Six Common Nutrition Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Adhering to a healthy diet is something many people are having trouble with. To make matters worse, there are so many pop culture myths and misconceptions that even if you wanted to do the right thing, you’d have no idea where to begin. In this article, we will discuss six common nutrition mistakes you’re probably making and what you should do to avoid them.

1.   Being unrealistic about your sugar intake

You might think that sugar is everywhere, and you’d be right. However, most people are surprised to find out actually how much sugar is in their everyday food. Items like iced lattes, energy drinks, and even condiments for savory food such as ketchup and salad dressings – are all loaded with sugar. First, let’s get a few things straight: sugar isn’t bad per se; alongside fat, it represents one of the primary sources of energy for your body.

Don’t make the easy mistake and give in to the temptation of putting sugar into everything.

Completely cutting out sugar from your diet isn’t necessary or recommended for most people. Instead, you should try to be realistic about how much sugar you are eating (and drinking) with products you don’t consider to be sweets. You can replace those with fruit which also contains fibers. By eating fruit, you’ll get your needed sugar fix, as well as have a sense of being full since your stomach actually has something to digest. However, you have to keep in mind that you can also go too far, even with natural sugar.



2.   Not counting your calories

This is one of those common nutrition mistakes you’re probably making because you may think counting calories is just for fitness nuts. Actually, we’d recommend looking at the nutrition information of the food you eat and figuring out the caloric intake for your meals. Not so that you can obsess over every bite, but to get a better picture of how much you are eating. It’s very easy to go over your recommended daily intake by having no idea how calorie-rich some foods are.

Imagine calories as a food cost and that your body gives you a daily budget. Would you rather spend all of your caloric allowance on an XL frappe and doughnuts for brunch or eat three full meals that will get you through the entire day? Remember that you shouldn’t make these decisions when you are hungry because that’s when you are prone to making impulse-driven mistakes.

Counting calories is a good way to balance your nutrition.

Not all calories are equal, and it’s far healthier to eat protein and fiber rather than splurging on unhealthy snacks. That’s why we suggest sitting down and doing some math with a calorie calculator. Write down all the food you eat in a day and look up how many calories are in them. A common nutrition mistake is thinking that everything green is healthy and low on calories. Don’t fall for food myths, and remember to factor in the fruit, nuts, cheese, and dressing you put on a salad. Make a plan and figure out what the best options are for the number of calories you plan to eat. Once you develop healthy habits, you can stop counting calories and figure things out on the fly.

3.   Snacking when you are not hungry

Most people will eat food even when they aren’t really hungry. By constantly snacking, you can train your body to expect food all the time and experience a sense of false hunger. People will frequently eat snacks when they are nervous or stressed out. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, we recommend brewing a cup of tea.

On the other hand, waiting too long before you eat can also be harmful. People tend to overeat when they are starving. Learn to listen to what your body is telling you and eat based on hunger cues.

4.   Eating fast food when you are on the go

There are always better options than snacking on junk food.

There will undoubtedly be times of stress when it will be hard to stick to your regular plan. What about the times when you don’t have access to a kitchen, like when you are traveling or moving to a new home? It’s definitely going to be impossible to follow your routine because you have nothing to fall back on. In this case, don’t leave thinking about food for the last minute, because fast food will probably be your only option. Instead, you should think about food a few days ahead and prepare it in advance. That way, even if you are moving house, you can still enjoy a healthy meal.


5.   Not aiming for the long game

You should be honest with yourself about your nutrition goals and the best way to achieve them. Set realistic expectations and work hard to accomplish them. However, being too strict often yields negative results. Avoid common nutrition mistakes, like yo-yo diets, and think of the big picture. Remember that a good diet plan can be very different from person to person. Healthy nutrition should be a lifelong goal. Instead of looking for shortcuts, you need to aim for long-term solutions that work for you.

6.   Thinking bad choices ruined your diet

Cut yourself some slack and have a few cheat days.

One bad meal won’t ruin all of your efforts. It’s impossible to never slip up, you are human, and that’s okay. Actually, let’s do one better than that: not only is it okay, but you are supposed to treat yourself every once in a while. Think of your metabolism as something that takes time to get going, no matter what you are doing. After all, no snack is immediately going to appear on your hips. Both gaining and losing weight are long-term processes.

If you went overboard with food one day, then take it easy over the next week, and you’ll be fine. Everything in moderation, including moderation. Treat yourself to cheat days, but they too should be moderate.

To summarize

Healthy life choices can be hard to maintain, but they are a worthwhile pursuit. If you’ve recognized yourself in some of these six common nutrition mistakes – just own up and try to do better. Take things one day at a time, and always strive to be the best version of yourself.

Meta description: Are you constantly dieting, but can’t seem to achieve results? Here are 6 common nutrition mistakes you’re probably making, and how to overcome them.

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Ivan Cole

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Ivan Cole is a freelance writer and a fitness fanatic. He used to work as a personal trainer and is now devoted to helping others reach their exercise and nutrition goals through his articles. If he is not at the gym, you can find him hiking with his two dogs or practicing yoga and meditation.

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