By Heather Nicholds
I make mistakes all the time - in my healthy diet plan and other areas of my life. One time when I was making a white bean dip, I thought I'd try a bit of mustard powder. I accidentally dumped in a huge amount.
Rather than scooping it out, I figured it wouldn't be that bad and just mixed it in. I was wrong. Even with another can of beans added to the mix, that mustard was not going to be muted.
When it comes to a healthy diet plan, there are lots of mistakes that you can make. The key is to learn from them and keep moving forward. Being aware of some of the common mistakes that other people have made can help you avoid making them in first place.
Our tastebuds - and our brains - are programmed to like sugar. It is, after all, our body's prime source of energy. Not everyone has a sweet tooth, but we all have a carb tooth. BBQ potato chips have a lot of simple carbs under the layer of salt, flavoring and fat.
I don't know about you, but when I'm trying to stick to a super healthy diet plan, I sometimes want to treat myself for being so good. Or I want to finish off a meal with just a little something sweet. You deserve it, right?
Giving in to occasional sweets is totally fine, but the problem is that when you give in to a chocolate bar, a gigantic coffee shop cookie or even those BBQ chips, it can be hard to stop yourself.
Refined sugars, fats and salt are all addictive (not to mention the caffeine in chocolate), so even when you only plan to have a little taste you can wind up with an empty bag of cookies in no time.
Figure out something healthier that's a treat for you. For me, fruit is enough to put me in sugar bliss. Phil loves when I make him healthy cookies, using whole grain flours and unrefined sugars. We both love having frozen fruit ice cream.
If you're more of a salt tooth, try making your own hummus or air-popped popcorn. One of my favorite salty treats is to put a bit of almond butter on a rice cake with cucumber slices and sprinkle them with salt.
It used to be that a healthy diet plan meant eating little or no fat. Luckily, we've learned that's ridiculous, but the fear of fat is still lingering in the backs of our minds. Especially with the discovery that hydrogenated fats are so bad and in so many foods.
I'm not an extreme person, so I wouldn't go so far as to call hydrogenated or highly refined fats evil incarnate, but they have absolutely no benefit and can do you a lot of harm - especially if you eat them regularly for a long time.
The trick is to get the fat content of your healthy diet plan from whole foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, grains and beans. Getting your fat from those sources not only makes sure you're getting high-quality, fresh fats and other nutrients, but they make it harder for you to eat too much fat.
Their calorie density is so much lower than oils and processed foods. It's still possible to eat too much fat, of course, but you'll be way ahead of the potato chip-guzzling masses.
A basic healthy diet plan is pretty simple - eat lots of whole, unprocessed plant foods. Avoid processed and refined foods. Oh yeah, and drink lots of water.
Once you shift to that kind of healthy eating plan, you'll start to feel a whole lot better than you did eating a Crappy Standard American Diet. And yet, from that base level of healthy eating you can do even better.
Some people have figured out how to do better, and they want to share what they've learned with everyone else. The trouble is, they figure that everyone else needs the same things they needed to get to optimal health.
Each person is unique - not only in tastes and culture, but in actual biochemical and structural ways. We process foods differently, we absorb foods at different rates, and we have different needs for certain foods and nutrients.
To find your own optimal health, don't get caught up following someone else's path - especially when they tell you that you have to follow it strictly or else you'll wind up in nutritional hell.
Their path might be helpful to you, but then again it might be the opposite of what you need. Even worse, it might just be a marketing gimmick to sell you a book or some nutritional supplements.
Finding your own path to a healthy diet plan can be really tough. I've been working on mine for a long time now, and I feel pretty fantastic but I also know that I'll just keep learning for the rest of my life - as my body and my knowledge changes.
The important thing is to get started and not be afraid to change things as you go and as you learn. Don't be discouraged by your mistakes - keep learning from them instead.
Which health mistake do you seem to make regularly, and what is 1 simple way you can overcome it? Let me know by leaving a comment below.