Sometimes, good intentions go horribly wrong. How often does that happen with food and fitness goals? You aim to do the right thing but you don’t quite get it. If only the rules would stop changing! Here are a five diet errors I commonly see. Don’t let them happen to you.
You Eliminate Entire Food Groups
We all need a balanced diet to get a full complement of nutrients. The elimination of an entire food group – be it milk, meat, starchy grains, or whatever – calls for fancy diet maneuvers to make up for missing nutrients. In nutrition school, they teach us that eliminating entire food groups places people at risk for malnutrition.
You Neglect Healthy Fats
The focus is no longer on how low can you go with your fat intake. Those old, low-fat diets were often high in sugar and did not deliver health benefits as well as diets rich in healthy fats. The Mediterranean Diet, featuring nuts and seeds, olive oil and fatty fish, is the way to go. Just remember to eat healthy fats within your calorie budget.
You Fail to Plan Ahead
In this time-crunched world, he who does not plan is lost. It is essential to keep an active shopping list to stock your pantry and freezer at all times with the foods and ingredients you need to assemble a wholesome quick meal. Make it even easier on yourself by planning a cycle menu that changes every day but repeats itself week-after-week for a season.
You Refuel Improperly
Within 60 minutes of completing your workout (but really, the sooner, the better), your body is most receptive to taking-up nutrients. You need to eat protein to build and repair your muscles and carbohydrate to pack glycogen into your liver and muscles. If you skip this step, you won’t gain strength and fitness. Be sure to sit down to a small balanced meal after you exercise.
You Are a Slave to the Scale
Between hormone shifts, water retention, muscle weight gain, and weight loss plateaus, the scale is an inexact tool at best. Focusing on the scale can be a negative judgment that only leads to frustration and discouragement. If you do choose to weigh yourself, limit it to once a day, or better yet, once a week or one or two times a month. Focus instead on the things that are under your control: what you eat and how much you move. Ultimately, whether you have to lose weight or not, you still have to eat right.
January 9th, 2012