If you want to lose a few unwanted pounds pre-holiday, know this: Dieting doesn’t have to be complicated. Or particularly miserable. In fact, rather than counting every calorie, you can just make a few small tweaks (although if you do want to count calories, we suggest you count your macros, too). We called on Alicia Rountree—nutritionist, model and founder of Tartinery, a chicer-than-chic sandwich shop in New York—to share five diet mistakes that women often make. These diet tips may make you rethink the way you approach your diet this coming January, some may even seem blooming obvious, but they’re mistakes that derail diets time and again.
Keep scrolling for five nutritionist-approved diet tips to try this summer.
1. Low-fat or fat-free eating
Your body needs fat to utilise vitamins. Skipping fat means depriving your body of essential nutrients needed for optimal health. Most low-fat or fat-free products have also been processed and are usually full of sugar or something nasty. Some fats are better than others; stay away from trans fat, and add avocados, fatty fish, sprouted nuts and seeds to your diet to give it the good fat it needs.
I love juicing; don’t get me wrong. When people go on a juice cleanse, they struggle for three to five days (or even a week) to stay on the cleanse, and they are so hungry by the last day that they overeat. This creates shock in your system, as it’s getting purified, and then it’s overwhelmed with “bad” food. My recommendation is to incorporate fresh juices into your everyday life or juice once a week, monthly, or whatever suits you best. Juices should be mostly veggie-based, as adding too much fruit will create a high sugar content that can spike your insulin levels. Juicing should be part of a lifestyle change, not a diet.
3. Focusing on the Scale
Our body weight fluctuates every day. If you’re being careful with what you are eating and exercising as well, you will lose weight. One thing to remember is that muscles are heavier than fat, so if you are exercising and notice that you weigh more, don’t panic. Stressing about the number on the scale will not get you anywhere and could demotivate you. Weigh yourself every two weeks to a month, and use a measuring tape to track your progress.
4. Thinking you can eat whatever you want if you exercise
Eating well goes hand in hand with exercising. The reality is that if you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories a day than you are ingesting. Eating a burger and fries just because you worked out doesn’t make sense. You may actually not have burnt enough calories. Eat a diet full of whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein and vegetables for best results with exercise.
5. Skipping breakfast
Although it is easy to skip breakfast with busy schedules, it is the time of day where you can eat the most. You will have all day to burn off your breakfast. Not to mention your brain and body need fuel to function properly. And I don’t mean a coffee. I recommend eating a big breakfast full of fruits, oatmeal or eggs, a medium lunch and a small dinner. No time to eat breakfast? Keep a bag of organic whey protein, like Whey Ahead Madagascan Vanilla Organic Whey Protein (£25), or a vegan protein, like SunWarrior Warrior Blend Raw Protein (£38), in your kitchen for emergencies.