Health Mistakes To Avoid + How To Actually Feel YOUR Best
I’ve been fascinated with health and wellness since age 12 when I would read my mom’s Health Mag stocked in our bathroom magazine stand. I read all the articles for workouts to try at home or recipes to pack for lunch and actually started to feel better as I paid more attention to caring for my body. However, when you start getting into fit culture, you’ll start noticing the infiltration of fad diets, zero research claims, and tips on ‘how to get bikini ready in 10 days’.
Now that we have social media, diet culture has taken over our devices and we’re bombarded with Insta posts, podcasts and YouTube videos on the so-called ‘best’ way to eat and live. Out of empathy for my younger self, and a bit of frustration with the media's portrayal of health, comes today’s post on how to skip over the confusion and start feeling your best!
MISTAKE NO. 1 - Getting hung up on labeling how you eat.
Keto, paleo, vegan - there’s a name for every way of eating in this day and age. I highly respect when people say they are ‘plant-based’ as it implies that they stick to a whole, real food diet composed of mostly things sourced from the soil vs. animals and factories. If eliminating most grains works well for you but you still feel good eating rice - then eat the rice! You don’t need to be entirely one label or the other. You just need to be YOU and do what works for your body.
MISTAKE NO 2- Quick fixes that aren’t sustainable for your lifestyle.
I see a lot of people start a diet trend like intermittent fasting and rave about the benefits, only to realize they are sacrificing breakfast dates and becoming a #hangry you know what until they eat their first meal at noon. Once they switch back - all of the changes they felt fade away. Instead of quick fixes, think long-term before you adopt a fad lifestyle everyone is following on the gram. Remember one degree shifts are often better than trying to change everything at once.
MISTAKE NO. 3- Focusing on numbers vs. nourishing.
Choosing a protein bar that has 1 gram of sugar over a Lara Bar with 18 grams of sugar makes sense only if you’re looking at the nutrition facts. Glance down at the ingredients and you’ll find an unpronounceable list for the protein bar and a simple list of only dates, raw nuts, and coconut in the Lara bar. Whole food is always the better option to optimize digestion and make you feel your best! Diet soda and 100 cal snack packs won’t give you the energy and glowy skin that nutrient rich real food will.
MISTAKE NO. 4- Stressing over diet or workouts.
Raising cortisol because you missed a workout or had to grab lunch on the go is never worth it. It is overall healthier for your wellbeing to keep stress levels at a low when you can control it. Don’t let ‘rules’ and diet culture tell you you screwed up and should try again tomorrow. You aren’t wrong by ordering a croissant with your coffee in Paris; enjoy that dang croissant and maybe you’ll crave a salad for lunch. Make a daily effort to tune in to your body and give it what it is asking for. That is self-care.
MISTAKE NO 5.- Having an ‘all or nothing’ mindset.
You have to look at health as overall wellbeing - the big picture. Your bounce back rate after having an ice cream cone with your friends is more important than whether you hit your health goals 100% for the day. A lot of fitness gurus use the term 80/20 to describe achieving balance in your lifestyle. I like to approach health as incorporating routines into my day that start feeling ‘normal’. If I don’t have warm lemon water first thing in the day, followed by fresh fruit or a green smoothie, and a walk or workout - my day just feels off. I’m not saying there are times that my routine gets messed up if I’m traveling, etc. but it only happens once in a blue moon and I definitely don’t have as much energy or clarity for the day ahead!
Have you ever looked back and realized there was a better way to approach healthy living? Share your experience and wisdom with the rest of us in the comments sections!