What are some common nutrition mistakes?

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics
Sometimes when people want to lose weight, they try skipping meals. This might backfire and people will end up overeating at their next meal. In addition, studies show people who skip meals tend to put on more weight. With no food, the body thinks it is undergoing starvation. This causes metabolism to slow down and extra fat is stored for energy. In order to maintain a healthy weight, it is important to eat a healthy breakfast with regular meals and snacks. 
Amy Jamieson-Petonic
Nutrition & Dietetics
Common nutritional mistakes include thinking that "one size fits all" for nutrition. A registered dietitian can work with a client to find an individualized nutrition program that can help them meet their goals and be sustainable.

Any nutrition program can work in the short term, but to make it sustainable, an RD can really make a positive impact. Registered dietitians can work with clients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, as well as a number of other concerns. As a sports dietitian, I work with athletes and fitness minded people to help them meet their goals as well. To find an RD in your area, go to eatright.org -- Make the right choice... choose a registered dietitian.
Rose Reisman
Nutrition & Dietetics
Due to marketing and promotion, we are led to make common nutrition mistakes. Here are some of those mistakes:
  • While cooking, you eyeball the amounts of oil, sugar, and salt you add. One teaspoon of oil is only 40 calories; a tablespoon is 120. The difference between a half teaspoon and one teaspoon of salt is 1,000 milligrams, which is close to your daily recommended intake. And keep in mind that high blood pressure is on the increase.
  • We purchase low-fat products not realizing that the sugar grams have been increased to compensate for flavor and moisture, increasing the calories.
  • When having breakfast, we have the “free hand” syndrome. The cereal portions we pour are much larger than the recommended half-cup serving.
  • Spread more peanut butter and jam on your toast? Pour more cream in your coffee? At the end of the day, we’re using 40% more of the recommended serving sizes, which increases our calories, sugar, and fat, and you know what that means!
Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Here are some of the most foolish mistakes folks make in the name of nutrition:
  1. We need more calcium for stronger bones. The body needs a balance of minerals and nutrients for strong bones. We need vitamin D and K, we need magnesium, and we can benefit from micronutrients such as strontium and boron and others for bone health. What's more, because of dietary choices (no and low carb diets; poor intake of greens), food processing (has reduced magnesium content in foods as much as 80%), and supplementation, our bone problems may actually be excess calcium and insufficient other vitamins and minerals.
  2. Drink more water, or vitamin water to hydrate! Hydration is really a mineral game. Yes, water is critically important. But so are the right type of minerals and the right balance of minerals to ensure that the water not only gets into the body but it gets into our cells. Potassium is water's cellular escort, bringing it into the body.
  3. Label Fools: "No sugar added" means there was already enough sugar in there they didn't need to add anymore. "Naturally Fat-Free" means this product doesn't contain fat in it…ever…so that's good reason to look at the sugar content (I especially love this label on candy which is all sugar). "No Trans Fats" read the ingredient label; it still may have partially hydrogenated oils in it as the label law allows for a small amount per serving.
  4. Looking for a quick fix or a bail out: you've probably heard it a thousand times, so let this be one thousand and one…there are no short cuts to nutrition for optimal health.
  • A quick fix, like a caffeine "pick me up" or a sugar "sweet me up" only leads to major let down minutes to hours later. The sage approach is a nutrition plan for optimal energy that helps us avoid the energy pitfalls. If we enjoy caffeine or sugar, make sure we recognize their potential effect on us (this is an individual response) and plan our recovery accordingly.
  • The old "I will start my diet on Monday" bail out plan will land you in a health crisis on par with our economic crisis…it may seem like it works for a few weeks or months or years, but all the yo-yoing takes its toll on the body making long term healthy weight maintenance quite challenging. We need a sound, responsible investment plan. If you want to take a day off, do so, but acknowledge it as such and go back to your nutrition for optimal health plan the next day even if it is a Saturday or a Sunday.

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Eating Habits and Nutrition

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.