You likely know a lot about managing your nutrition, but that doesn’t mean you’re perfect all the time. And in fact, your good intentions might just lead to some common nutrition mistakes.
Here’s how to avoid these missteps and get the biggest benefits from what you eat and drink.
1. Never eating late.
Eating before bedtime can actually help if you’re strength training, working out later in the day, or want a little help falling asleep. So while you still shouldn’t save the majority of your calories for late at night, don’t be afraid to get helpful nutrients closer to bedtime.
2. Not balancing your breakfast.
Eating breakfast is good, but a balanced breakfast is best. An abundance of carbs in the morning spikes blood sugar, which can affect your energy and mood, cause headaches, fatigue, and hunger, and lead to weight gain. Including a source of protein and fat, which can be as simple as adding a half cup of Greek yogurt or a couple eggs, will stabilize your blood sugar.
3. Sugar-bombing in pursuit of antioxidants.
Antioxidants can do a lot for your health, and including them in your diet is a smart thing to do. But sweetened juices and other sugary products offset the benefits. Choose anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting whole foods like berries, dark green veggies, and nuts.
4. Avoiding food groups.
If you‘re thinking about a gluten-free, dairy-free, or low-carb diet, there should be a scientific reason for it. Only eliminate what you have a known allergy to. Trial and error can get you on the right track, but if you’re still having issues, see a registered dietitian or medical professional.
5. Believing marketing claims.
Reading food labels on packaging before gobbling up the contents is a healthy first step. But don’t get bamboozled by all the claims you see. Remind yourself it’s all marketing, and don’t be misled by the bright food labels yelling “natural,” “low fat,” and “detox.”