Top 10 Diet Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Do you start out with good intentions for weight loss only to quickly plateau after your first few pounds?

Frustrating, right?

The most commonly uttered sentence in my office is, “I know what to do – I just don’t do it.”

I find that many people are less knowledgeable than they realize when it comes to eating healthy. Whether we realize it or not, some of our “knowledge” comes from subliminal messaging on TV or online ads… or even what we overhear from co workers or in line at the grocery store.

As we begin the new year, I thought it made sense to publish a quick top 10 list so that we can all start on the same page. Obviously, everyone has individual quirks and needs that might arise, but in my practice, here are the top 10 mistakes I see people making when it comes to diet and weight loss:

1. Skipping breakfast. 

Truthfully, my most overweight patients are the most frequent offenders here. It’s better to tell your body: “Food is plentiful. No need for more storage. Burn baby, burn!”

Eat within 30 minutes of rising for the day to fuel your metabolic fire and burn fat.

2. Skipping meals.

(Notice a theme?) I refer to meal-skipping as the “Sumo Wrestler Diet” because skipping meals leads to overeating at the end of the day—a great strategy if you’re a sumo wrestler. And this still doesn’t take into account the blood sugar imbalances (and other hormonal shifts) that result from meal-skipping.

Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks to avoid the highs and lows of blood sugar.

3. Denial about what (and how much) has been eaten.

Write it down! People often don’t take into account the hundreds, if not thousands, of calories that are consumed after dinner or in sweetened drinks (mocha latte anyone?).

4. Eating in front of the TV or while reading/working.

Studies show distracted eaters consume more calories. For optimal digestion and to avoid overindulgence, it’s best to focus on the flavors and textures of your food, and chew thoroughly.

5. No balance.

There should be a combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates at every meal. Too much of one type of calories will throw blood sugar off. Think veggies (carbs), some extra virgin olive oil (fat) and chicken (protein). Half of your plate should be veggies.

6. Worrying about too much fat.

Good, quality fats don’t make you fat—coconut oil (a medium chain triglyceride) actually helps in the fat burning process. Extra virgin olive oil for salad dressing as well as flaxseed oil are also good examples of healthy fats.

So then what does make us fat?

This brings me to #7 and #8…

7. Eating too many grains

Let’s face it. Most of us are eating grains with every meal and snack  (bread, pasta, cereal, rice, cereal bars, etc). These foods are full of carbohydrates and some are even downright harmful, creating an inflammatory cascade in the gut, as well as systemically, and uncontrollable cravings (especially gluten—but that’s a topic for another day).

Try cutting back on grains and increasing vegetables and see what happens to your waistline!

8. Eating too much sugar

Too much sugar = an increase in body fat stores, cravings, hormonal imbalance and mood disorders. Are you addicted? Take it out completely for 3 days and cravings should disappear (yes, you are actually detoxifying from an addictive substance).

The longer it’s out, the less likely you’ll go back to it. If cravings persist after 3 days, consider micronutrient testing. You likely have specific nutrient deficiencies that impair your cells’ ability to use glucose for energy. The most common deficiencies here tend to be chromium and zinc.

9. Drinking diet sodas.

Believe it or not, the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas do impact blood sugar/insulin levels. They are also extremely toxic and create digestive distress in many people.

10. Not enough deep, quality sleep.

We detoxify and repair at night while sleeping, We also create hormones that tell us when to eat and when we’ve had enough. You make more of the hormones that drive hunger when you’re sleep deprived. Aim for 8 hours nightly to improve metabolism and hormone function.

Need more answers? Schedule some time with Francie to start your year off right. Call Leaves of Life at (614) 888-HERB (4372) and reserve your time today!

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