1. Misreading labels
Don’t just read the labels for calories, fat, carbs, and protein content, but consider the supplemental facts panel. Knowing all the ingredients that are in the food you buy is much more important than calories, fat, etc. Recognize and identify the ingredients that may be processed, fake or those that you just can’t pronounce. These are the items that you should be focusing on, and if it fits into any of these categories, think twice before eating it.
2. Just because it says “organic” or “natural” doesn’t mean you should eat it
A label may catch our attention because it says natural and/or organic and immediately we think “Oh, it must be good”! This can be especially true when in comes to sugary foods. Organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, honey, agave are all types of sugars and still spike blood sugar levels, some more than others, knocking the body out of balance and creating that craving for more sweetness. Finding a replacement like organic liquid stevia may be of benefit for you, or perhaps finding a food with built in natural sweetness like raisins, which contain has tryptophan, an added benefit and important amino acid for brain functioning.
3. Not having a snack when you should
Don’t try to wait until it’s time to sit down and have a meal if your gut is grumbling. Instead, combine a carbohydrate-rich food like whole grains, fruits or vegetables with protein foods like nuts or seeds to munch prior to mealtime. Snacking helps keep you from getting overly hungry in between meals and then overeating at your next meal. Healthy snacking helps keep your blood sugar level, which is especially helpful for diabetics.
4. Eating out doesn’t mean you need to ditch your healthy lifestyle
It’s alright to treat or indulge yourself by eating out, but do not abandoned your health goals once you step out the door. Instead, make selections that are in line with your personal everyday healthy lifestyle and enjoy something healthy and delicious that you did not have to prepare. Take opportunity to discover new, creative, healthy food prepared by another.
5. What did I just eat?
Although a menu may say “vegan” or “vegetarian”, restaurants may still use ingredients that are on your “no fly” list like heavy oil, eggs or butter while preparing. Not all kitchen staff has the same definition or understanding of vegan, vegetarianism, nut free or gluten free, as you do! They may also add extra salt and sugar to dishes, and use other processed chemicals. To be on the safe side, ask your server about food preparation, ingredients, and request sauces on the side and that your meal is grilled or steamed instead of using added oils or butters.
6. Frankly, I don’t care
What does it matter what the wait staff and dining pals think? They are not eating the meal, you are! Don’t throw your healthy habits out the door just to conform or go along with what everybody is ordering. Get over this, and stay connected and committed to your goals. Order the water with lemon, forgo the alcohol, ask the server questions, and make special requests if you want to. You would n’t by cloths that don’t fit or look good on you, so why would you buy a meal that doesn’t taste good or look good on you? Get what you want, and how you want it, without worry what others think!
7. Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared, oh, and be prepared!
When I was 10 years old, I saved the day on a family road trip with little snacks I had tucked away in the event that Dad stopped at some roadside diner I didn’t like. We never found that roadside diner, but we demolished the snacks I had brought along. I was prepared! It’s critical to think ahead; one of the best things you can do is always stash a healthy snack in your purse, backpack, man bag, gym bag, whatever, and, know where you can get some quick, organic, healthy food on the go. Stop at your organic health food market and do a grab and go for later.