7 Eating Mistakes We Should All Fix

October 31, 2019
Getting your family to stop making eating mistakes can be a royal pain in the...kitchen. You've got to realize that you are what you eat, and therefore a good diet should be one of your top priorities. 

Even those who are health-conscious and have good habits can make eating mistakes that spoil their plans to maintain it. So, pay close attention to what you eat. Today, we’d like to give you a few tips on what you might be doing wrong and how you can improve it.

Eating Mistakes You Might Be Making

1. Poor planning

A person about to eat a hamburger.
It’s easy to opt for fast food in the absence of planning.

Most people (up to 80%, according to some studies) don’t plan their weekly menus. So, the result is unbalanced eating practices that lead to excess weight. It’s for this reason that you should have some basic knowledge of food. You should learn something about nutrition and be aware of what you consume.

This is a chaotic world and eating well requires careful reflection and planning. Make smart purchases by selecting them carefully.

You may want to read: Ten Basic Aspects for Starting a Mediterranean Diet

2. Eating mistakes: “Light” doesn’t always mean “healthy”

For the most part, a decrease in fat is supplemented for other substances such as salt or sugar. Don’t fall for the “light” promise and don’t consume this type of food too often as doing so will alter the nutritional balance of your diet. If you want to eat light, then opt for light foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, etc.

On that note, a lot of us mistakenly think that fat is harmful. In reality, our body needs some fat to perform. So, also stay away from products that advertise “0% fat.” Not only do they not contain bad fats like trans fats, but they don’t have good ones, either! For example, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are very useful for our body and we should meet our daily requirements for them.

3. Eat five times a day

Experts recommend five daily meals. Basically, that’s the common three -breakfast, lunch, and dinner- and two extra snacks. When we don’t feed our body for a long period (more than 3-4h), it goes into alert mode. So, it triggers our reserve mechanisms.

What exactly does that mean?

Well, our body begins to save energy and accumulate fat if we don’t eat frequently enough to endure during the hours that it doesn’t have an intake of energy. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid these alert mechanisms to maintain a proper balance.

4. Skipping breakfast

A table setting with a clock plate that means that skipping a meal is one of the eating mistakes we often make.
If you don’t eat when you’re hungry, then your body enters into an alarm mode and increases its fat reserve signals. This can lead to weight gain.

Skipping the first meal of the day is a widespread habit in our society. Many of us think that if we do, we’ll lose weight faster. Forget about this myth, though, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the one that gives us the energy we need throughout the rest of the day.

Likewise, eating at off times is also a bad habit. This is because the human digestive system is self-regulating and we have specific schedules. So skipping meals often is detrimental to our health.

5. Over salting is one of the most common eating mistakes

An excess of salt will lead to fluid retention and blood pressure problems. This is because too much sodium in our body will affect our kidneys and heart. These conditions will occur over time if we continuously eat too much salt.

There are many medical reasons why someone might crave salt. Consult a doctor if this is your case.

In the meantime, try to follow a proper diet with just enough salt. Try adding other herbs and spices to your food if you think it lacks flavor. So, experiment with herbs, spices, citrus, peppers, garlic, vinegar, etc.

6. Not all salads are created equally

Most people think that eating salads is eating healthy and that these contain enough fruit and vegetables in their diet. This is a huge mistake because a basic salad with just lettuce, tomatoes, and onions has barely any nutritional value. What you’re eating there is mostly water.

To eat a truly wholesome salad, you’ll have to mix and match vegetables, legumes, fruit, nuts, meats, etc. Lettuce does have nutritional value but you’ll need more than one ingredient to meet your daily requirements.

Read also: Seven Health Myths Dietitians Hate

7. Eating mistakes: Too much of a good thing

A wooden board with meat, garlic and rosemary.
Change your eating priorities and maintain a balanced diet. Your plate should be colorful and have a lot more than meat and potatoes.

“At least eat the meat,” moms all over the world used to plead. It probably had a lot more to do with the price than with the nutritional value, from their perspective.

While we should eat a portion of animal protein every day, it shouldn’t be over a quarter of our meal. A well-balanced, colorful plate is a healthy plate. (Note that we’re not referring to Fruit Loops or M&Ms here!) Makes sure that plenty of vegetables, grains, and legumes also make their way onto your plate.

Finally, consult a nutritionist if you have any questions about maintaining your good eating habits. They can help!

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  • Ducrot, P., Méjean, C., Aroumougame, V., Ibanez, G., Allès, B., Kesse-Guyot, E., … Péneau, S. (2017). Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity14(1), 12. doi:10.1186/s12966-017-0461-7
  • Lin BH, Guthrie J. Nutritional Quality of Food Prepared at Home and Away From Home, 1977–2008. Econ Inf Bull No. (EIB-105) 24 pp. USDA. 2012.