Fit Food: Diet Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

donutMistake #1: “Saving up” for a large meal. So many people do this and I know I have done it on numerous occasions in the past. You barely eat anything all day so that you can splurge on a large meal later. This doesn’t work for several reasons. First of all, by eating clean meals on a regular schedule throughout the day you have programmed your body to be a fat burning machine. Your metabolism is working well and is using all that good food you are feeding it to build muscle and replenish your various energy stores. If you suddenly change this routine and literally starve your body of nutrients, the metabolism will slow in response. So when you finally eat that large meal you get that overfull, sluggish feeling as your now-slow metabolism tries to deal with the influx of calories. It may take several days of proper eating to get your metabolism humming along again and get your goals back on track!

What to do instead: On the day of a large meal, eat as usual. Plan your other meals as you normally would and have a small healthy snack before the meal begins. By not allowing yourself to be starving when you start eating you will be able to choose proper portions and eat slowly so you can really enjoy your food. You still may end up eating more than you normally would, but as long as you savour your food and stop when you are full this little indulgence won’t set you back for days! Since your metabolism will still be firing on all cylinders it will use those extra calories as long as you don’t overeat!

dietsMistake #2: Overcompensating the day after overeating by trying to eat less to “make up” for eating poorly the day before. If you have gone overboard and are feeling it the next day many people drastically cut back their intake for the next day (or more) to try to balance things out. Not only does this not actually work but it’s a slippery slope. When do you stop compensating? Eventually you will just be cutting back too much and it will lead to over indulging and then the whole cycle starts again.

What to do instead: The day after you overeat get back to your regular eating routine. Just be patient. Know that it may take a few days post-binge to feel normal again and don’t get down on yourself for the lapse. Everyone does it and the sooner you can learn from it and forgive yourself the better off you will be.

Mistake #3: Assuming that anything that says “fat free”, “sugar free”, “gluten free” or “all natural” is good for you. Despite what they would have us believe, companies that manufacture food products do not have your best interests in mind. They want to make money and they are not above twisting the truth to cater to the health minded public. Hyped up health claims and flashy promises are plastered all over brightly coloured packaging and the media is always changing it’s mind on what we should be eating or not eating. How are you supposed to know what to believe?

Gluten-Free-ChexWhat to do instead: Take responsibility for your health and do your own research. The internet is an invaluable resource when it comes to finding out what the whole “gluten free” craze is all about or learning about why “fat free” dairy products aren’t actually always the best choice. Make sure the information you are finding is coming from a reputable source, like a university or government body. Always be skeptical about health claims on packaged goods. Remember, they are trying to sell you something!

Mistake #4: Copying someone else’s diet plan and expecting the same results. We are all different and the exact same diet will produce different results with different people. Don’t expect that eating what your skinny friend eats will help you lose weight. Sometimes people get results in spite of what they do, not because of what they do.

What to do instead: Figure out what works for you. You can either do this on your own through trial and error or hire someone to create a diet plan for you. Either way you need to track what you are doing and monitor your progress. Make note of what works and what doesn’t and create a personalized program that will help you reach your goals.

Happy Lifting!

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11 comments for “Fit Food: Diet Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

  1. March 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Sometimes I’ll do #1 in reverse, like if I go to a brunch place that has an all you can eat buffet that has every conceivable option available. After almost putting the place out of business I won’t want to eat for the rest of the day. That’s probably not great either!

    • March 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Haha yes that is not ideal either! But at least you can go for a long walk after!

  2. CC
    March 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Lots of great ideas here, thanks!

  3. March 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Great advice as per usual Dara!!!

  4. March 16, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Regarding #3, it’s almost always worse to assume that fat free, gluten free etc are better for you. So many of those foods are loaded with much less than ideal substitutes that you’d be far better just opting for the real thing. Real food should always be chosen over anything that’s modified in my humble opinion.

    • March 16, 2013 at 8:19 am

      I totally agree! I love the rule that if your grandparents wouldn’t recognize it as food, then you shouldn’t eat it!

      • March 16, 2013 at 8:41 am

        I have never heard of that rule, but I really like it. I’m going to use that one. Thanks!

    • JC
      March 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      You would probably enjoy the book “Wheat Belly.” It’s a great read that is directly in line with what you are saying.

      • March 22, 2013 at 5:24 pm

        I have read it and yes I did really enjoy it! Lots of great research put forth!

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