For a long time, I focused on the wrong things when trying to get healthy. There was that “eat as little as possible” phase. And the “counting points or calories” phase. And the “working out will take care of everything” phase. I have literally made all seven of these mistakes, usually more than once. It is time to change our approach to a healthy diet and weight loss.
70% – 80% of weight loss comes from your nutrition, so make it count. Here are some mistakes we make when trying to get healthy.
For some, exercise is a bad word. I don’t typically enjoy it (until after the workout, then I love that I have worked out), but for me, it is much easier to work out consistently than it is to eat healthy day in and day out. There were many times I would try to work off my meals, and you just won’t succeed that way. It doesn’t matter how hard you workout with P90X, it doesn’t matter if you are feeding yourself junk. Don’t undo all that hard work by eating food that is terrible for you. You need to feed your body nutrients to fuel your workouts.
All of this is easier said than done, believe me. But I wish I knew (or believed people when they told me) that working out is just a small part of the picture.
Fat got such a bad reputation for a long time, but it seems like that is finally starting to change. I still sometimes catch myself looking for the low-fat version of something because for so long I thought it was the better option. Healthy fats are so good for you. Your body needs healthy fats to thrive.
Fortunately, if you can get past the low-fat mindset, this is a rather easy switch to make. Fat. Tastes. GOOD. Add butter or ghee to your meals, find ways to use coconut oil, avocados, and other healthy fats in your meals, and bust a craving with a delicious dessert fat bomb. Have fun with it. You don’t have to feel deprived anymore on those low-fat diets.
Whether you are counting calories or points, there is a better way. If you have to count anything, count sugar and carbs. Cutting those will make the biggest impact on your health. While I have lost weight counting calories and points, I always felt unsatisfied. And, you don’t have to eat healthy to do so. I used to eat a cup of mac and cheese and a Coke everyday for lunch. I stayed within my calories or my Weight Watchers points, but was starving myself nutritionally.
There are virtually no nutrients in what I was eating. Our bodies amaze me that they can do so well when we treat them so badly. But there is eventually a price to pay. Don’t risk your health.
Just don’t do it. It will work for a while, but your body catches on so quickly that it is not worth it. And it isn’t healthy…don’t starve yourself nutritionally or otherwise.
I am a fan of intermittent fasting, and since I have adopted a more ketogenic lifestyle, I definitely have not been hungry as much. But there is a huge difference because I am feeding myself healthy fats as my primary source of food. You definitely don’t need the six small meals a day, or even three meals a day (I always skip breakfast), but don’t try to get thin by not eating.
After years of yo-yo dieting, starving yourself, and binge eating, your body needs some nutrition. Be nice to your body and take care of it, providing it with the nutrients it needs to thrive. I recommend at the very least taking a high quality multivitamin and magnesium supplement. And try to get as many nutrients from whole foods as you can. It may take a while to show up in your health after years (and sometimes decades) of mistreating your body. Your hormones could be out of whack and it may take time to get healthy. But you have to start somewhere, so get started! Pay attention to the nutritional content of the food that you are eating.
I know that processed foods are very hard to give up. They are so addictively delicious and temptingly fast and easy. But they are so unhealthy. Don’t buy diet foods. Don’t give in and get something just because it is fast or easy. There are so many harmful ingredients in those foods, not to mention most of them are full of sugar, carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, and so on.
Make a clean break, or at least read the ingredients before you buy. Even “healthy” foods can come with their share of problems. Whenever possible, eat whole foods as close to nature as you can get them.
If you are anything like me, you don’t like cooking. I used to hate cooking. I am not overstating that.
You might love cooking, and if so, that is great! You are much further along than I was when I started trying to be healthier.
I cook very often now, and I don’t mind it so much. It still isn’t something I enjoy, but we have quite a few healthy recipes that we like now, so I don’t have to come up with new things all the time anymore. And my husband goes to the store and I plan everything out. That way we don’t have to decide what to eat, go to the store for the ingredients, cook, and then clean up…it seems like that used to be our entire evening. Now I make the meal plan for the week, he goes to the store, and I spend about 30 minutes a day making a healthy dinner. Not too bad, right?
If you get organized, find a few healthy meals you like, and learn the recipes, cooking isn’t nearly as much of a hassle.
How have you sabotaged your health through dieting? Have you made any of these mistakes? What do you do now?