Mistakes can happen even with the best intentions. When it comes to health and wellness, the internet and media have not shortage of recommendations. Yet, the advice from one professional, dietitian, influencer, or health coach can vary. Here are several examples of common mistakes that can happen when initiating healthier eating.
Setting unrealistic goals
If you are just starting out on your healthy eating journey, you should be mindful that your goal is realistic. If you set something that is unachievable, you will not only be less likely to reach your goal, but you have the potential of becoming increasingly frustrated and fuel negative self-talk. Start off by setting smaller, and more easily achievable goals. This way you will help to build momentum, and confidence, and eventually reach the long-term goals that spurred you on to start eating healthy in the first place.
Having an all-or-nothing mindset
An easy mindset to fall into when you are new to a subject, or program is thinking that something can only happen one way or the other. And while there is some merit to this argument, progress, and change do not always happen in a consistent straight line. When it comes to eating healthily, pleasure is part of the puzzle. When people succumb to temptations, they are often followed by feelings of guilt and want to give up. However, the important thing to remember is to eat more real, whole foods than not, listen to hunger and satiety, and while eating balance meals and snacks, have pleasure on your plate too.
Underestimating the power of water
Drinking enough water is another extremely important factor to consider when you are trying to eat healthier. Hydration can help with fatigue, digestion, weight loss, and body temperature regulation. It is recommended that most adults drink between 6 – 8 cups of water a day. If you want to avoid making this mistake by not drinking enough, why not try setting yourself reminders on your phone, and ensuring you have enough to drink first thing to start your day right, and last thing at night to help your body to recover while you sleep?
Removing enjoyable foods
There are a lot of assumptions made by people who are new to eating healthy. One such assumption is that you need to remove all enjoyable foods and just stick to plain and boring meals. There are plenty of tasty foods and recipes that you can include in your healthy food plan so that it does not become boring and plain, such as a zesty and healthy pasta salad. So, to avoid making this mistake ensure that you do not completely remove every enjoyable food (that you tolerate!), or meal from your plan. Your enjoyment of the food that you are eating will help keep you on track to eating healthier foods for longer.
Focusing on what you can’t have vs what you can have
Do a little bit of research into all of the benefits that each food and food group will give you, and soon you will realize that by eating a more healthy and balanced diet, you are likely opening up many more doors than you are closing. If you can flip your mindset to think “Look at how much food I can include and incorporate into my diet” rather than “Look at how much food I shouldn’t eat” then you will perceive your healthy eating journey in a much more positive light.
In conclusion, if you wish to avoid making many of the mistakes that are linked with healthy eating, ensure you do the relevant research, understand that change does not happen overnight, and don’t restrict yourself to the point that your food becomes unenjoyable. Overall, strive to have as much fun during your journey of healthier eating and growth and try new things, new foods, and new recipes.