We’re moving through 2017, chugging along towards our fitness goals.
Workout plan? Check.
Stress management? Check.
Fitness motivation? Check.
But what about our nutrition? There’s so much information out there on how to eat, when to eat, and what to eat. Talk about information overload. So before we dive into a nutrition plan head first, we’ve gotta make sure we aren’t making this super common nutrition mistake.
As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I work with women across the United States to help them change their bodies in a way that does not require obsession or dietary restriction. Through working with lots of women, I’ve found that most women who come to me are making one nutrition mistake that’s stalling their progress.
For most of us, when we decide to change up our nutrition to meet our goals, we do one thing: count. Whether it’s calories, macros, or servings, we’re told counting and closely monitoring our nutrition intake is the answer.
I’ve been there, too. I started counting calories when I was thirteen years old, so in a sense, I grew up with calorie counting. And when I tried to stop counting calories and follow a serving based system? I counted servings nonstop. I carried a notepad with me everywhere, counting, and recounting everything I ate. I felt like if I stopped, I would eat with abandon and gain 20lbs overnight.
My friend, there IS an alternative. It IS possible to quit counting calories and feel in control of your eating. And I want to show you how. This is why I’ve created my weeklong nutrition e-course to for automated eating (grab the deets here).
This brings us to the #1 nutrition mistake women make: overcomplicating their nutrition.
Why complicated nutrition doesn’t work
We end up eating the wrong things
If all we’re thinking about are numbers, foods become nothing but numbers. Although a bowl of ice cream and a chicken breast with roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes may have the same number of calories, they’ll affect our bodies differently.
This means we may end up eating foods that will make us MORE hungry, making it more difficult to reach our goals. Alternatively, we may find ourselves eating only the lowest of calorie foods so we can stay within or under our arbitrary calorie goal.
We get overwhelmed and “fall off the wagon”
Counting anything consistently takes a lot of mental energy, and is inherently unsustainable. At some point, we’ll reach the “fuck it” point and stop counting for a time.
But unfortunately, without numbers to guide us, it becomes way too easy to fall off the wagon.
Consistency with nutrition is hard. We often know what we need to do but implementing it is another story. There are days when we’re really good and days when everything is off and we order an entire pizza for ourselves. Sometimes nutrition is effortless, but other times, it gets so overwhelming or we get sick of making decisions, so we end up overindulging and feeling guilty later. When these things happen, we feel like there’s no middle ground between restriction and guilt (see how I cut to the middle here).
We stop listening to our bodies
The main reason I recommend against counting macros, calories, or servings for long periods of time is that we completely lose touch with our bodies and their signals. When numbers rule our food intake, we stop listening to hunger and satiety cues.
I talk to women all the time who are following a calorie plan and either feel super hungry and restricted or they don’t stop eating until they have reached their calorie count for the day – even if they are beyond full. They no longer trust what their bodies tell them, so they follow a meal plan instead.
I lived in this space for a long time. I was constantly following a meal plan and eating when I was told. After a time, I wasn’t able to recognize when I was hungry and had no idea how much my body actually needed, leading me to severely under-eat every time I came off a meal plan. This is NOT a way to live (see how I do it instead), and that’s why I am so passionate about not making this nutrition mistake.
Combatting this common nutrition mistake
I want you to make it super simple. Instead of counting anything, I want you, my friend, to focus on just two things: protein and veggies. Every single time you eat, grab a portion of protein and some vegetables. If you’re still hungry, add some healthy fat or complex carbohydrates, depending on your goals.
Want more help getting in veggies at every meal? Grab some of my best tips.
This super simple strategy makes all the difference, because you’ll be eating lots of nutrient dense and non-calorie dense foods. This will allow you to eat more AND make sure you aren’t missing out on any key nutrients. In layman’s terms, low calorie density = large portion size. And large portion sizes keep you (me) happy. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook with #mindthemiddle to see how I implement these strategies day-to-day.
Ending the complicated nutrition obsession
Now, even if we know calorie counting isn’t the best way to lose weight, it can be hard to change. I talk to women all the time who are obsessed with counting, tracking, and measuring their food. They absolutely hate feeling tethered to their MyFitnessPal app and constantly calculating their daily intake but don’t know what to do when they aren’t counting. As soon as they try and stop, they’re overcome with anxiety and fear.
Fear that the weight will come back.
Fear that they’ll lose control.
Fear that they don’t know how much to eat without counting.
Fear that there’s no other way to achieve results.
But I have good news, it IS possible to quit counting calories and feel in control of your eating. And I want to show you how. This is why I’ve created my weeklong nutrition e-course to #CeaseConstantCalorieCounting.
I’ve taken all of my top solutions that have helped me and my clients break away from calorie counting obsession and will share them with you. Over six days, I’m going to share six super simple guidelines–not rules–that will help you still feel in control of your eating but not have to be so obsessed with the numbers anymore.By the end of the week, I’ll teach you another way to be in control of your eating, without obsession, counting, or tracking.
We start on April 17, so sign up before registration closes!
What’s one thing that still confuses you about nutrition?