EPISODE 7: THE EAT RIGHT SERIES (4) ~ The First 15 (of 30) mistakes getting in the way of you eating right


Hello, everybody. Welcome to our fourth out of five Eat Right series. It's nice to be back. We took last week off for the Goals that Stick challenge. That was a ton of fun.  I had a great time with the women who joined that challenge, and the stuff they came up with was incredible. It was so good. I will definitely be running that challenge again. If you're watching this video in the future, underneath the video I'll add a link so that you can sign up for the challenge in the future, because it's a really good one. We look at the ways you can set goals that are really true to what is going on in your life, and what you need right now. It's really powerful stuff, but it is nice to be back to our regular programming with another episode.

For the next two episodes, episode four and episode five, I am going to talk about 30 mistakes that we make when we are trying to eat right. Today we're going to go through 15, and then I'm going to give you a killer strategy for dealing with anything social, parties, holiday season, restaurants, traveling, all of that kind of stuff, so that you know what to do in those situations. Then next week, we'll do another 15 mistakes, and give you a really top notch strategy, so hopefully you find these helpful.

I definitely found it helpful to put them together, and I was surprised when I came out with 30. I thought, "Well, there's got to be some overlap," so I started going through," and no, there were actually 30 big mistakes. Let’s jump right in. 

15 mistakes we make eating right 

Exception Meals 

Okay, number one is not having your exception meals. Some people use the word cheat, like a cheat meal, or a cheat day, and I think sometimes there's maybe a negative feeling around the word cheat, so I like to use the word exception. It just sounds like more planned. Something about cheat seems like it's a free for all, and out of control, whereas exception seems like there's some thought behind it.

One of the big mistakes I see is that people skip these exception meals. They think they're doing better by skipping it, but the truth of the matter is that you are not. You need to make sure that you are getting your exception meals in every week. You want to know that you can trust yourself around the foods you like. Otherwise you're not making any real progress. You're just staying away from what you feel like you cannot control yourself around. You want to be exposing yourself to these exception meals. They should be wonderful, joyous occasions. You should be savoring the foods that are exceptions in your diet now, and also knowing that you can trust yourself around these foods. If you stay away from them, you will never know that, so number one, not having exception meals. 

Weighing Yourself 

Number two, this one's a bit controversial, and I flip flopped on this, so bear with me. It's weighing yourself every day. I was always a big fan of not doing this. I thought that this was maybe not a healthy thing, but I have worked with a lot of women now who actually find this to be very empowering.

My point to you is, how does it feel for you? Does it feel good? Are you gathering information for yourself. It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate one, two, three pounds even in a day. This doesn't mean anything so it's not something that you're going to beat yourself up over, but if you're just gathering information, and noticing, okay, when I eat this food, my weight does this, or when I feel like this, this is what's going on on the scale, I could see where it would be helpful, but only you can answer this honestly. I don't think that you need to do this. If you're not doing this, don't start, but if you are doing it, and it's working for you, then I would say keep doing it. I don't own a scale personally myself, and I can't think of the last time I weighed myself, and you have to figure out what works for you when it comes to this. As I said, it's a little bit controversial, and if it's making you feel bad, I say don't do it. If it's making you feel good, then continue to do it.

Food as punishment or reward

Okay. Number three. Using food as punishment or reward. I think this is something that gets modeled to us as kids, right? We learn ‘oh, if you're good, then you can have a treat later’ or ‘if you get an A on your exam, we'll go for ice cream’ that sort of thing. We need to heal this connection. There is no room in eating right for looking at food as either a punishment or a reward. Food is fuel. You use it to nourish your body, and support your body, and you use it to look and feel the way that you want to look and feel. You don't deserve a treat because you were good. You're not being bad when you have a treat. Some people will say, "Oh, I'm being bad. I'm gonna have a treat now." That's really not the way to look at it. You do deserve to nourish your body, and look and feel your best. That's the only thing you deserve. 

Food is not a punishment, and food is not a reward, and if you start to listen to yourself, you can hear this, or even not just yourself, but other people you'll hear: ‘Oh, I've been good all week, so….’ No. You can have a treat. You don't need to justify it. There's no justification to eating what you want to eat. No more food as a punishment or reward. We are going to break that connection for good, and be aware of little kids that are listening to you when you're saying these kinds of things. It's so easy to do. I found myself doing it. I was looking after my niece not that long ago, and I almost said, "Well, if you do this, then you can have ... " She wanted this ... I don't even know what it was. It was some cookie thing that she came with, and I stopped myself, because I thought, oh, I don't want to start modeling that, but it's so common, so just watch yourself with that language. 

Fearing ‘bad’ foods

Okay. Number four is a big one. I wonder if you have experienced this one. If you're here watching live, say hi, and tell me ... I find this with a lot of people fearing certain foods. You start to develop an almost pathological fear of certain foods, and you think that they are bad.

There is no such thing as a bad food. All foods are fine. What makes you feel bad might be bad for you, but it might not be bad for me, so there's no inherently bad foods. You only want to look at foods that make you feel bad. That's what you want to avoid, okay, so there's no bad foods to avoid. 

Eating foods you don’t like because they’re ‘healthy’

Number five kind of follows on this. Eating food you don't like because you think it's good for you. Stop that. Why are you doing that? If you do not like it, it is not good for you. If every bite you have to force it down, that's not good for you. That's not nourishing your body. That's punishing yourself. There are so many great foods out there, natural foods that are delicious. Try something new. Find what you like. If you hate salads, don't eat salads. Maybe you like sauteed greens instead. Eat that. Stop trying to pretend that it's okay, and that you sort of like it when you really don't. You don't have to eat those foods. Life is too short to eat food you don't like.

Avoiding ‘carbs’

Number six, avoiding carbs, and I use quotes. “Carbs.” What you mean is you want to avoid refined processed sugar and foods. Vegetables are carbs. You are not avoiding vegetables, right? You want to avoid things like danishes, donuts, cakes, cookies, ice cream, things that are full of sugar, and refined. Just watch your language on this. A lot of people say, "I'm giving up carbs." No, you're not giving up carbs, and you shouldn't give up carbs. Nobody should give up carbs. What you're doing is you're trying to cut out refined, processed, sugary foods. End of story. That's the stuff that is not good for you. It's not good for me. It's not good for anybody. Does that mean you can never eat it? Of course not. We talked about exception meals, and we talked about no food is inherently bad, right? It's just how it makes you feel, so when you pay attention to how that food actually makes you feel, then you're probably going to want to eat less of it.

Not reading labels 

Number seven. Not reading labels. This is a big one lots of stuff will say on the package, "All natural, gluten-free," all sorts of interesting things that really don't speak to the quality of the food. You need to know how to read a label. It's basically, when you flip it over, if it's got tons of stuff that you have never seen, couldn't buy in a store yourself, have no idea what it is, then it's probably pretty processed. That's safe to say, right? Four grams of sugar is a teaspoon, so when you do the math, if it has 16 grams of sugar, that's four teaspoons of sugar in that product. You'll have to think carefully before you decide you want to eat it, so just be aware of labels. This is one of the easiest things to start doing, even if you don't want to change anything right now. You guys, I get it. It's December. We're talking about eating right. These videos will last long past December, though, and hopefully help you into the future, but even if you just flip over the back of something, just look at the label. See how those ingredients made you feel, and go from there.

That's really one way to put the power back in your hands, is to understand what you're putting into your body. 

Eating only ‘safe’ foods

All right. Number eight, eating only safe foods, and again, I say safe in quotes. I have seen this time and time again, where people come to me, and they have sort of a handful of foods that they consider are good for them, and safe to eat. What happens with this is you get really stuck in ruts, and you're stuck in a foot rut, and you're eating the same thing over and over again, that's when you start to get bored and feel deprived. There's tons of interesting food out there. I love trying new things, and just last week in my veggie delivery box, they sent a persimmon. I'd never had a persimmon before, and it was actually pretty tasty, so there's so many things to try out there. Don't get consumed with thinking that only some foods are safe for you, because it's not true. You can expand what you're eating, and then when you do, you are far less likely to quit because it's boring, and you're eating the same things over and over again, and you're feeling deprived.

Thinking you can exercise away a bad diet

All right. Number nine. This one I hear a lot, too. Thinking you can exercise away a bad diet, so I hear from people all the time, I can't lose weight because I have an injury, and I can't work out. This isn't true. It may be true that you can't work out the way that you want because of your injury. That absolutely could be true, but that's not why you can't lose weight. Weight is 80 to 90, if not more, percent what you are eating. Does this mean exercise doesn't matter? Of course not. It is great for you. It is great for your mental state. It is great for your digestion, your sleep. It is great for your mood. It is so important for every system in your body. I'm not saying don't exercise. What I'm saying, though, is you cannot eat really poor food and expect that your working out is going to make up for it, because it isn't. Okay, so remember, diet is 80 to 90% of what you see when you look in the mirror.

One caveat to that is if you are having an exception meal, if you know that you're going to be eating a lot of sugar, is it supporting your body to throw on your running shoes, and go out for a brisk walk, to try and use up some of that sugar? Yes, but you're not trying to out-exercise every meal that you're eating. This would be an occasional thing, so you can support your body with exercise. You can burn through some excess fuel if you've eaten too much sugar, and that can be a healthy, supportive way of treating your body, but you are not going to be able to go to the gym, and spend hours, and hours, and hours there to make up for eating poorly. 

Drinking sugar

Number 10, so drinking your calories as sugar. This is the worst. If you want to change one little thing, it's getting rid of the mocha-chinos, frappuccinos, lattes with whipping cream, pop, mixes for alcoholic drinks, the hard lemonades, juice, anything that is really high in sugar. This is a terrible way to be putting sugar and processed stuff in your body, because your body can really not defend against it.

All the fiber is gone. It's just sugar going straight to your bloodstream. This is probably one of the number one things that I would suggest changing. This is just paying attention to what you're drinking. Really you want to be drinking water, tea, coffee if it works for your system. Even bubbly water. Bubbly water can be really helpful when you're trying to stop drinking pop. Does this mean you can never have juice, or pop? No, of course not. That's not what it means, but if you look at your week, and you are consuming a a lot of these sugary drinks, then it's time to start to seeing what other drinks you might enjoy that aren't so sugary. 

Forgetting fiber

Oh, my gosh. Number 11 is one of my favorites. Okay, so you guys are out in the world. You know people out in the world. How many of you have met someone who has kwashiorkor. Have you ever heard of that? I don't know anybody.

Have you ever met someone or heard of constipation? Yes. Right? Okay, so kwashiorkor is a protein deficiency. You do not have a protein deficiency. You do not have kwashiorkor. You don't know anyone that has it. You don't need to worry about your protein as much as you are but as I said, have you heard of constipation? I think you probably know someone that's had constipation. Maybe you live with someone. Maybe you are that someone. Guess what? Fiber is key. Forget about protein, and think about how much fiber you're getting. This is going to be a game changer when it comes to eating right. If anyone meets someone who does have a protein deficiency, and proves me wrong, then you absolutely let me know, but it is probably more likely you've heard of constipation and not kwashiorkor. 

Focusing on calories instead of nutrients

Number 12. Thinking a calorie is just a calorie. Who was that guy who did that Subway diet guy, who lost all that weight eating those Subway sandwiches? I think that this is where we started to think a calorie is just a calorie. Here's the thing. If I gave you a small bag of potato chips, and that's all you ate, once a day, for 30 days, you would lose weight. You would absolutely lose weight, but would you be eating right? No. A calorie is not a calorie. Instead of worrying about calories, I think it makes more sense to focus on nutrients. How nutritious is what you are eating? You could have a bag of M & Ms, or you could have an apple with almond butter. That's what I would focus on instead of calories. Forget about calories. What you want to eat is highly nutritious, super nutrient-dense food that is going to support your body, and make you look and feel the way that you want to feel.

Portion size 

Number 13. Portion size. You know what? Who cares? Who cares what the portion size is? Who cares if the plate is gigantic? Who cares if the plate is small? What you need to know is how does it feel in your body? When we talk about eating, you're going to eat between five and eight, on a scale, so on a scale of one to 10, 10 being so full you actually feel physically sick, one being you're passing out you're so hungry, you're going to aim for starting to eat around a five, five or six, and stopping around a seven or eight. What does this look like? You feel 70 to 80% full, that's when you stop eating. You're not getting to that point of being overly full. Does it matter what size your plate was? That doesn't matter in the least, so forget about that. Will you sometimes leave food on your plate, if you're paying attention to your body and you feel full? You will. That's okay. Will you sometimes go get more food? You will, and that's also okay, all right? Don't worry about portion size. It doesn't matter.

You're eating to what feels good in your body. 

Veggies and protein for every meal 

Number 14, I see this one a lot. Lots of women try to just eat protein and vegetables, and that's it, and think that this is really healthy. Our bodies need complex carbohydrates, so what'll happen is if you just eat protein and vegetables, you might start to lose weight to begin with, but eventually your body's going to start to crave some carbohydrates. What do I mean by complex carbohydrates? I mean things like beans, quinoa, sweet potato, fruit, what we call wet carbohydrates instead of dry carbohydrates. Wet carbohydrates are the things we just talked about, things like beans. Dry carbohydrates would be things like chips, crackers, cereal, and can you ever imagine being, sitting on the couch watching TV, and you can't stop thinking about the extra lentils that are in your fridge, like oh, I've got to go eat those lentils. No, nobody craves wet carbohydrates, right?

It's always the dry carbs we crave ‘oh, I've got those chips in the cupboard. Maybe I'll just have a few’, okay, so when you're thinking about complex carbohydrates that are really healthy to add to your diet, you want to focus on the wet carbohydrates. Especially for women, when it comes to cutting out and going too low with carbohydrates, this is really going to mess with your hormonal system, so you need to be very careful and make sure that you are getting some complex carbohydrates into every meal. You cannot just eat protein and vegetables. That is going to get boring, and it's also not going to satisfy you. This is not ... Carbs do not ... We talked about carbs earlier, but they do not make you gain weight. What makes you gain weight is when you starve yourself, and then you binging afterwards, and this is what happens when you try to go too low with your carbohydrates. Make sure that you are not just trying to eat vegetables and protein.

Deprivation & sacrifice 

Number 15, so this is our last one for today. You are not going to focus on sacrifice and deprivation. What do I mean by this? You need to learn to trust yourself, and trust your instincts, and trust your data about what feels good in your body. This way you don't need to worry about any situation or any food that's put in front of you. You don't have, I think Natasha called them red light foods. You don't have to worry, because you know that you'll be able to control yourself around that food, because you have been eating it all along with your exception meal, or you just know how to feel when you're full enough that you're going to stop. Instead of focusing on sacrifice and deprivation, it makes far more sense to focus on crowding out bad foods, so instead of worrying about all the things you're not going to be able to eat, start adding in better stuff. If your plate is half full with greens, quarter full with another great vegetable, who cares what the other quarter of your plate is almost, right?

You're crowding it out, and then you're still able to eat the foods that you really do enjoy, and you don't feel as deprived, and you're getting a nice variety as well. 

If This Then That Strategy

Okay, so those were our 15 mistakes. Next week we're going to go through the last 15 mistakes, and wrap up the whole series, but before we go today, I have a strategy for you that I think is a killer strategy when it comes to planning, because we're in party season right now, to plan it, to plan for parties when you have to eat out, workplace events, traveling, all of that kind of stuff. This is the if this, then that strategy. I don't know if any of you have heard of this, but it would be along the lines of, if there are treats at work, then I'll have one. What you're doing is, you're actually pre-planning how the event is going to go for you, and this really can be helpful to get you in the head space of being in control of what you are going to be eating, and really sticking with that eating right.

If I am invited to go for dinner out, then I will look at the menu before I go, and choose what I'm going to eat before I'm there, and I'm starving, and surrounded by everybody else. If I'm traveling, then I will pack snacks that will nourish and support my body on my trip, and I want to include another thought here, and that is, if I overeat, then I'll pay attention to how I feel, and I won't beat myself up, because that's really important. We are in the season where it's not uncommon to be invited to a lot of social events, and sometimes we're going to overdo it, but the only thing you need to gather from that is not that there's something wrong with you, not that you made a mistake. If you follow eat right, the whole formula, everything we've been talking about, then you know you can make a mistake every once in a while, and it's fine. You're just going to go back to eating right the next day. There's no worries about that and you're not going to beat yourself up about it.

If you overeat, just pay attention. How did that make me feel? How does my body feel, right? That's all you have to do. You're an impartial scientist. There is no judgment there. You're just observing. What happened? How do I feel about it? What can I do differently the next time? I think this strategy is very, very helpful, and it helps you to pre-plan. I think you can also use it to be easy on yourself as well. If I slip up, then I'll just get back to it tomorrow. No big deal, right? Okay, so hopefully that was helpful. We went through 15 big mistakes that people are making. Next week we'll go through the last 15, and I'll share another strategy with you. If you have any questions, if you have any comments that you'd like to share, and you're watching the replay, then share. I love to hear your comments, and I will be back here next week with the last in our eat right series. All right, I hope you guys are having a great Tuesday. I will see you in a week from now. Bye, everyone.