Top 5 Nutrition Mistakes & Solutions
We know nutrition is confusing. Everywhere you look, there are contradicting statements: “Carbs give you energy, but cutting them out of your diet will make you skinny. Avocados are super fatty, but the good kind of fat? Well, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that fruit is good for you! But it also has a lot of sugar, so it’s not?”
Luckily for us, we can just google it, right? Not exactly. The moment you google anything related to nutrition, you get bombarded with different opinions on fad diets and quick fixes.
Here are the 5 most common nutrition mistakes I see people making and some solutions to keep you on track!
Mistake #1: Looking for a quick fix.
I wish there was a magic pill that would allow you to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and still reach your health & fitness goals. I’ve searched far and wide, but the reality is – the fad diets, the skinny tea’s and the juices aren’t sustainable.
The general rule I always tell my clients is: “the best diet is the one that doesn’t have the word ‘diet’ at the end of it.” The diets you see online, or the ones your friends are trying, tend to be overly restrictive, and the moment you are off of it, you will gain back all those unhealthy habits – not to mention the weight!
Solution: If you want to look good, feel good and live your life eating foods you enjoy, follow something that I like to call the 80/20 rule: 80% “clean” and 20% “fun” foods. Even more simply put, in a 7 day week, 5 days a week, make sure you eat “clean” and two days of the week have some fun. Mix in a cheeky beverage or two on the weekend with friends. Say yes to a double chocolate dip donut that your mom brought you from the bakery down the street – but then make sure you are meeting your nutrition goals for the rest of the day. Notice how I said have some fun, and not all fun. Pick and choose which foods you want to indulge in on the weekend, but then stay consistent with your nutrition plan!
Mistake #2: Not eating enough food.
This is super common! People think that cutting carbs is the best way to lose weight fast, but it can lead to health issues like hormonal/metabolism issues, overtraining, burnout, and eating disorders.
Do you even know how much food you need to eat to survive? Experts say that consuming 1,200 calories a day is the bare minimum for women to meet the majority of their resting metabolic requirements – to keep their body alive and functioning (1). With that said, you’re going to feel pretty crappy – probably moody, low energy, and foggy. Food is meant to give you energy – so don’t restrict yourself. Make sure you are eating enough food throughout your day to keep your brain and your body happy!
Solution: A convenient tool I use to adjust client’s nutrition plans is the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) calculator (2). The TDEE calculator uses basic information about you to measure how many calories you burn per day. It also displays your BMI, BMR, Macros, and other useful statistics to get you started on your fitness journey!
Revive Superfoods takes the guesswork out of making smoothies or meals. With ready-to-heat/blend options, subscription-based and free delivery, you won’t have an excuse for being low on food options again.
Mistake #3: Assuming what works for others will work for you.
We’ve all heard the success stories, “I lost 25 pounds in 30 days from cutting all carbs with the keto diet!” But guess what? We are all very different. We all have different body types, genetics, and food intolerances – as well as different goals! If eating chicken and broccoli every day isn’t your thing, find an option for lean protein and vegetables that you enjoy and that will give you the nutrients you need to reach your goals!
Solution: You have to find what works for you, and the best way to do this – is a lot of trial and error. Try keeping a food diary. After trying new foods/recipes, write down things like energy levels, appetite, bloating, etc. This is a great way to ensure you practice mindful eating and consume food that your gut enjoys as much as your taste buds!
Mistake #4: Going (too much) with the flow.
It’s nice to eat mindlessly, snack or binge. It’s soothing, comforting, and usually keeps you pretty happy at the moment. But afterwards, you may feel overly full, sluggish, bloated, and regretful. This will lead to plateaus in your health & fitness goals or a lack of results. So how do you stay on track?
Solution: Track your macros! HOLD UP! What are macros? Macros or “macronutrients” are the three categories of nutrients you eat the most and give you the most energy: carbs, protein, and fat. All three macros play a significant role in your health & fitness journey, and adjusting your macros can lead to different goals! Using the TDEE calculator, you can determine what kind of macro split you’d like to implement into your nutrition plan. From there, use one of the many food tracker apps to see if you can reach your daily goals. My personal favorite is “My Fitness Pal” (3). Even if you don’t use the app to reach your nutrition goals, I find it helpful to understand the food you are eating.
Mistake #5: Overcomplicating nutrition!
What makes nutrition frustrating, challenging, and sometimes time-consuming is the amount of information online. There are too many contradicting opinions, diets, and quick fixes.
- 7 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Calories
- Learn How Many Calories You Burn Every Day
Written By Sara Prodanos (@sara.prooo). Sara is a Personal Trainer and Physical & Health Educator that is passionate about building strength from the inside out and doing things that make you feel good!