10 Common Nutritional Mistakes and How You Can Correct Them

Artificial sweeteners
Using artificial sweeteners is by far one of the most damaging habits people practice. (Flickr )

If you were living out some nutritional habits that were working against you, wouldn't you want to know?

Your body's health is important, but what if you are handling your nutritional decisions the wrong way?

Many people approach the subject of nutrition more from what they read in marketing than they do hard, proven facts. Nutrition is a major influence into the overall health of our body, so I believe it's important we uncover some myths that keep people from having better results in their nutritional journey.

1. Focusing on calories. The philosophy behind this is "if I just focus on limiting calories, I'll lose weight." Many people adhere to a lifestyle of "burn more calories than you take in." Although this worked 100 years ago, food has changed a lot over the years.

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Here are some problems with focusing only on calories:

  • Not all calories are created equal. You can be eating the correct amount of calories you need, but not getting any of the nutrition you need. 
  • You can eat fewer calories and burn off weight, but you can still be toxic.
  • Calorie counting alone cannot be maintained over a long period of time, because many of the foods people eat are addictive and cause massive cravings.
  • Even people who are eating thousands of calories are still nutritionally starving. That's why they're always hungry.
  • Low calorie creates a starvation mentality. When your body goes into starvation mode, it stores fat to hold for famine.
  • Different calories fill you up differently.

2. Focusing on low carbs. The philosophy behind this involves the restriction of carbohydrates to a low minimum, usually for the result of weight loss. In this process, breads, rice and any kind of sugars are avoided.

The problems with low-carb focus: 

  • You actually need carbohydrates. You just need good ones.
  • With low-carb diets like Atkins, people often consume excessive meat proteins, putting added pressure on the kidneys and liver while also consuming a lot more.
  • It is not sustainable as a lifestyle, so massive weight gain takes place, usually leaving the person heavier than they were before.

3. Working off bad eating. This is a common one that I followed for years. I would eat some strawberry rhubarb pie and say to myself, "I'm gonna have to hit the gym to burn this off." The philosophy here is, "I overate or consumed foods that are bad for me, so I will go to the gym and work off the mistakes."

Problems with this mindset:

  • You cannot work out and work off poor nutrition. The poor nutrition is still in your system, even if you work off the calories.
  • You are not dealing with the toxicity coming out of continual poor eating. You might be burning off fat, but you are still retaining toxins.
  • This habit is often built on self-hatred and guilt. We beat ourselves up and then punish ourselves with exercise. No wonder no one likes to exercise. Working needs to be seen as enjoyable and a blessing, not a punishment.
  • We eat poorly out of how we feel about ourselves.
  • We feel terrible for making bad choices.
  • Your body does not respond well to this cycle.

4. Skipping meals. How may times do we wake up feeling bad about ourselves and decide to skip a meal? The philosophy is, "If I don't eat, that will help me to lose weight." A common part of this involves skipping breakfast. 

This is a big problem:

  • It sends the body into starvation mode, causing you to actually retain fat.
  • It slows down your metabolism, creates added stress response in body.

5. Low-fat or fat-free. Years ago, fat was made the enemy. People were getting fatter, so they blamed it all on fats in foods. Food companies jumped on this and created foods labeled as "low-fat" or "fat-free." People loved the idea, not realizing sugar and processed ingredients were added. Little did people know the problem became worse. Not only was the weight not coming off, people were gaining even more weight. 

Problems:

  • When you take fat out, you remove the taste. So to help taste, they they put in much additional sugar and flavorings.
  • The excess sugar triggers insulin (the fat-producing hormone), takes this excess energy and stores it in fat cells to use later ... but there is no later.
  • So in reality, sugar is making people fat more than fat is. You can buy a bag of sugar and call it fat-free.
  • The problem, is you need fats. You just need the right kind.

6. 'All-natural' labeling. The philosophy here programs people into thinking that these foods are harmless. The implication is that foods labeled "all natural" are minimally processed. The ingredients are supposed to be natural products, but this is in the chemist's sense of that term. 

Problem:

  • This is vague, undefined and rarely does it actually mean anything.
  • Most of the time, "all natural" usually adds a bunch of sugar as well.
  • In addition, we become trained that "all natural" means we can eat more of it.

7. Using artificial sweeteners. The mindset here is that in order to avoid the effects and calories of sugar, people use artificial sweeteners. This is by far one of the most damaging habits people are practicing today. Artificial sweeteners include Nutrasweet, Sweet 'N Low, Equal and Splenda. 

Problems with artificial sweeteners:

  • They have many adverse effects, including neurological ones and even symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
  • Artificial sweeteners have not shown a proven impact on weight loss. They create added cravings and cause you to eat more, creating toxicity.
  • In fact, more information is coming out that people on artificial sweeteners actually end up gaining weight.

8. Trying to lose weight to look good, more than simply being healthier. The philosophy here is, "I want to look good for a special occasion or for the beach." The problem with this is that it is temporary and quite honestly, a shallow motivation. You can lose plenty of weight and still be toxic. 

9. Not taking the time to prepare foods and eat. Most people say, "I don't have time. I have a lot going on, so whatever quickest and easiest is what I will do." Our culture has taken the value away of stopping to prepare a meal, let alone stopping long enough to enjoy the meal. 

Not taking the time to plan and prep meals causes you to eat foods that are not best in nutritional value. Plus, you lose the value of slowing down, prepping food and eating. This is really a manifestation of not showing love and care for yourself.

Millions eat on the go, to keep up with our ever-increasing lifestyles. We eat foods that are convenient, which means they are often loaded with preservatives, processed ingredients and sugar.

The problem is that a lifestyle with processed foods creates a burden on your body.

10. Not dealing with spiritual and emotional issues. You can practice healthy eating all you want, but you don't deal with the dramas and traumas in your life, so you can still struggle in nutritional health. Your body knows how you feel about yourself, so when you don't love yourself and have a healthy outlook on life, metabolism can slow down. People who live in chronic fear, anxiety and stress can keep themselves from losing weight and detoxifying.

Unresolved bitterness, anger and unforgiveness can leave a person toxic no matter how well they eat. Clean eating needs to work alongside healthy thinking, where we nourish our heart and allow God to heal areas from the past that hinder us from a healthy present and future.

Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full-time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including, teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark's deepest love is his family; his wife Melissa, son Maximus and daughter Abigail. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many forms of media, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day-to-day peace. He is passionately reaching his world with a transforming message of love, healing and freedom. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark's teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.

For the original article, visit markdejesus.com.

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