While trying to follow a diet or a specific nutrition plan, your first thought might be to look and see what somebody else is eating and doing. In reality, looking to see what others are doing and copying that for yourself may be doing more harm to your body than you know. It is important to know what your body needs to function correctly and to make sure you are getting the most out of what you are eating!
1. CALORIES ARE NOT ALL CREATED EQUAL
Many people starting a diet or just getting into the nutrition aspect of the fitness industry are setting a daily amount of calories they want to consume. It is important to figure out exactly how many calories, as an individual, you will need to consume each day, and then look into the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) of the food you are eating. Too often the macronutrients of what one is eating are being overlooked, depriving the body of what it needs to grow and function correctly, simply by only focusing on the calories!
2. NOT EATING ENOUGH MEALS DURING THE DAY
While dieting, it is important to be fueling your body throughout the entire day. Too many people believe that only eating a small breakfast, lunch and dinner, staying in such a caloric deficit, will help them lose weight. It is better to prepare meals in advance, meeting your daily macronutrient goals, and eat those smaller meals all throughout the day, every 2½ to 3½ hours. If too much time is taken in-between meals and the body continues to be deprived, this is when the body begins to break down muscle for energy.
3. POOR HYDRATION
The average body is 50% to 60% water. Water plays an extremely important role in one’s nutritional habits, almost as much as food does. If you are not consuming enough water, it hinders the functioning of the kidneys. This means your body will be using additional support from elsewhere, resulting in the fats you consume being stored rather than being burned off. Drinking enough water can also help to surpass hunger!
4. CARBOHYDRATES ARE NOT BAD FOR YOU
The idea that consuming carbohydrates will not allow you to lose weight is believed by too many people and is false! Carbohydrates are used to make glucose, which is where energy comes from in the body. When consuming the right type and amount of carbohydrates, they will be digested more slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer, and can also help to speed up your metabolism in the long run. Those who believe that staying on a low/no carbohydrate diet will help them lose weight are going to end up losing more muscle tissue rather than losing fat!
5. NOT EATING ENOUGH FATS
Many people see that there is some type of fat in the food they are eating and stay away from it. Certain types of fat in your diet are good for you and will help in the weight loss process! Dietary fats are important for metabolic activity and hormone synthesis, and they give the body energy. Reading nutrition labels and replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats has multiple benefits for the body.
6. EACH INDIVIDUAL IS DIFFERENT
In a world that is controlled by technology and social media, many individuals turn to search engines or someone who they may know of online to help them with a diet. Most of the time, what they are receiving or reading is too generalized and will not help them meet the specific requirements that their own body needs. It is important that essential macronutrients and micronutrients are being consumed on a daily basis. What works for one individual may not do much for another, as each person is different and is going to have specific lifestyles and goals that need to be met.