When it comes to nourishing your body and finding the "perfect" way to eat, i'm pretty sure i've heard it all over these last 6 years. Eat this, don't eat that, only eat these foods before 10am, don't eat this after 6pm. It can be all so confusing when so many things seem to contradict themselves.
While there is no "perfect" way to eat for everyone as all of our bodies are different, here are 5 of the most common nutrition mistakes that I see my clients making
1. Not drinking enough water
I know drinking plain water can be boring and not as exciting as having a wine or juice, however, drinking at least 2L of water per day is not only going to help keep you hydrated but it also keeps all the systems in your body working properly and at optimal level. It can also inadvertently help with weight loss as quite often hunger can be misread as thirst. So next time you feel hungry (but have only just eaten a few hours ago) have a drink of water and then wait 15 minutes, if you then still feel hungry then that means you are genuinely hungry.
2. Not eating enough
Many people on their weight loss journey think that to lose weight means eating less. This could not be further from the truth. In actual fact, quite often i'm having to tell my clients to eat more (nutritious wholefoods obviously). That rule of eat 1200 calories and you will lose weight went out the door years ago. We now know that the less you eat, you actually store and put on weight specifically as fat as your body goes into starvation mode as it thinks there is a famine and is not sure when you are going to be eating next. Think of your body like a car - if you don't have enough petrol (food) in the tank (body) you are not going to be able to perform at your optimal and even just doing everyday tasks is going to become very challenging and hard. And ok yes, overeating even on whole food can cause you to put on weight, but then again I challenge you to overeat on Broccoli or spinach!! It is definitely much harder to do!
3. Cutting out fats
Yes, fats contain more calories and energy per gram than carbohydrates and protein, but making sure you consume enough essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) is crucial to your health and wellbeing. They can help not only with improving brain function and in brain development and growth in children, but also help reduce inflammation (so help with arthritis and joint pain) but also improve your skin, hair and nails.
4. Calorie Counting
I will admit out of all of these things, calorie counting is my biggest peeve. Perhaps because I used to do it and I know how bad it actually is and have seen both sides to it. Whenever my clients first come to me and tell me that they calorie count or count macros that is the first thing I help them to stop doing, above anything else. I firstly ask them why they are calorie counting and how they are finding it and what made them start in the first place. As i've said in numerous blog posts previously, 1200 calories consisting of McDonalds is going to make you feel and look a lot different to 1200 calories coming from nutritious wholefoods. For starts the McDonalds is packed full of preservatives and sugar and not much actual food in it (if any) and you wouldn't actually be able to eat much McDonalds before your 1200 calories is taken up. Contrast that to eating a nutritious diet of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish and lean protein - you are going to feel a lot more satisfied and will consume a lot less in the end not to mention how you will feel both on the inside and outside.
5. Cutting out food groups
Unless you are dairy or gluten intolerant, coeliac or have any other intolerances then I tell my clients there is no need to cut out any food groups - there are just food groups that you have in moderation and others that you have everyday. Depriving yourself of anything is only going to make you want and crave it more so instead of telling yourself that you are giving up cake or giving up chocolate or lollies, just tell yourself that they are only going to be for a special treat which they should. If you don't have them everyday, then when you do have them you'll enjoy and savour them much more.