It’s January, and January is always the time when more people look in the mirror and decide it’s time to lose weight and/or eat better, and while that’s great, there are some common mistakes that people make when trying to diet.
Why is it Important to Have a Healthy Diet?
The basic idea of a healthy diet is to eat more vegetables, fruits, and grains, and less fat and sugar, but as with many things in life, it’s complicated. Sugars are not good or bad (though some are better than others).
People who burn the most calories tend to be physically active—so if you have a job that requires you to sit for hours at a time at a desk, it might be hard to stick to a healthy diet.
Likewise, if you’re depressed or have other mental health issues that make it harder for you to deal with hunger, healthy eating habits can get really tricky.
Major Diet Mistakes that People Make
1. Assuming that you can eat whatever you want.
Thinking you can eat anything as long as it fits within your macros (calorie count) is only partially true.
If you’re counting fat or carbs, remember that fat has a higher calorie-to-gram ratio, so if you’re counting calories, it’s usually a good idea to focus on protein and fiber at meals rather than fat. Fiber paired with protein helps you stay full for longer.
2. Thinking that food is good or bad based on its name.
For example, artificial sweeteners are chemicals and have been linked to cancer in some cases.
Chocolate is high in saturated fats and sugars. Neither of those things are good for you, but the reality is that there are many unhealthy foods on the market.
On a more positive note, you may be thinking that adding food thickeners to your food like SimplyThick beverage thickeners is unhealthy, but many don’t change the taste or the nutrition of the food you may be eating
3. Thinking that a food is good or bad based on its nutrition labels.
Just because something has no fat or carbs doesn’t mean it is healthy food.
You don’t want to eat high amounts of things like mayonnaise and butter, but they are healthy foods when they are prepared well – and in fact, mayonnaise has been found to have anti-cancer properties. Fat isn’t bad, nuts are full of fat, but healthy fat, not saturated or trans fat.
4. Not eating enough protein.
Protein is what builds your muscles, keeps you full longer, and keeps you feeling full even after you’ve eaten more than your body needs in a meal.
5. Eating too little.
If you’re not eating enough, you can end up feeling hungry, which will make it harder for you to stick with your diet.
It may surprise you that eating too little could be an issue, but it’s better to eat too much of something healthy twice a day than to not eat enough. Eating too little deprives you of all the nutrients your body needs to survive – your brain stops processing properly and you can end in a dangerous downward spiral of physical and mental health.
Next time you want to lose weight, remember that there are plenty of ways to do it successfully.
6. Restricting yourself.
By using food to restrict yourself, the object of your diet will become a way of controlling how much you eat rather than eating healthily.
In the same vein as eating too little, restricting yourself is an attractive short-term fix that can make it harder to stick with a healthy diet in the long-term.