My last post was about “healthy” habits that are harming you, so today I wanted to follow up on that concept by describing a few common mistakes that even people who think they're healthy can make.
So, if you want to achieve next-level wellness, avoid doing the following:
1. Misreading labels
We were taught that reading labels meant looking at calories, fat, carbs, and protein. However, the most important part of the label is the INGREDIENTS portion that falls underneath the supplemental facts panel. This tells us what's actually in the package, which is much more important than calories, fat, etc.
We want to recognize the ingredients as real, whole foods that have not been processed, and minimize the number of chemicals and additives. If you cannot pronounce it or don’t know what it is, then you body won’t be able to either.
2. Eating "organic, natural" sugars
Consumer marketing has brilliantly brainwashed us to believe that organic, natural sugars are healthy for us. Organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, honey, agave and the like are all still SUGARS, and they still spike blood sugar levels, knocking the body out of balance. They also keep the body and the palate in a state of addiction.
Try to find a replacement like organic liquid stevia. Eat a small handful of raisins, which contain tryptophan, an important amino acid for brain functioning.
3. Showing up hungry
The worst thing you can do is show up for a cocktail party or a happy hour hungry. A grumbling tummy will send you to the cheese and cracker plate, and keep you nibbling on the popcorn shrimp and other fried foods that are being passed around.
It's critical to prepare by having an early, healthy dinner, or a late afternoon healthy snack. This will make sure your tummy is nourished and your energy and self-discipline are strong, making it easy to say, “No thank you.”
4. Showing up empty-handed
The absolute best way to handle any dinner party is to show up with something healthy and delicious that the entire group can enjoy. Arriving with nothing will almost always leave you destined to indulge in food that will leave you with a big gut bomb. Hosts always appreciate the added help, and guests always appreciate something healthy and delicious. You might be surprised by the compliments that you'll receive by what you prepared and brought.
5. Thinking going to a restaurant gives you a license to indulge
We've been trained to see dinner out as a reason to throw health goals and objectives out the door. This is a mindset that needs to shift in order to really create a healthy lifestyle, otherwise every time you step out the door, you're destined to end up falling off track and in a vicious cycle of self-destructive behavior.
The mind has to change and start seeing having a “treat” or “indulging” as enjoying something healthy and delicious that you did not have to prepare. Also, it's an opportunity to explore the creativity available in delicious, healthy food preparation.
6. Not asking questions
Equally as important as eating food with high-quality ingredients is knowing how your food is being prepared. Many restaurants may use buzzwords like vegan or vegetarian, but they use unhealthy and heavy oil or butter while preparing. They also add extra salt and sugar to dishes, and use sauces that are loaded with these ingredients as well as other processed chemicals.
Ask your server about food preparation, request sauces on the side, and that your meal is grilled, steamed, or water stir frying instead of using heavy oils or butters.
7. Worrying about what other people think
I see so many of my clients throw their healthy habits out the door in social situations because they're self-conscious and concerned about what other people think. It's crucial to get over this, and stay connected to honoring yourself and your goals. Pass on the alcohol, ask the server questions, and make special requests. You will not only feel good about yourself, but will set an example that will inspire others.
8. Failing to plan
It's critical to think ahead, and have an idea of what the day looks like and where your meals will fit in. Life gets out of control, and we're all bombarded with responsibilities. The best thing you can do is always carry a healthy snack and know where you can stop for quick, organic, healthy food on the go. If you have time, stop at your organic health food market and run through the salad bar quickly so you'll be prepared later when your belly is famished.
There you have it, eight common mistakes I see healthy people make and strategies to overcome these mishaps. Healthy living requires a mindset and a strategy. Over time, these habits become so ingrained that they become your lifestyle, and are therefore effortless.