When I started working in the fitness industry right out of college my diet was a wreck. I put on some extra pounds and knew I needed to clean up my habits. My clothes were too small. I felt frumpy and not confident in my skin.
I tried to get leaner through exercise and diet. Yet, inspite of all my efforts, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. It was so frustrating! There were days I just wanted to cry and days I did break down and have a good cry. Have you ever felt this way?
The reason I wasn’t getting any results was I was guilty of making all 6 of these mistakes. As a result, I was getting FATTER not fitter.
Here are the 6 Worst Diet Mistakes that I was making. Anybody else guilty of any of these?
1) Cutting out Meals
For many women, this can mean breakfast or many women are only eating one or two meals a day. When we do eat, we’re going long periods, long stretches in between meals. Cutting out meals is actually makes us crave unhealthy foods when we do finally eat. It’s actually better to eat more often and eat smaller amounts. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go from eating one or two meals a day to eating eight times a day or ten times a day. Start by adding one meal a day to what you already and make your other meals smaller.
2) Cutting out Carbs
I know we have been taught that carbs are the devil. You’re going to love that I’m going to tell you that you should be eating carbs. I often see ladies cut out all of their carbs or too many of their carbs. Now, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t cut out the junky carbs, like the sweets, candies, and chips. Those are definitely a good thing to cut out of our diets, but many times when we’re actually trying to decrease body fat or get in better shape, we cut out all of our carbs. I have ladies that tell me, “You mean I can have rice and I can have potatoes?” I say, “Sure! Absolutely.” As long as you’re getting the right balance of food, we actually do want to eat carbs. They give us energy to burn fat. They also keep our brains working at top notch. I actually want you to eat a carb at almost every meal. Veggies and fruit, those are great carbs that we can incorporate into our diet. Especially when we balance higher carb foods with a lean protein.
3) Avoiding Lean Protein
This is biggie, I’ve looked at lots of food logs, and one of the common themes with women that are wanting to lose body fat is that they are avoiding lean protein. That’s something that we’re just not getting enough of as ladies. What is lean protein? Of course we think of grilled chicken. But, there are other great sources of lean protein. How often are you eating grilled or baked fish? Eggs are a lean protein. If you do not have issues with dairy products you can use PLAIN Greek yogurt or cottage cheese as a source of lean protein. You can also incorporate a protein shake. Protein shakes continue to grow in popularity. Why? For many women, that’s a simple way kick up protein when having trouble eating protein during your meals.
4) Eating Salads
And, ladies, don’t know if you’ll love or hate this one, but this mistake is eating salads. I always hear women say, “I’m on a diet. I’m eating salads for lunch.” Or, “I don’t understand why I’m not losing weight because I eat salads all the time.” Well, that’s exactly why you’re not losing weight, because you’re eating salads all the time. Salads are often high in calories. The ones I used to eat were loaded with junk but I though I was being healthy. Most salads are loaded with things like sweetened nuts, bacon bits, croutons, high fat dressing, and high fat cheese. These are extra fats, carbs and calories that can hinder us from getting to our goals. Depending on what you put on that salad is really going to matter as to whether that salad is going to actually help you reach your goals or it’s actually going to hinder you from reaching your goals.
One thing that is often missing from our salad is lean protein. All salads are not super fat and some salads can be keepers. If you eat a salad that is balanced, low in fat and it has lean protein then you can have a winner. Now that I know better I eat salads with fresh greens, cucumbers, fruit, and lean meat. I find that I don’t even need the dressing with the fruit added. And if I do want a little extra kick I will add balsamic vinegar. Yummy!
5) Eating with No Awareness:
Let’s play a game – You write down everything you ate yesterday. And I mean everything you ate and drank in detail. What was on it, what was in it? What time of day? For most women it takes us awhile to really think of everything. We have to really think about it. I often hear this comment “I can’t remember, what did I eat yesterday?” That’s because we’re eating without awareness. We don’t know what we’re eating because we wait until we just get absolutely ravenous to eat. We get busy, and I get it, we are busy juggling so many things. We’re working, we’re going through our day, taking care of family, and then we’re realize we forgot to eat. Then we’re just throwing in whatever we can get our hands on. We’re not really stopping and taking time to be conscious. Sometimes we’re shoveling food down so fast we don’t even taste it. To improve our eating, we have to take time to actually think about what we are eating. We have to take time to actually chew our food and taste it.
In my experience I find that when women start tracking their food, whether it be through an app on their phone or just an old fashioned food log, they immediately start dropping fat and weight. This happens just by them becoming more aware and logging and tracking their food. Big tip to get leaner: START A FOOD LOG.
6) Having No Plan/No Prep:
This one is tough at first but gets easier once you get into a routine. When you don’t have a plan, you are going to grab whatever is available. What is typically readily available? Lots of sugary, fatty and high calorie options. These options are everywhere! Unfortunately, these will not get us to our goal of getting leaner. Those most successful at reaching their weight loss goals make a plan and have a good bit of their food prepped out ahead of time. Picking one consistent day each week for meal prep works best for most ladies. The most popular day seems to be Sunday. Pick a day where you go and get your groceries and prepare several of your meals. Now these meals are grab and go no matter how busy you are. You can start with just prepping a few meals each week. That is a reasonable way to get started and it may be all you need to kick up your results.
If you avoid these 6 things, you’re going to be on your way to getting amazing results. I would love to hear in the comments section what tricks you have for preparing meals ahead.
As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. If you enjoyed this post and think others will benefit from it click on the share button for Facebook or Twitter.
Until I see you next time – Have a Healthy & Happy Day 🙂