When it comes to eating well, sometimes it can be hard to tell if we are doing things right. From all the different food groups to the necessary vitamins and antioxidants, there are so many components to pay attention to, and most of us don’t have time to make sure we’re doing everything right 24/7.
Although you may feel like you’re eating your healthiest, there are certain mistakes that even the healthiest eater makes. With so much information floating on the web, it’s no surprise that its hard to keep up.
Luckily, I’ve spoken to some nutrition and health experts who have given their input on the most common downfalls of healthy eaters. If you’re trying to eat as healthy as possible, avoid these seven eating mistakes that even the healthiest of people tend to make.
1. They Don’t Drink Enough Water
“So many of us are so busy with life we choose not to focus on water intake,” says fitness expert and nutritionist Brad Davidson. “Just walking around 10 percent dehydrated is enough to spike the stress hormone cortisol, and your liver and kidneys need water to detoxify your body. Without water they can’t do their jobs and as toxins build, they tend to store in body fat.” Making sure to drink water first thing in the morning and throughout the day can help keep your body running smoothly.
2. They Under Eat and Over Exercise
“Whether intentionally, or just from being too busy you forget, neglecting to eat can negatively affect metabolism, making you feel and look miserable,” says Davidson. “And then while many work out to relieve stress, over exercising is not always beneficial, as intense exercise elevates cortisol and can bog down the liver.”
3. They Purchase “Healthy” Frozen Dinners
“Often times people choose the ‘healthy frozen dinners’ from their local freezer section,” says Darin Hulslander, owner of DNS Fitness and Nutrition. “What many don’t realize is that these foods are still very short on both antioxidants and key nutrients (particularly vitamin C) and can lead to either a stall in body fat loss or a nutrient deficiency down the road.” To maximize your nutrients, it’s best to pick fresh, whole foods and only eat frozen dinners when you’re in a major rush.
4. They Order Side Dishes At Restaurants
“When eating out, I see tons of people ordering the ‘vegetable side dishes,’” says Hulslander. “What often isn’t realized is that those dishes are often seasoned with salt and cooked or sautéed in oil. Make sure to ask for steamed veggies if that is your choice.”
5. They Eat As Much As They Want
“Many people who eat healthy think they can eat as much healthy food as they want,” says Andrea Cox, the in-house nutritionist at Healthy.co.id. “However, for your body, eating too much chicken breast is the same as eating too many french fries. The extra calories that are not used for energy will get stored as fat. To avoid this, portion out your meals as soon as you make them.”
6. They Load Up On Condiments
“Ketchup, soy sauce, and salad dressing can really affect your diet if you don’t pay attention to the amounts,” says Cox. “Ketchup is high in sugar, soy sauce is high in sodium, and salad dressing can be high in fats. Always read labels, and portion out your food even down to the condiments.”
7. They Try To Be Perfect
“I believe the biggest mistake healthy eaters make is trying to be ‘perfect’ with their diet,” says Rachel Begun, MS, RDN. “The smallest and rarest of indulgences is experienced as a failure rather than a well-deserved and savored treat. These perceived “failures” can derail best efforts. I always recommend to aim for progress, not perfection.”