Top 7 Nutrition Mistakes Derailing Your Progress
You’ve been working hard – hitting the gym and cutting out all those high sugar and high fat foods you used to enjoy. At first, you saw decent progress. But now, it may seem like things have slowed to a crawl. What gives? How come your body has stopped responding? It’s like something is now broken…
For many people, the issue is often one or two small nutrition errors that are leading their results astray. The great news is that as soon as you can remedy these problems, you can get back on track to seeing incredible results once again. Let’s take a closer look at the top seven nutrition mistakes that you could be making that may be hindering your results.
Mistake #1: Not Tracking Calories Or Serving Sizes Religiously
It’s true – it can be a bit of a drag. Counting calories takes time, energy, and is something that most people just don’t want to do. But if reaching your goal weight is important to you, you need some sort of system in place to monitor how much food you are taking in.
If it’s not counting calories, it should be some other technique that helps you regulate your serving sizes. Remember: you can still gain weight eating healthy foods. Too many people believe that as long as they make smart food choices, they will automatically lose weight. This isn’t always the case. Excess calories will always lead to fat gain, so this must be remembered at all times.
With all the various calorie and food tracking apps out there now, it doesn’t need to feel challenging any more. You can quickly and easily tabulate what you’re taking in without too much trouble.
Mistake #2: Failing To Achieve Your Protein Needs
The second mistake is failing to achieve your protein needs. Some people avoid protein because they believe eating too much will cause them to look ‘bulky’. This is not the case.
It’s not protein that makes someone look bulky but rather a very high calorie diet, years of strength training, and often certain hormones that lead to muscle mass generation. For most people, this will never be a concern. Getting enough protein into your diet is a must as it will help you combat hunger, stabilize blood sugar levels, and help you burn fat while building lean muscle mass tissue.
Struggling to get your needs met? If you simply don’t like protein rich foods and that’s why you tend to fall short, consider a good protein powder supplement such as our Lean Body Ready To Drink protein product. It’s fast, convenient, and will ensure your needs get met.
Mistake #3: Focusing On Calories Exclusively
Earlier we noted that you do need to track how much you are eating, but this should never be the sole focus of your diet either. Energy intake matters, but so does the source of that energy. If you’re putting empty calories into your body, you’re robbing yourself of the key micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that your body needs to feel good, maintain optimal energy, and burn fat effectively).
Furthermore, if your diet is rich in processed foods, you’re going to be facing ongoing hunger not to mention your blood sugar will be skyrocketing and crashing on a regular basis. This only increases your chances of fat gain. When you put quality foods into your body, you’ll get quality results out of your program.
Focus on lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and lean beef, complex unprocessed carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oats, fresh fruits and vegetables along with healthy fats like avocado’s, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
Mistake #4: Mindless Nibbling
Ask yourself this: do you ever eat while standing? Perhaps you are passing a co-workers desk and see a few candies on a tray. Do you pick one up while walking by? Or, when preparing dinner, do you find yourself eating the crusts left over from your child’s sandwich?
Mindless nibbling is devastating to any diet plan. You might think you’re only taking in a few calories while you do this but it can add up quickly. In fact, you could easily consume 250-500 calories without really even realizing it, completely eliminating the deficit that you had created for fat loss to take place. The end result is that you see no progress at all.
Make it a rule that you need to sit down to eat. When you do, pay attention to your food. This will lead to greater overall meal satisfaction and reduce the chances that you overeat throughout the day.
Mistake #5: Going To Extremes
In the world of nutrition, it’s easy to get sucked into the latest quick-fix. ‘Lose 10 pounds in one week!’ Who doesn’t want that? Remember, extremes rarely ever produce results that last. Not only do they lead to lose nothing more than water weight or muscle mass tissue but they may also put your health in jeopardy.
A balanced nutrition approach is what you need to get to your end goal. This means getting nutrition from carbohydrates, dietary fats, as well as protein on a daily basis. Your body needs all of these to function optimally.
Mistake #6: Never Letting Up
Another mistake some people make is dieting for months on end. They stick to the same low calorie diet plan that isn’t really producing results in hopes that something will change. Rarely does anything change.
If you’ve been on a low calorie plan for longer than 3 months and aren’t seeing weight loss progress any longer, there is a good chance that your body has slowed its metabolic rate down to accommodate to your decreased food intake. This means fat loss is moving along a lot slower and results are hard to come by.
The solution? Don’t decrease your calorie intake further like you might be tempted to do. That will just amplify the problem. Instead, you want to kick-start your metabolic engine by taking a few days or even a week off your diet and eating more calories again.
It may seem scary to do this, but it is the fastest way to get back on track to seeing results again. After that week is over and you move back to your diet plan, fat loss should start moving along again.
Mistake #7: Succumbing To ‘Snack’ Syndrome
Finally, watch out that you don’t succumb to ‘snack’ syndrome. This is basically falling for the marketing ploys that some companies put out trying to make you think their low calorie snack foods are healthy options. 100 Calorie Snack packs are a great example of this. Sure, they only contain 100 calories, but are they providing your body with valuable nutrition? That is what you need to be asking here.
The same goes for snacks like cereal bars, granola bars, puddings, and of the like. Instead, if you need nourishment on the go, consider a quality protein bar such as our Lean Body protein bars. These bars provide a high dose of protein coupled with healthy fats and very little sugar. It’s something that you can feel confident putting into your body.
Take a good look over your current nutrition plan. Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, it may just be time to make a few changes so that you can get back on track to seeing results again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology.
In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 12 years now. You can learn more about her at www.ShannonClarkFitness.com