Time just flew on by without me for a while there. This post was supposed to be up much sooner, but, you know, life happens.
Anywho, getting back on track, this post will be about 5 common nutrition mistakes that we encounter on a daily basis. To help me with this post, I asked Elizabeth Greene, MS, Dietetic Intern, to share some of her wisdom on a few of these topics.
Juicing: Good or Bad for your Digestive System?
How many of you have heard of drinking celery juice every morning? I for one have seen it on many social media platforms, but no one gave me a clear reason why they were promoting this trend. All I ask is that you do your research before jumping onto any “health trends.” Ask yourself who, what, why, and how. Who is giving me this information? Are they reliable? What is it that they’re telling me to do? What are the pros and cons? Why am I considering it? How will it benefit/affect me? If you can answer these questions and are pleased with the answers, feel free to give it a try. Here’s what Elizabeth had to say about juicing:
It’s become very popular to blend fruits and vegetables for convenience and health. Juicing has become increasingly common. While it is great that people are trying quick convenient ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets, it causes people to miss one important nutrient: fiber. Fiber is what helps keep us regular, reduces cholesterol, and helps to make us feel full. When you juice fruits and vegetables, you’re leaving out the parts that contain the fiber. When you compare the fiber content to an orange juice to the fiber content of an actual fruit, you’ll find that the whole fruit has a considerable amount of fiber. A medium navel orange has 2.9g fiber while your commercial orange juice only has 0g of fiber. While making your own juice may be better when considering sugar content (store-bought juice is LOADED with sugar), you should also include whole fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Calorie Restriction and Weight Loss
If you read my last blog post about fitness terminology, you may remember me talking about bulking and cutting. I explained that cutting just meant that you need to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. But how do you know how much calories to eat? Many people don’t know how to figure this out and some people don’t want to pay others for this information. So how do you know if you’re eating too much or too little? Yes you could be eating too little while trying to lose weight. Our bodies still need a certain amount of energy from food (calories) to go on with daily bodily processes. Here’s what Elizabeth says about calorie restriction:
Calorie restriction is a part of most diets when it comes to weight loss and is necessary. However, the amount of calories needed to be restricted in order to lose weight may be less than what you think. For healthy weight loss, or 1-2 pounds a week, your caloric intake should be decreased by 500 kcals. The caloric deficit could be as high as 1000kcals, depending on size and activity levels. Speaking of activity, sustainable weight loss cannot be achieved through diet alone, though it plays a huge role. In addition to cutting calories, be sure that you’re getting some exercise in. The two go hand-in-hand to achieve the results you want. This may seem too good to be true, and in most cases, it is. Recommended weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. With that being said, it is important to be sure that you are not restricting more calories than necessary.
I want to reiterate that healthy weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. So in a 4-week month, healthy weight loss would be 4-8 lbs that month. I’ve seen so many products promote 10-15lbs of weight loss in a short period of time, sometimes even shorter than a month! Please don’t waste your money. If you are losing that much weight, chances are you’re also comprimising your health in some way. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
“No Carbs Please!”
There are so many things wrong with that phrase. While we’re on the subject of weight loss, I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard people say they weren’t eating carbs becasue they’re trying to lose weight. Again, if you read my last blog post, you know that carbohydrate are one of the macronutrients that give your body the energy it needs to do necessary processes. You need carbs to help regulate blood sugar, to give your brain and muscles energy, for muscle recovery, and many other things. You should never completely cut out carbs from your diet.
I think another misunderstanding is that some people think “carbs” means bread…..bread is the only thing that can be considered a carb. This isn’t true. Carbs are found in many foods including dairy, fruits, veggies, and beans, not just grains alone. So it would be hard to completely cut out carbs anyway, at least for me. I love my fruits.
Speaking of diets…actually, I’d rather not speak about diets, but here we go. Diets are restrictive and can make you feel bad about yourself when you don’t follow them precisely. So why do we continuously find ourselves looking for one? Why are they constantly being promoted to us. There’s always going to be a new diet. Something we try, so that we don’t have to work as hard, or so we think. Here’s what Elizabeth had to say about these fad diets:
Fad diets are any kind of diet that you might see being promoted, such as keto and paleo, to name a couple. Fad diets are popular because they promise rapid weight loss. These diets are typically hard to sustain over time, and can result in repeat dieting. Have you heard of the term as “yo-yo dieting”?. This term is used because dieting has a yo-yo effect on the body. Once an individual starts a diet, they may see some weight loss. After a while, they may not adhere to the diet as they once did. Thus, some weight is gained back. They then decide to try another diet, lose some more weight, but after some time, the same thing occurs and the cycle continues. The problem with fad diets is that a lot of the time, they are not sustainable long-term, which is why nutrition professionals would recommend a lifestyle change instead of a fad diet. By implementing a lifestyle change, you can alter your diet at your own desired pace and the changes you make will become lifestyle habits. Fad diets tend to require you to eliminate food groups, and while this may be helpful for those with diagnosed medical problems who are in communication with health professionals, for the majority of the population, eliminating food groups can have consequences. By eliminating food groups, you are putting yourself at risk of developing nutrient deficiencies. A variety of foods provide a variety of nutrients, and each one is important for more processes than you could imagine! Before beginning a fad diet, be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider or a dietitian.
So yeah, I’d rather not look for another diet. How about we find something sustainable long-term. Something that works with our new healthy lifestyle, not against it. You put more work, time, and money into looking for quick weight loss diets anyway.
What is a Serving?
Okay, so now we know not to completely cut out carbs, not to trust fad diets, and that we should make sustainable lifestyle changes. Now that we’re eating the right foods, do we know how much of eat we should be eating? Most of us can read a food label. We see that one serving gives us x amount of carbs, protein, fat, vitamins, etc. But how much is one serving? It differs for different foods.
Take the above food label, for the particular item a serving is a 1/2 cup. For another food it may be 1/4 cup. Pay attention to these things when tracking your food/macros. It will make a big difference within your fitness journey.
Another thing to keep in mind when looking at serving size is the differnce between the food being wet or dry. For example, if you’re making a serving of rice, look to see if the information they are giving is based on measuring while the rice is still dry or once the rice is cooked. 1/4 cup of dry rice is not the same as 1/4 cup of cooked rice since the grains get bigger as they soak.
Follow us on Instagram! Jasmine Mitchell, NASM-CPT @jazzinicole @jazzinicolefitness Elizabeth Greene, MS, Dietetic Intern @lizaayyy__