Three Major Dieting Mistakes to Avoid

As the temperature heats up, many are hoping their fat will melt and are willing to do ANYTHING to get “beach body” ready for summer. From weight loss pills, belly fat burning creams, and calorie restrictive programs, it’s hard to know which route is the best to take to achieve your goals. Many are looking for a quick fix when it comes to inches to shed or the number on the scale, but as a health and fitness professional with over 10 years of experience, it’s not that easy. 

True wellness is a lifestyle change, not a 10 day fix. Healthier habits have to be implemented to provoke change and nothing will ever replace the importance of a nutritionally sound program to help reach your goals. But there are so many nutrition plans out there and they all seem to contradict each other. 

Eat this. Don’t eat that. Eat whatever you want as long as it fits within your daily caloric needs. All these differing options can be quite confusing for anyone just starting their journey towards healing, so whichever path you decide to take, just don’t fall victim to these three MAJOR dieting mistakes.

1. Working Out Too Much and Not Eating Enough

This is probably the most common one I see with beginners. If fat loss is your main priority, it’s natural to want to increase the quality of foods you eat while drastically reducing the amount you consume. Combine this with jumping all in to a new exercise routine and we have all the ingredients for a recipe of disaster. Let me paint the picture for you. 

You rush to the grocery store, excited about your new commitment to health, and stock up on all the fruits and veggies. 

This is a great thing! 

Increasing the quality of foods you consume while reducing the amount of processed junk and refined sugars you have is one of the greatest decisions you can make for your health. 

However, that small piece of fruit you reach for during breakfast has significantly less calories than the typical eggs and pancakes you’re used to eating. Not only are your new go to meals more nutrient dense, your overall food intake has decreased as well. 

By this point, you are already at a severe caloric deficit, then you start a new training program that is designed to burn as many calories in the shortest time period possible. Are we starting to see the problem? When this happens, your body goes into what is commonly known as “starvation mode” and is no longer burning fat, but instead holding onto it and breaking down muscle to convert into fuel instead. 

Your body needs energy in the form of calories from food to function at its best. When we fail to do this, our bodies will actually hold on to MORE FAT instead of losing it. 

The solution is simple. 

Keep working out while eating those fruits, veggies, and healthier meals – just eat them in abundance. Load up on all the good stuff and eat until you are content, not stuffed. This will probably require you to eat larger portions of food and/or eat more frequently than you did before, and that’s okay! Learn to listen to your body and the cues it gives you related to how much food it needs and make decisions accordingly. 

2. Lack of Sustainability

Typically when people first start a wellness program they are highly motivated and go all in. They buy all the meal prepping containers, fill up their fridge with healthier foods, and become a member of a new gym – they are READY! But after about a week or two in, they burn out and revert to old habits. 


Well most likely, that person set unrealistic goals for what he or she was physically or mentally ready for. 

You cannot make up for 10 years of bad habits in 10 days, so don’t even try! Instead create a realistic, sustainable plan to commit to that you can gradually improve upon. Remember, you are building new, lifelong habits and we are striving for progress, not perfection. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so find and keep a pace that you can maintain long term.

3. You’ve Convinced Yourself That Carbs Are Bad

We have all heard this one before or have possibly even believed this lie ourselves. It’s been embedded into our brains that we should be on low carb, high protein diets and that carbs in general are bad for us. This is dangerous thinking in regards to promoting that all carbs are created equally. They aren’t. 

When most people hear the word “carbs” they think of breads, rice, pastas, and even desserts like donuts. What many people fail to realize is that fruits and vegetables are also considered carbs and should make up the majority of your diet. 

We have two very different areas in which we categorize carbohydrates depending on how they affect the body’s blood sugar levels: low glycemic carbs and high glycemic carbs. 

Low glycemic carbs are the preferred choice because they are slowly digested and absorbed causing a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels. Examples of low glycemic foods are most vegetables and many fruits like apples, peaches, and pears. 

On the other hand, high glycemic carbs are typically what our brains think of when we hear the word “carb.” These are your starchy vegetables, like most potatoes, and also things like pasta. Foods that are considered high glycemic are quickly digested and absorbed in the body causing a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar levels. These foods should be limited or avoided as much as possible. 

Now, if you still think that you are inclined to fall victim to working out too much and not eating enough, creating a plan that lacks sustainability, or if you still have it in your head that you need to be on a low carb diet, then we would love to serve you! 

We specialize in helping people avoid these three, major dieting mistakes while forming habits that can be maintained for life while providing the results you need. 

Looking for a total body reset? 

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Want to lead a healthier lifestyle, but make gradual changes at your own pace? 

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Published by Jeremy R. Pittman

Jeremy is the founder and Chief Volunteer of the Never Settle Foundation. My dad was Pastor Don Pittman. He coined the phrase "never settle" on Easter Sunday in 2006. That message ultimately inspired him to found this non-profit foundation in 2011.

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