, these mistakes can
sabotage even the most well-intentioned efforts to improve our diets. By learning to
recognize and avoid these common pitfalls, we can set ourselves up for success in our
healthy eating journey.
Mistake #1: Skipping Meals
Skipping meals, particularly breakfast, can lead to overeating later in the day and can also slow down your metabolism. When you skip a meal, your body sees this as a sign of danger, especially for women with our hormones. While it is good to give our digestion a break, we don't want to be constantly skipping meals or fasting extreme hours.
Skipping meals can also leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued. When we don't eat regularly, our blood sugar levels drop, which can cause our energy levels to plummet. Skipping meals can also cause irritability, difficulty concentrating and even headaches.
Try to eat three main meals and one or two healthy snacks per day, to help keep your metabolism working at a steady pace. Make sure to nourish yourself with breakfast when you feel hungry in the morning to kick start our day. Plan your meals and snacks in advance, so
you're less likely to get caught without something to eat. Lastly, keep healthy snacks on
hand, so you're less likely to go hungry and end up overeating.
Some of the healthy snacks I love:
- apple with nut butter
Mistake #2: Focusing on Restricting Certain Foods (aside from allergies and intolerances)
Restricting certain foods can lead to feelings of deprivation and can make it difficult to maintain a healthy diet in the long term. This type of restriction often leads to overeating the restricted foods and can even lead to disordered eating patterns and food guilt. While I am not saying that you should eat cake for every meal, I think you need to find a personal balance with foods that are "sometimes" foods and foods the fuel your body! There are tonnes of healthier alternatives to our favourite foods that don't always make us feel our best. I always say that stressing over the piece of cake you had is worse for you than actually eating that cake.
My number one tip for dealing with restriction is to focus on adding more healthy foods to your diet. This can include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Start listening to your body and learning to distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger. And most importantly, try to adopt a non-judgmental attitude towards food, allowing yourself to enjoy all foods in moderation without guilt.
Some of my favourite superfoods to add into your diet on a daily basis...
- Hemp hearts ( almost tasteless so you can add this to anything!!)
- Chia seeds (tasteless as well, and very high in fiber!)
Mistake #3: Not Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Make it a goal to eat at east one serving of fruits and vegetables at each meal. Try to eat a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables, as each colour corresponds to different health benefits. You can also try incorporating fruits and vegetables into your meals in creative ways, such as adding spinach to a smoothie or making zucchini noodles for a pasta dish. I also like to try to count how many different "plants" I consumed in a day; 10+ is typically my goal which is easy with a smoothie or a salad!
Mistake #4: Choosing Processed Foods over Whole Foods
Whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined, with minimal or no added ingredients. They are usually found in their natural state, or with minimal processing such as washing, cutting, and packaging. On the other hand, processed foods are foods that have been altered in some way, such as through canning, freezing, drying, baking, or adding preservatives, flavourings, or other ingredients.
Processed foods can be high in added sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of chronic diseases. They also often lack essential nutrients and fibers which are vital for overall health. Additionally, many processed foods contain artificial ingredients that can be harmful to our health, including artificial sweeteners, colours and flavours, as well as chemical preservatives.
And while I love a diet soda once in awhile, most of my food are whole foods! Again, don't stress about your food choices, just pay attention to what makes you feel good and try to incorporate more of that!
Mistake #5: Not Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential
for overall health. Adequate hydration is necessary for maintaining bodily functions such as
regulating body temperature, maintaining blood pressure, and keeping joints lubricated. It also helps with digestion, skin health (HELLO GLOWY SKIN!!), and mental and physical performance.
My favourite tips are ...
Find a big water bottle you love (MY FAV HERE!)
Remember, making changes to our diet is not always easy, but with a little bit of planning and effort, it is possible to develop healthy eating habits that are sustainable in the long term. So start today, take small steps and make it a priority to take care of your health.
If you want some support; reach out to me at email@example.com for a personalized approach and to work with me!