The biggest mistake that you can make when it comes to dieting is going on a diet. People think of diets as short term or temporary solutions to meet their fitness goals, rather than a lifestyle alteration. There is an end date to a diet which means that at some point you will go back to eating the same foods that you always have, and all of your progress will be lost. To see lasting results you have to make lasting changes. Even when you think that you are eating in a healthy and sustainable way, you may still be guilty of making these dieting mistakes and setting your progress back.
Common Dieting Mistakes
Replacing Whole Grains For Gluten Free
A gluten free diet is absolutely necessary if you are gluten intolerant or experience any type of allergic reaction when you eat gluten. Otherwise there are plenty of healthy foods that you should incorporate into your healthy meal plans that contain gluten. When you opt for gluten free versions of these foods you are often choosing options that reduce the nutritional value of these foods and replace them with unhealthy sugars and fats.
Cutting Out All Carbohydrates
When people think of carbohydrates they tend to think of unhealthy processed cereals, refined white breads, and heavy pastas but there are healthy carbohydrates too. Unless you are following a ketogenic diet your body needs carbohydrates to function. They are converted by your body into energy which is necessary for basic human functioning as well as moderate to intense workouts.
Relying On Processed “Diet” Foods
There’s that dirty word again, “diet”. Ideally you should try to stay away from any foods that are marketed as diet foods because even though they may be lower in calories they are often less nutritionally dense than healthier whole food options. An easier, healthier and often times cheaper option is buying whole fruits, vegetables and meats and making your own healthy meals without using processed ingredients.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It jump starts your metabolism and starts the digestion process for the day. Most experts agree that you should eat within the first hour of waking although some suggest eating within the first thirty minutes of waking for best results. A healthy and balanced breakfast should include all three of your macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Eggs, whole grain toast, and an avocado are great breakfast options that will fill you up and keep you energized throughout your morning.
Eating Too Few Calories
One of the most popular ways to “diet” is to cut back on the amount of calories that you are eating. While this can be a healthy and sustainable way of eating to attain your health and fitness goals it can also be detrimental. It all depends on how you do it. To reduce your caloric intake in a healthy and manageable way you should first find your BMR and register the amount of calories your body needs simply to function. Once you have that number you’ll know the minimum amount of calories it is safe to cut back to. Cutting to a lower number than this will make vital functioning processes within your body to shut down and make you ill.
Not all smoothies are created equally so it is impossible to say that smoothies are a healthy meal replacement, dessert or meal supplement option. A smoothie made with fruits, fruit juices and ice is going to be far less nutritionally balanced than a smoothie made with fruits, vegetables, milk and protein powder or another meal replacement or supplement option. Watch out for premade smoothies as these often contain hidden sugars and calories that may do more harm than good when it comes to your nutritional intake.
Cleaning Your Plate Every Time
It is fairly common for people to believe that if they are not eating all of the food on their plate at every meal they are wasting the food and thus wasting their money. Unfortunately whether you eat all of the food on your plate or not, once you hit your personal caloric limit the rest of the food will go to waste whether you eat it or not (unless you save it as leftovers for another day). If you eat all of the food on your plate your body will store the additional food as fat and all of your hard work will be wasted. If you do not eat it and chose not to save it as another meal, it will also go to waste but at least it won’t derail your fitness.
Categorizing Food As “Off Limits”
Once you tell yourself that you can’t have a certain food, or that something is off-limits it’s pretty common for you to start craving that food all the time. Even if it’s not a type of food that you ever ate much of the simple fact that you won’t let yourself eat it anymore will probably make you want it more often. Instead of telling yourself that you can’t have ice cream, candy bars, pasta or bread make other healthier options more desireable by learning a few new delicious recipes. Let yourself indulge on the unhealthier snacks during your cheat days, just be sure not to overindulge and risk losing any of the progress that you’ve made.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy, Be Healthy
A good rule of thumb to try and follow when deciding on a new way of eating is by thinking a year into the future. If in a year you can see yourself eating the same way that you are eating now then it is probably a sustainable dietary plan. If you have a hard time imagining yourself maintaining this way of eating until this time next year then you’re probably actually following some sort of diet, and you don’t want to diet you want to eat nutritiously for a healthy life.
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