Where am I going wrong? This is a common question that I get asked from clients that have been trying to loose weight by making healthy choices and just aren’t seeing the results they had hoped. Shy of an underlying medical problem or imbalance, often the problem is taking healthy tips the wrong way. Read on to find out about some of the most common mistakes I see and how to stop yourself from doing the same.
#1 Eat 5-6 Meals per Day
This statement really needs to be reworded. Replace the meals with small portions. Often when people are asked to eat 5-6 times per day they increase their calorie intake rather than just the frequency. This suggestion is given in attempt to balance blood sugar and metabolism. No matter how often you eat, if you are eating too much in a day you will put weight on. Instead take your daily calorie intake and just spread it out through out the day. For example; instead of having soup and salad at lunch time, have your salad at your traditional lunch break and then enjoy your soup as a mid-afternoon snack.
#2 Drink Smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent way to get a large amount of nutrients into a tight schedule or picky eater. They are also an easy way to pack in sugar and calories without noticing. So often I ask what a person is putting in their smoothies and get something along the lines of “orange juice, yogurt, protein powder, dates, blueberries, almond butter, coconut oil oh and a handful of spinach.” Yikes!! Can you even guess how many calories you just drank? About 700! Plus 22g of fat and 67g of sugar! Not to mention, most people are drinking a smoothie as a snack or eating another meal a couple hours later. If smoothies are something that you are going to incorporate into your routine, be sure you are focusing on nutrient dense ingredients rather than calorie dense. Add in vegetables, filtered water, spirulina and probiotics that are packed with goodness and very little calories. Choose one source of protein/fat and minimize the fruit. Use water and ice to adjust the consistency.
#3 Eat Nuts and Seeds
Absolutely- you need to incorporate these nutrient packed gems into your diet. But don’t over do it! Even super nutrient packed foods can make you fat if you overeat them. My first point here is that these foods are considered fats. Yes they do contain some protein which makes them very filling and sugar stable, but calorically speaking they are fat. Fat has almost double the calories of proteins or carbs so it can be easy to over do it. The second point -Portion control people, portion control! A serving size of nuts is 12-24 pieces, for nut butters 1 Tbsp and seeds 1-2 Tbsp. Never snack on nuts and seeds straight from the bag. Portion out the appropriate amount into small containers, and stick to just eating them once a day. And don’t forget about variety. Don’t get stuck with the same old same old. Try almonds, pumpkinseeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters- just pace yourself and don’t over indulge.
There is all sorts of health advise flying around out there, and some can be misinterpreted. Be sure you understand why you are being told to eat a certain food. And for goodness sake don’t over do it! To learn more about meal planning and eating portioned meals throughout the day take a look at our Monthly Meal Plan.