10 nutrition mistakes

Today I would like to share with you my knowledge about the most common nutrition mistakes. Below you will find a list of 10 most popular problems I come across in my everyday practice. I also show you the ways to deal with them.

 

1. Inappropriate amount of calories in a diet

Adjust the amount of calories to the needs of your body, age, sex, weight and physical activity. Remember that calories are a source of energy which is necessary for proper functioning of your body. When the amount is too low it may result in weight loss and lead to malnutrition. Feeling cold, weak, drowsy and annoyed are symptoms of a bad diet.On the other hand, excessive amount is conducive to weight gain and obesity which may result in numerous health problems.

 

2. Skipping meals

Skipping meals is likely to result in snacking and developing bad eating habits. A well-balanced diet should preferably include 5 meals a day. It is important to keep the right proportions between meals and maintain regular mealtimes. Meals should be eaten every 3-4 hours with breakfast as the most important meal of the day which should be consumed  within one hour of waking up. The last meal should be eaten no less than 2-3 hours before going to bed.

 

3. Wrong meal composition

Including too many simple carbohydrates and animal fats accompanied by sugary drinks are the most common mistakes I notice. Another problem many of us have is a full dinner. Remember that for this course you should avoid fat and stodgy products. I recommend following the rule: breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper. Prepare your body so that it can focus solely on regeneration at night. 

 

4. Wrong proportions of fatty acids in a diet

Too many saturated fats and not enough unsaturated fats, especially Omega-3, may result in circulatory system diseases. Remember to include in your diet mostly plant based fats which are a source of unsaturated fatty acids. There’s nothing to fear. Eating them in the right amounts doesn’t lead to building up of fatty tissue, on the contrary, they will actually support weight loss. At the same time, it is vital to limit the consumption of animal fats which are a source of saturated fatty acids. Do not forget to have fish at least twice a week.

 

5. Fiber deficit

Fiber is an insoluble vegetable fiber necessary for the proper functioning of the human digestive system. It is primarily responsible for the removal of undigested food residues. Symptoms of insufficient fiber in the diet are bloating, constipation, and gas. However, remember that if you want to use the advantages of fiber to the full, its consumption should be combined with drinking water. It is the water you drink that activates fiber. Without water, fiber can actually increase your symptoms, for example it leads to constipation.

 

6. Too much salt and sugar

Excessive consumption of salt may lead to developing high blood pressure and might be conducive to stomach cancer. Too much sugar in your diet is conducive to caries and obesity. You can replace salt with herbs (e.g. thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, mint), spices (e.g. ginger, turmeric), black pepper, sweet paprika, onion and garlic. When you feel like eating something sweet always try to find a healthy alternative: have a fruit cocktail or some dried fruit instead of sweets.

 

7. Insufficient amount of fluids

Make sure to hydrate your body properly! Drink at least 1,5 – 2l of water every day. If you work out, you must drink more! Remember that water is essential for all life processes in our body, including digestion and maintaining the right blood pressure.

 

8. Monotonous diet

Eating the same products over and over again is not safe for our body. We should most of all focus on variety when composing ingredients of our meals because each of them has its own unique nutritional value, and different fiber, vitamin and mineral content. Remember that only a well-nourished body will be able to meet your expectations regarding weight loss and increase in physical performance.

 

9. Wrong meals before and after workout

Having a meal rich in carbohydrates before training helps increase your energy reserves and improves physical efficiency. This kind of meal eaten before and after workout stimulates the creation of body’s carbohydrate resources. A diet rich in carbs extends the duration of physical effort before tiredness.

 

10. No carbohydrate regeneration after intense training

The right amount of simple carbs eaten in the first hours after training enhances the process of glycogen resynthesis and helps your body regenerate. In this case the best choice will be fruit  (e.g. bananas), a fruit shake, or rice. Don’t be afraid to have an after-workout carb meal even if you exercise in the evening as it definitely won’t lead to fat tissue build-up.

 

Sources:

  1. Hammad SS, Jones PJ. Dietary fatty acid composition modulates obesity and interacts with obesity-related genes. Lipids. 2017;52(10):803-822.
  2. He FJ, MacGregor GA. Salt and sugar: their effects on blood pressure. Pflugers Arch. 2015;467(3):577-86.
  3. Eriksen BMS, Bjørkly S, Lockertsen Ø, Færden A, Roaldset JO. Low cholesterol level as a risk marker of inpatient and post-discharge violence in acute psychiatry – A prospective study with a focus on gender differences. Psychiatry Res. 2017;255:1-7.
  4. McCrory MA. Meal skipping and variables related to energy balance in adults: a brief review, with emphasis on the breakfast meal. Physiol Behav. 2014;134:51-54.
  5. Thomas DT, Erdman KA, Burke LM. American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016;48(3):543-68.

Anna Lewandowska

Athlete and nutrition specialist. Multiple medalist of the national in traditional karate in European and World Championships. Author of workout plans and books on healthy lifestyle that have helped her motivate over a million of people to change their lives for the better.

Founder of Healthy Plan by Ann, Diet & Training by Ann. CEO of Foods by Ann. Co-founder of Baby by Ann.

Wife of footballer Robert Lewandowski, the captain of the Poland national football team and Bayern Munich player. Read more »

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