The Biggest Mistakes Women Make With Nutrition
In this article I am going to touch on a few things that females do that can really sabotage results.
Cutting Your Calories Too Drastically
This is a very common mistake I see amongst females when trying to lose weight. You have perhaps over eaten a little during the Christmas and New Year period for instance, when you decide you want to lose some weight the first thing you do is cut out all the “rubbish food” from your diet and any sign of a carbohydrate. In fact you are now so low carb that you don’t even look at the fruit aisle when you go into a supermarket.
Initially of course you may drop weight quite quickly. I say weight and not fat as you will probably drop a little body fat as well as a lot of weight elsewhere. Glycogen stores in your muscles and water weight for instance. This lulls you into thinking that low calorie is the way to go so you press on with your low calorie approach.
After a few weeks however, the weight loss stops in its tracks. At this stage you drop calories further and increase the amount you train. After a few weeks, despite the increased effort, you don’t progress. At this stage it is very common to think “nuts to this” and rebound with a meal, or a week of meals, that are high calorie and high sugar. The result? You are back to where you started.
My advice is to always take on the maximum amount of calories possible that still allows you to lose body fat. Work out your base metabolic rate (you can Google this) and find out how many calories you need to consume daily. You can then gradually plan and adjust your nutrition to ensure long term sustained results.
Shying Away From Fat
There is a reason some fats are called EFA’s or essential fatty acids. If you hadn’t already guessed from the name, it’s because they are essential.
Someone a long while ago decided that as a gram of fat contains more calories than a gram of protein or carbohydrate, cutting out fat must be the key to fat loss. Decades of avoiding fat and consuming fat free versions of food ensued. The problem being of course that most of the “fat free” variations of food you see in supermarkets contain a lot more sugar to appease your taste buds. Meaning that thanks to Government advice we are, as a nation, fatter than we used to be.
I encourage my clients to consume plenty of good fats daily, in the form of oily fish, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, olives and nut butters. If you are in a low carb phase with your nutrition then aim to have a fat source with every meal.
You See Food As A Reward
If I had a pound for every time I have heard someone say “I’ve burnt about 500 calories today, I’ll reward myself with a glass of wine tonight” or “I’ve been good this week, I’ll treat myself to a pizza this weekend” then I’d be a very rich man.
To be clear, I have no problem whatsoever with people drinking wine or eating pizza. But I do not like that some see food as a reward. I used to use the term “cheat meal” myself, but I dropped it from my terminology a long time ago. The reason being I think that is has negative connotations in the way we look at food. Demonising or seeing certain foods as a treat or reward leads, in my opinion, to an unhealthy relationship with food.
By all means eat foods that make you happy, food is after all there to be enjoyed. But get away from the way of thinking that sees certain foods as treats.
If you consume nutrient dense whole food sources 90% of the time and leave 10% of your choices free for meals out or for gatherings with family of friends for instance then you will be on course to a leaner healthier you.