What are the BIG nutrition and fitness mistakes? The pitfall I see many people making is joining a gym or fitness group and working extremely hard day in and day out doing “all the right things” - strength training, cardiovascular and endurance training - but still not accomplishing their goals.
Exercise is just one part of a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition and accountability are equally, if not a greater part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Why is it so difficult to stay on track with nutrition? The problem is accountability and mindset. With fitness classes, once you are registered or have gotten your friends together to attend class, you are accountable to go. With nutrition the accountability is more based on you as the individual. With that being said, here are a few mistakes many people make and recommendations on how to avoid those.
Mistake 1: The Diet. I have met so many people who have tried all the fad diets, gone on and off different programs, lost weight and gained it back just to be stuck in the frustrating cycle of “dieting” all of the time. When making lifestyle changes it is important to think lifestyle rather than diet. Going on diets that restrict calories and deny yourself of things you enjoy for a certain time until you lose X number of pounds is a recipe for failure.
Recommendation: Choose whole foods, eat in moderation and stay away from processed foods that have ingredients you cannot pronounce. Eat four to six small meals a day.
Mistake 2: Rolling Solo. When people feel part of a group, whether it’s friends, a lifestyle group or family members, people are more likely to accomplish the goals that they set.
Recommendation: Get a lifestyle group together and do a challenge. Hold each other accountable and have fun doing it. Surrounding yourself with people who have similar goals and are supportive of your goals is key for success.
Mistake 3: Setting Too Many Goals. When you try to change too many things at once, you are not setting yourself up for success to accomplish any of those goals. I have met with people who want to lose weight, workout at least five times a week, cook a new recipe each week etc… Then when it gets too overwhelming trying to make all of these changes that are new to them, they are not able to stick with any of them.
Recommendation: Start with a single goal. Stick to it for a month and then add in a new goal. This is going to set you up to accomplish your goals and lead to a happy and healthy lifestyle that is going to be sustainable.
In conclusion, if you are struggling with sticking to your fitness and nutrition goals, re-set, reevaluate and re-start! Stick with one goal, have an accountability group and support each other with encouraging healthy eating habits and fitness goals.
*This article also appeared in the Coastal Breeze on October 13, 2022.