1. Sugar Free Foods Mistakes
Whenever possible I recommend eating whole, real foods. Foods that have ingredients such as sugar removed, often get replaced with artificial ingredients, or added salt and fat to improve the taste. Not to mention if you eat sugar free substitutes it may only leave you craving real sugar later in the day, or you may tend to overeat the sugar free options because a diet gave you permission to do so! Enjoy real foods in the right amounts. Depending on your specific dietary needs, please check with your registered dietitian on the best ways to healthfully include these foods in your diet.
2. Juicing Mistakes
While I love making sure to get enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day, juicing as a replacement to any or all meals or for the purpose of a cleanse can throw out some serious red flags! Replacing an entire meal with a juice does not allow for protein, healthy fats or much fiber, which can lead to cravings or excess hunger later in the day, not to mention not being satisfied by different textures and by being able to actually chew your food. Fruit based juices may also be higher in sugar which can cause blood sugar spikes and drops leaving you fatigued. If you are interested in juicing- aim for a blend of fruits and vegetables and have this in addition to a meal, not instead of!
3. Cutting Carbohydrates Mistakes
Ah the common diet target- carbohydrates. Removing these from your diet may (and I emphasize the word may) yield some weight loss results at first, but this is not a healthy or sustainable long term solution. Removing carbohydrates yields muscle loss, lack of energy and can leave you to overeat carbohydrates after restricting them for so long. Rather than cut these out, work on the amounts you are having and balancing them with protein and healthy fats to help keep you full.
4. Gluten Free Mistakes
Speaking of carbohydrates, going gluten free seems to be a popular trend these days! The research shows that removing gluten from your diet is unnecessary unless you have a proven sensitivity or have been diagnosed with celiac disease. Removing gluten can lead to removing important nutrients (fiber, B12) from your diet and lend itself to increase the intake of gluten free crackers, pasta, breads, with the false assumption they are healthier.
5. Cheat Days
When you are trapped in diet prison a cheat day can be like a get out of jail free day where you want to do or eat everything in sight! This cycle can be hard on the body and can keep you at a plateau. Instead of being trapped in this restrictive/cheat day cycle, try incorporating your favorite fun foods into your day to day intake in the right portions so they are not such a big deal anymore. This can be a sustainable way to enjoy food long term!
6. Skipping Meals
This can be a common tactic on holidays or days where you know you will be going out to eat, skipping meals in anticipation for a bigger meal later in the day. Many clients have mentioned that they will just fill up on liquids! This can have a great affect on your body, causing it to slow your metabolism, cause cravings, and/or cause you to overeat later in the day. Rather than compensate, try to eat normally throughout the day.
7. Using A Smaller Plate
I have heard this one on various diets before and while it definitely can work for some people, it may be working against you. Eating on a smaller plate can give you the idea that you ate less than you needed and therefore go back for seconds or eat more later in the day. Instead, perhaps try using your regular dinner plate (8-9 inches in diameter) and fill it with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables so you are satisfied but still eating foods in the right portions.
If you would like to learn how to break free from the diet prison and take control over your eating, click here or call 301-474-2499.
Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a seasoned chef, Dietitian Klara will work with you to help you reach your nutrition goals. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating, Cooking with Diabetes and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Guide.