The 5 Biggest Nutrition Mistakes Beginners Make

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Nutrition is full of misinformation, and when you’re just starting out it can become a very confusing thing to navigate. How do you decipher between what you’ve read, heard on TV, and have been told by friends? Put the effort into knowing what you’re putting into your body and learn the steps to stay consistent.

Here are the 5 biggest nutrition mistakes beginners make, and how you can make switch focus to create a sustainable nutrition plan for yourself.

Number 1 – Calories

It’s all about calories. Although it is true that calories in equals calories out, basing your nutrition on these principles will cause people to lose out on nutrient-dense foods. For example, Coke may only be 140 calories, but those 39 grams of sugar without fibre and without vitamins and minerals is going to have more of a devastating impact on your health than 1 tbsp of butter at 102 calories. Yes, butter has fat, but good fat with essential vitamins and minerals. Focusing on calories makes us miss out on these important nutrient-dense foods, which are good in moderation. Focus on quality of food, and more natural “living” foods than foods based on calories.

Number 2 – Fruit

In the process of eating more fruits and vegetables, people will have a tendency to eat more fruit. Fruit is good for you; however, modern-day fruit is loaded with sugar. Provided you’re very active that’s fine. Fruit is active food; it grows in the summer when people are meant to be most active. Fruit before sitting all day at your desk is never a good idea unless you just finished a workout. Eat more veggies, not fruit.

Number 3 – Consistency

We lack consistency. A lot of people are good at following recommendations for a couple days, but a week, two weeks, three weeks, a lifetime, which makes the ultimate impact, is naturally rare. It takes a lot of coaching accountability and willpower. Once you have achieved results continue to follow your plan. Be consistent and never follow a diet, instead follow better-eating habits.

Number 4 – Drinks

People drink too many calories. Pop, fruit juice, lattes, and so on. All these calories add up. They’re liquid calories, which don’t contain fibres and only creates havoc on your blood sugar. Even if you don’t add sugar in a latte, for example, the fat from the milk used is still liquid fat, and liquid fats get into your system easier than fats you eat. This means you can eat more without your body’s natural satiety systems kicking in.

Number 5 – Awareness

Are you lacking awareness of the food you eat? It’s one thing to start eating better but it’s another thing to not understand why you are eating better. Education is key in long-term weight loss. When you eat for health you are more likely to keep eating that way as opposed to eating for weight loss, it’s not sustainable. If you were told to drink vegetable juice for weight loss, you’d likely try it for a day maybe even a week. Then, due to the process, you’d probably stop. On the other hand, imagine you were told juicing is a great way to replenish and stock nutrients, that it can help aid your metabolism in the digestion of your food and done on a semi-regular basis it can lead to permanent weight loss in conjunction with an active and healthy lifestyle, and were provided books and websites to refer to. Which becomes easier to stick to?

Article by Josh Stryde, regional nutrition director and personal trainer at World Health. For meal ideas, check out these recipes or schedule an appointment with a World Health Nutrition Consultant.

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