(Unknown) nutrition mistakes that can ruin your success (part 1/2)
I hear these comments (aka mistakes) quite often from new athletes and social media followers. I broke it down into 2 parts with a total of 13 mistakes* that I hear. Hopefully this helps some of the questions you may have had, or have heard around the ‘Gram that you need to get cleared up.
*note that there aren't anything wrong with these mistakes; they are often times unknown to the individual, but as a coach and with my coaching team, these are common situations that we come across with our clients the we help them overcome in order to really nail their success.
1. Macro hoarding at the end of the day.
Constantly going through the cycle of restricting your intake all day and then saving the bulk of your calories at the end of the day (even if you are still hitting your macro targets at the end of the day) doesn’t do much good for your digestion, among other functions of your body, including your mind! In a way, I would honestly consider that borderline disordered eating mindset where we are seeing a restrict-binge pattern.
Any easy way to navigate through this is to create a hunger map as outlined in my blog called “8 Tips for Addressing Emotional Hunger”
2. Too many low calorie options.
Lower calorie options can be highly dangerous. Foods that are fat-free, sugar-free or even calorie-free, usually read CHEMICALS on the label. Food contains calories, which are units of energy that are required for your body to heat up and break down said food, so if there’s a food that claims it’s ‘calorie-free’ then really, it’s not even food. Examples would be like Walden Farms syrups or diet pops; two of (in my opinion) the worst products you could put into your body.
3. There is such thing as ‘too much coffee.’
I know, I know… hearing this sucks. But it’s true. Caffeine is a stimulant and when you are constantly adding stimulants to your body, not only does it adapt to this continuous demand, but it can also lead to a fatigue in your adrenal glands (where your stress-related hormone called cortisol is produced.) Don’t use this as a crutch. In my opinion, if you’re a coffee drinker and you cannot go a day without it, I think it’s time to reassess you habits and intake. Coffee doesn’t actually dehydrate you, but it’s doesn’t really hydrate you either. Instead of using coffee to start your day, start with a big-ass glass of water. Hydrate before you caffeinate. Save caffeine for your pre-workout stimulant; that’s honestly the most effective, natural pre-workout you can take!
4. Late night snacks.
Eating at night isn’t bad by any means; carbs before bed won’t make you fat. But it’s important to be aware of how your body digests foods at certain times. For example, if you like a higher calorie, heavier meal in the evening, be aware of how long it’s taking your body to digest the food before you go to sleep. A high sugar snack can increase your blood sugar levels which can affect you actually getting to sleep and hitting a state of deep sleep.
5. Not having a plan or tracking your meals.
You don’t have to follow a rigid meal plan in order to be successful, but planning ahead is vital. Meal preparation can save you mid-week stress and time (something we never have enough of) and inputting your food into your meal log ahead of time can ensure your next meal is aligned with your needs and goals. Keeping a log of your food (I highly recommend the My Macros+ app) can allow you to track patterns, changes and build healthy habits. This is of higher importance when we are trying to improve training performance and/or change body composition. After all, you cannot change what you do not know.
6. Not using proper supplementation.
More so, taking supplements that either you don’t know anything about, or if they are even working for you. Sometimes our individual bodies have difficulties absorbing certain vitamins and minerals, so just because you’re taking something, may not necessarily mean you’re getting it into your body. Also, taking supplements because your Fitspo IG crush promotes them, is a steal from your wallet. Make sure you take what you really need, and understand why you’re taking them. But no matter what, if your nutrition foundation is weak, then no supplement stack is going to get you to your goals.
Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon!