As a nutritionist, I see lots of people who struggle to maintain a healthy diet and meet their nutrition related goals. I have seen clients (nutrition/ personal training), friends, family make such amazing progress and then give up completely because of a tough week, holiday, or vacation. Everyone needs to learn the art of balance. One of the first things that I tell clients is that I am all about moderation. Below I am sharing the most common mistakes that I see people make.
1. Longing for Perfection
Being a perfectionist is hard, and I know this became I am 100% this type of person. However, it’s a major part of self-sabotage. Spoiler alert: you rarely can achieve perfection. An example of this would be eating a salad, and stressing over if the vegetables are actually organic. Stressing out so much actually becomes unhealthy. Focus on taking good care of yourself while also having fun!
2. Having “Cheat Days”, but Scheduling Them
We have all been there, working our butts off for that goal and eating “healthy” during the week, and longing for the day that you can eat ice cream, popcorn, chips, you name it. While “cheat meals” or “cheat days” are good for some people, for others it does not work. This habit can lead to disordered eating habits. Eating the food that is on your plate is one thing, but looking at food as “good” or “bad” is a whole different situation.
To get out of this headspace, you need to create a lifestyle that works for you, but is also one that you LOVE. Food should not be a punishment AND reward. Focus on including foods into your diet that are delicious, and take the word “cheat” OUT!
3. Relying on Motivation
Long-term success has nothing to do with motivation. If you start a new diet plan and join a gym in the same week, but fail to follow through with your commitment once the motivation wears off….. Yes, I see it all the time. Motivation can be a big problem if it causes you to make too many changes at once.
Instead of waiting for motivation, focus on the little steps, in the RIGHT direction. The smallest changes done consistently are more effective than huge changes done sparatic. This can be as simple as having an extra glass of water a day.
4. Never Making a Plan
We all want to start eating better, and making healthier decisions. And most of us have these grande plans of meal prep, BUT then life gets in the way, and before you know it, you’ve been eating take out all week. Yes, WE have all been there.
While being able to roll with it is an important skill to success, when it comes to eating healthy, learning how to plan for success is just as important. You are going to have to put in some WORK. Spend some time on the weekend prepping healthy breakfasts. Keep a small container of healthy trail mix in your bag. Start with small steps that are the easiest, and that you will most likely to actually do.