Even with your best intentions of eating healthy,  you may be making diet mistakes without even knowing it.

What diet mistakes are you making with your “healthy” eating?

Regardless of the diet or eating pattern you follow, there are some diet mistakes that can happen. Too often I see clients making the same mistakes when trying to eat healthily and it’s NOT your fault. There are so many misconceptions and false advertisements thrown at us it’s hard to know what is correct. We want to clear up some nutrition myths and help you feel more confident in your food choices.

 

1. Skipping Breakfast

Of our 8 diet mistakes, skipping breakfast is the first. We have all heard of calories in, calories out right? So why not skip a meal and therefore skip calories and lose weight! However, this is probably the worst thing you can do when trying to eat healthy.
 
When you skip breakfast, you slow down your metabolism and store food later in the day as the body learns to protect itself. You are also likely to overeat later in the day, whether it’s at lunch or at night, your body seeks out the calories it was missing from the morning. Under eating eating is typically what I see that leads to a weight gain, rather than overeating.
 

EXPERT TIP:

You need to fuel your body to feel energized. So, having a balanced breakfast is the first key to healthy eating. Want to try making breakfast more exciting? We have plenty of breakfast recipes like this breakfast hash recipe for you to try!
 
diet mistakes
 

 

2. Not Eating Often Enough

Going too long in between meals. Similar to mistake #1, when you go too long in between meals you are likely to make an unhealthy choice or overeat at your next meal. Eating healthy snacks can help keep your energy levels up and help make more conscious decisions at mealtime. 

EXPERT TIP:

It is important to eat balanced snacks throughout the day to avoid overeating later in the day due to feeling deprived or feeling overly hungry. Take a look at this roasted chickpeas recipe to try as a filling snack.

roasted chickpeas to avoid diet mistakes

Photo by Kristin Jenkins

 

3. Defaulting to Salads on the Menu

It is definitely possible to eat healthy when you are eating out, and it doesn’t always mean ordering a salad. Look at the menu ahead of time and make a decision before you go. I like to order lean protein and vegetables, sometimes in a salad form. However, be careful with just assuming that salad is always your best choice. Oftentimes these could be loaded with fried chicken, bacon, cheese, dried fruits, and creamy dressings not making it the best choice for everyone.

EXPERT TIP:

Ideally, making your own salad is the best way to include a variety of lean protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fats.  Take a look at our recipe database for a variety of healthy salads.  We especially like mason jar salads like this Greek Mason Jar Salad recipe.

Rotisserie Chicken in mason jar salad to avoid diet mistakes

4. Not Staying Hydrated

Hydration is not just about drinking water. How much caffeine are you taking in? Are you relying on sodas, coffee, sweet tea, fruit juice, or energy drinks for your beverage intake?
 
Make sure you’re balancing out your beverage options. You don’t need to avoid these drinks completely, but make sure you’re drinking water too. Caffeinated beverages are particularly important to pay attention to. Excess caffeine consumption can raise cortisol levels (stress hormone) and can interrupt sleep.
 
We can also stay hydrated by eating fruits and veggies, especially those with high water content like cucumbers and melons. The bonus is you also get fiber which is helpful for your heart and gut health.
 
Check out our water alternatives blog for more ideas!

EXPERT TIP:

One of our favorite tips is to make mocktails and drink them for a fun as a flavorful beverage option.  Take a look at this mojito mocktail recipe.

Mojito Mocktail for Happy Hour

5. Quitting Sugar and Cutting Out All Sweets.

Cutting out sweets. Under no circumstances should you cut out desserts, sweets, or other foods you love because you think they are unhealthy. It is SO important to enjoy what you are eating or what’s the point? Try to fit these foods into your day in sensible ways and small portions.

EXPERT TIP:

Give this trail mix recipe a try or try some of our popular energy ball recipes like our chocolate peanut butter energy ball recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bites to avoid diet mistakes

Photo by Kaitlin Eckstein

 

6. Failing to Make Plans

Not being prepared. As with anything, planning ahead, having snacks and meals cooked is the key to being successful. We all have great intentions until you get busy at work, your child comes down with the flu, or you have financial stress. The more you are prepared for what could be a busy week, the more likely you are to stay on track.

EXPERT TIP:

Meal planning is one of the best things that you can do to improve your eating.  We can help you with our mayhem to mealtime program and can even provide individualized, customized meal planning.

Planning your meals makes it easier to go grocery shopping because you will know exactly what you need to buy!

7. Boredom and Stress Eating

Here are some things to be aware of to help determine if you are bored or stress eating.

  • Eating when you are not hungry.
  • Being disconnected from your hunger and fullness signals, learn more about reconnecting your hunger and fullness cues by looking at the intuitive eating blogs below.
  • Multi-tasking when you are eating and not paying attention to your eating. For instance, if you are watching a computer, phone, or TV screen while you are eating, you may be boreded or stress eating. Take a look at this popular blog Multi-tasking Mindful vs Mindless Eating 

EXPERT TIP:

You may feel like you’re doing everything right and maybe you haven’t been making any of these diet mistakes, but you’re not making any progress toward your goals. You’ve changed your eating, you’re working out, but you’re exhausted and feel like a hamster on a wheel.

We want to offer you an alternative solution. To step away from the dieting hamster wheel and to pursue a healthy relationship with food through intuitive eating. Unlike dieting, intuitive eating can give you long-term success while avoiding the pitfalls of dieting.

We have so many blogs on learning how to eat more intuitively. Take a look at these to help you re-connect your hunger and fullness signals and to learn to trust your body and feel so much better!

Watch this video on What is Intuitive Eating to help you break free from dieting and get off of the diet roller coaster.:

 

8. Not Asking for Help

Of all the diet mistakes, trying to do it alone can truly make your journey more difficult. We all have areas of our lives where we can use some help. When looking to take on a major change, seek support from family, friends, or health professionals. Let them know how they can best support you and in what ways.

EXPERT TIP:

My number one piece of advice would be to meet with a Registered Dietitian to get a personalized plan that fits your lifestyle.
 
 

Also take a look at our new nutrition book filled with expert nutrition tips from our team of Registered Dietitians: Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating

Nourished 10 ingredients to happy healthy eating

 

 

Blog reviewed and updated March 2020.

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