Are You Making These Common Diet Mistakes?
When it comes to losing weight or simply eating healthier, there are several common diet mistakes that many people fall into. These mistakes can make it impossible to reach your weight loss or healthy eating goals. You’ll be much more successful with staying on track when you avoid the following diet mistakes.
Not Eating Enough Fat. While it is important to limit your intake of unsaturated fats and trans fats (e.g. fried foods, deep fried foods, fatty cuts of meat), healthy fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Consuming healthy fats can help lower your bad cholesterol, protect your heart, help you feel full, and help you lose weight. Include small amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats (e.g., fat found in olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, and fish) into your daily intake.
Not Eating Enough Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy. Complex carbohydrates – and the fibre they provide – are important in managing blood sugar levels, providing lasting energy, helping you feel full, and helping you lose weight. Choose complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, oats, quinoa and bulgur, rather than refined carbohydrates such as sugar, white pasta and white breads – these can cause blood sugar spikes which can lead to weight gain.
Not Eating Enough Protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient. Amongst other important functions, it helps build lean muscle – and since muscle burns more calories than fat, eating enough protein can help you burn more calories and lose weight. Protein also helps regulate blood sugar levels and helps you feel full longer, further helping with your weight loss efforts. But that doesn’t mean you should load up on protein – it does contain calories. Depending on physical activity level, the average adult only needs 0.8 – 1.2 g of protein/kilogram of body weight each day. For someone that weighs 150 pounds (68 kg), that’s 54 – 82 g of protein per day.
Following Strict Diets. Fad diets tend to be very restrictive and require people to drastically cut calories and/or cut out entire food groups. The problem with these diets is that they’re impossible to maintain – unless you’re okay with always feeling tired, hungry and deprived! Not to mention that they tend to be nutritionally deficient and unhealthy. For long-term success, you need to find a ‘healthy eating’ balance that works for you – keeps you feeling satisfied, happy and healthy.