9 Mistakes Killing Your Diet
You may think you are doing all the right things with your diet. However, there are 9 diet mistakes that could seriously hurt your progress. Check it out!
This post contains affiliate links. While we may receive compensation from these links they are at no extra cost to you.
Whether your goal is to slim down, bulk up, or maintain your weight, you are on a diet.
There is a goal involved in every step of a training program and that includes your diet.
While many know the basics of swapping out soda for water, or skipping the fast food stop for a salad, there is more to it.
Often what hurts diet progress are subtle things.
I’m am talking about things, that you may even think are supposed to be good for you. In reality, those good things can actually hurt you.
Check out the list below:
Exaggerated Super Food
Industry leaders today love to discuss super foods.
You may know of the hype with coconut, kale, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar to name a few.
Sure you can even get a spirulina supplement that will be a great boost to your health.
Let’s get real with these food items.
They are great. Super food is appropriate term for the fact that they can do have natural effects for promoting positive health.
However, super foods are not a cure all.
Unfortunately, too often people make the diet mistake by thinking that sprinkling turmeric on a pork chop they are magically getting rid of the high fat content.
Or that cooking kale in bacon grease is simply going to make it healthy for you.
Granted, who doesn’t love food cooked in bacon grease. I know I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
The point is to be real with yourself when choosing super foods.
If the food surrounding it is not super, then the super food is no longer super.
Healthy Snack Serving Size
In life, too much of just about anything can be bad. Over time what is good can quickly become counter intuitive.
When it comes to your diet, it is important to realize that portion size is vital in all things.
Yes, there are some things that don’t really have a negative in having too much.
When it comes to snacking though, usually even healthy snacks need moderation.
For instance, nuts are highly known as a great protein source.
I hear so many people think of nuts as a protein but fail to think about the rest of it.
While great as a protein source, they are also high in fat. In fact, I often refer to nuts as a fat first, protein second.
Before you sit down on the couch and polish off a new bucket of nuts think about this.
I often buy a 2.5 pound bucket of unsalted nuts from Costco.
In that bucket, there is 40 servings. That equates to roughly a small handful. In that one serving is 160 calories. 130 of those calories come from fat or a little over 14 grams. You only get about 5 grams of protein in one serving.
Do the math, one bucket is about 560 grams of fat. I know a lot of people who could easily eat that bucket in four sittings.
This is just one example of how a healthy snack can quickly turn into a bad diet mistake.
Compulsive eating is dangerous in a fitness program.
That is one reason why I always recommend having a meal plan.
If you are like me, you eat more for nourishment than enjoyment. I can easily eat the same foods day in and day out and not blink an eye.
It does not always have to be super strict though.
If you are the type of person that likes eating differently every day than do that.
However, have a plan.
Plan out your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Most importantly, plan out your snacks!
Snacks are often skipped in the planning phase and that is where many fail.
End of the day rolls around, you are finally getting a chance to relax and watch some TV before bed. Of course, hunger strikes and without a plan, you go for a snack that goes against the diet.
This scenario quickly turns into a session of compulsive eating to cure your cravings.
It is always good to leave a little room in your calorie or macro planning for end of the night snacks.
Also, plan out a few healthy snacks to always have for those moments you need a little something extra.
Late at night, I generally like to go for a little Greek yogurt or some oatmeal with fruit, chia, and flax.
Cold Turkey on Dessert
Speaking of late night snacks, are you completely cutting out something you love like chocolate?
Desserts are not bad for you.
Surely there is inherent risks with eating sugar and sweets. However, if all you ever do is eat super clean and healthy all the time, you create a great risks.
That is the risks of falling off the band wagon hard.
You taste a bit of freedom and want more.
Over indulgence can hurt your diet.
If your sweet tooth is constantly calling, give it something in moderation.
At the end of every day reward yourself with a little something. Yes, I said every day.
Don’t go crazy on the amount. Perhaps just a small piece of bittersweet chocolate.
The other benefit of this too is that you are giving your body something to burn.
That one little piece of candy is not going to do enough to matter. In fact, if you are active with the gym routine, your body sometimes needs the sugar for glycogen.
Don’t make this diet mistake and enjoy a little treat.
One Bad Meal Becomes Three
The term cheat meal in the fitness circle is thrown around so much. Almost too much.
People hear cheat meal or they see insane cheat meals on Instagram and it quickly turns into cheat day.
There are good ways and bad ways to cheat on your diet.
However, what about the day you did not plan to cheat but it just happened.
A friend calls you up and says, “hey let’s go to breakfast my treat.”
You know the place they go to is bad. There is few options for you and your diet. However, it’s rude to say no and you think to yourself, “I have been good. I can go have a fattening breakfast.”
Guess what? You are absolutely right.
You can go have some fun and have an unplanned cheat meal.
Beware of this one caution; Too often after an unplanned cheat people throw in the towel for the day and completely go off the diet.
Too often people say to themselves, “well, I already ruined my diet this morning, what is the big deal if I do the same with lunch?” Then dinner comes along and then dessert, and then guilt.
Truth is, having a single act of bad food choice is not going to ruin your diet. If you have a cheat meal, it is important to plan all other meals around it to be healthy and full of the nutritional goodies you need.
However, when that cheat meal turns into a cheat day, that is where you can really hurt your diet.
Exercise Cures Cheating
When it comes to breaking your diet, don’t make the mistake of thinking that extra time in the gym will fix it.
If you eat an extra 200 calories, going to the gym to burn off calories is not the answer.
The value of exercise is not in burning calories.
You can’t just magically choose which calories your body burns.
Here is the cold hard truth, 90% of what you do to achieve your fitness goals has nothing to do with exercise.
Remember that exercise is about overall health.
It is there to help increase metabolism, insulin effectiveness, and provide you with an overall better physical and mental stability.
This is a very common diet mistake. People workout so they have an excuse to have a crap diet.
What you do outside of the gym has a greater impact on your weight and size than the gym itself.
“Are you getting juiced bro?”
I hope not. While many people rave about their juice diet, it can be quite harmful to your goals.
A little juice here and there is not the end of the world.
Remember that there are different types of sugar. Some sugars go to the liver, some to muscle, so on and so forth.
Our body uses some sugars for good and some create issues.
Without getting too in depth, no matter the source, we need to watch the sugar intake.
Juice can easily become bad for you.
For instance, a small bottle of Naked Green Machine has around as much sugar as a 12 oz can of soda.
While one is technically good sugar, its pretty easy to down that bottle in one sitting. That is more sugar than you need for an entire day.
However, for many, that is not all the sugar for the day. Did you add coffee to your sugar or sugar to your coffee?
Have you had a soda today?
What about your food, is there sugar in any of that?
I don’t like juice for the simple fact that with the amount of sugar and its not satisfying.
Too often people swap eating fruit for consuming it in drink form. Because of this it lacks that satisfying feeling you get from eating a serving of fruit and is less healthy.
Whereas, if you ate a serving of fruit, you are probably good for a while.
While drinking juice is not a terrible diet mistake on its own, it can become one.
There are a whole heap of diets out there that literally say don’t eat this, eat that.
You have high carb, low carb, high fat, low fat, high protein, and low protein diets.
One day potatoes will kill you, and the next you should eat them in every meal.
I hate all the diet non-sense. There is too much of it in the industry.
I firmly believe in diet as being about balance.
I count my macros very closely. I make sure to always eat a good amount of protein and carbs, and a little fat.
It allows me to have real food and ensure that I am getting what my body needs.
The problem with cutting out carbs or protein is these are things the body naturally needs.
If you completely cut them out or limit yourself, you can actually do more harm than good.
It boils down to choices. Instead of french fries, eat a baked potato. Instead of a ribeye steak, go for wild caught cod.
Sure once in a while, have your french fries, and don’t look at red meat as the enemy. Its just about making wise choices with the food we eat most of the time.
Eating When Cravings Kick In
Along with a successful macro diet comes meal planning.
Now you don’t have to plan out every meal. It helps, but if you want to have options, then do that.
One important thing to consider though is timing when you eat.
Plan out your meal times ahead of time. For instance if you are intermittent fasting, your first meal may not be until two o’clock. Then plan in a time for your pre-workout snack, your after workout dinner, and your late night snack.
However you like to eat, plan out a rough window of time for meals and snacks so you are always prepared.
Don’t make the mistake of just eating when cravings kick in. This can lead to bad food choices and going off your diet.