The #1 nutrition mistake women make

We’re moving through 2017,  chugging along towards our fitness goals.

Workout plan? Check.

Stress management? Check.

Fitness motivation? Check.

But what about our nutrition? There’s so much information out there on how to eat, when to eat, and what to eat. Talk about information overload.  So before we dive into a nutrition plan head first, we’ve gotta make sure we aren’t making this super common nutrition mistake.

As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I work with women across the United States to help them get consistent without obsession or dietary restriction. Through working with lots of women, I’ve found that most women who come to me are making one nutrition mistake that’s stalling their progress.

Are you making this super common nutrition mistake? This is the #1 mistake I see women making (and how to fix it).

For most of us, when we decide to change up our nutrition to meet our goals, we do one thing: count. Whether it’s calories, macros, or servings, we’re told counting and closely monitoring our nutrition intake is the answer.

Consistency with nutrition is hard. We often know what we need to do but implementing it is another story. There are days when we’re really good and days when everything is off. Sometimes nutrition is effortless, but other times, it gets so overwhelming or we get sick of making decisions, so we end up overindulging and feeling guilty later. When these things happen, we feel like there’s no middle ground between restriction and guilt.

But there is.

That’s why I created my #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet. No meal plans, just the handful of things you need to implement daily to eat moderately, completely stress-free.

This brings us to the #1 nutrition mistake women make: overcomplicating their nutrition.

Why complicated nutrition doesn’t work

We end up eating the wrong things

If all we’re thinking about are numbers, foods become nothing but numbers. Although a bowl of ice cream and a chicken breast with roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes may have the same number of calories, they’ll affect our bodies differently.Grocery Haul

This means we may end up eating foods that will make us MORE hungry, making it more difficult to reach our goals. Alternatively, we may find ourselves eating only the lowest of calorie foods so we can stay within or under our arbitrary calorie goal. 

We get overwhelmed and “fall off the wagon”

Counting anything consistently takes a lot of mental energy, and is inherently unsustainable. At some point, we’ll reach the “fuck it” point and stop counting for a time.

But unfortunately, without numbers to guide us, it becomes way too easy to fall off the wagon.

Consistency with nutrition is hard. We often know what we need to do but implementing it is another story. There are days when we’re really good and days when everything is off and we order an entire pizza for ourselves. Sometimes nutrition is effortless, but other times, it gets so overwhelming or we get sick of making decisions, so we end up overindulging and feeling guilty later. When these things happen, we feel like there’s no middle ground between restriction and guilt (see how I cut to the middle here).

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We stop listening to our bodies

The main reason I recommend against counting macros, calories, or servings for long periods of time is that we completely lose touch with our bodies and their signals. When numbers rule our food intake, we stop listening to hunger and satiety cues.

I talk to women all the time who are following a calorie plan and either feel super hungry and restricted or they don’t stop eating until they have reached their calorie count for the day – even if they are beyond full. They no longer trust what their bodies tell them, so they follow a meal plan instead.

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I lived in this space for a long time. I was constantly following a meal plan and eating when I was told. After a time, I wasn’t able to recognize when I was hungry and had no idea how much my body actually needed, leading me to severely under-eat every time I came off a meal plan. This is NOT a way to live, and that’s why I am so passionate about not making this nutrition mistake.

Combatting this common nutrition mistake

I want you to make it super simple. Instead of counting anything, I want you, my friend, to focus on just two things: protein and veggies. Every single time you eat, grab a portion of protein and some vegetables. If you’re still hungry, add some healthy fat or complex carbohydrates, depending on your goals.

Want more help getting in veggies at every meal? Grab some of my best tips.

This super simple strategy makes all the difference, because you’ll be eating lots of nutrient dense and non-calorie dense foods. This will allow you to eat more AND make sure you aren’t missing out on any key nutrients. In layman’s terms, low calorie density = large portion size. And large portion sizes keep you (me) happy. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook with #mindthemiddle to see how I implement these strategies day-to-day.

Ending the complicated nutrition obsession

I talk with women all the time who are struggling to stay consistent with their nutrition without tracking, counting, or measuring. They know what they “should” eat but they can’t seem to implement it when outside of their normal routine. They either restrict themselves and feel super deprived or they get overwhelmed by all the “shoulds” and eat whatever they want, leaving them feeling lots of guilt.

I’ve been there. For years, I went out to dinner or happy hours only to order the lowest calorie option. I’d crave something tasty but knew I *should* order something light, so I ordered grilled chicken with roasted vegetables. I’d feel pretty good about myself…until appetizers came. Sweet potato fries, meatballs, and bread with pesto dipping sauce would fill the table. I’d try resisting…for about five minutes. Eventually, I’d always give in, indulging in fries, meatballs, bread, and lots of wine. Even though I knew what I should do, I couldn’t. I was too bored by my choices to stick with them, so I went overboard and felt super guilty afterwards.

Consistency with nutrition is hard. We often know what we need to do but implementing it is another story. There are days when we’re really good and days when everything is off. Sometimes nutrition is effortless, but other times, it gets so overwhelming or we get sick of making decisions, so we end up overindulging and feeling guilty later. When these things happen, we feel like there’s no middle ground between restriction and guilt.

But there is.

With lots of experimentation, I found a way to cut to the middle between deprivation and guilt. That’s why I created my #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet to help all of us implement the things we know we should do with our nutrition. There are no crazy meal plans or calorie counts, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately and find that middle between restriction and guilt.

Grab your copy now! bit.ly/consistentnutritioncheatsheet

What’s one thing that still confuses you about nutrition?

4 thoughts on “The #1 nutrition mistake women make

  1. Oh my goodness, YES!!! You have said this so beautifully. I know so many people who obsess over calories. I used to and I was so stressed out and completely obsessed with what I couldn’t have and precise measuring. It was awful. I gained weight during that time. Just recently someone was like, “Oh, have you tried these new 90 calorie bars blah blah blah” and I really wanted to say, “Umm, no. I eat real food.” Like Michael Pollan says, “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.” And like you said, I have protein at every meal. That’s what keeps me satisfied.

  2. Hey Jess! Thanks so much for sharing your story! I love what you said about veggies & protein. It makes all the difference and keeps us from obsessing when we can focus on the simple things!

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