The phrase “healthy eating” means something different to each individual person. Why? Well, this depends on many factors – culture, religion, family, cost, income level, your social circle or peers, pop culture, education, access, and even goals. You want to make the right choices and with so much information and societal influence, you have no idea where to begin. Sound familiar?

There is no single right answer to what a healthy diet is, as we all have different needs, but there is solid evidence that a diet full of fresh, unprocessed whole foods is the ways to go. Even beyond food choices, being mindful and aware of how we proceed and feel during the day makes a large impact. In this article, we will cover common nutrition mistakes that may be hindering your health goals.

1.  Not paying attention to sugar intake. 

If you’ve heard that sugar hides in everything, you’d be correct.  With the dozens of hidden aliases for the word “sugar”, it’s hard for consumers to make informed decisions without superior knowledge. It comes as a surprise to most people when they find out how much sugar hides in their everyday foods.  Items like yogurt, cereal, lattes, condiments and more. Sugar makes foods taste incredible, but the health risks of excess sugar range from weight gain, diabetes, fatty liver disease, inflammation, and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

It is not realistic to completely cut sugar out of your diet, but the goal is to be mindful of what items contain sugar so that you can make better choices.

2.  Not eating enough.

There are many reasons why we don’t eat enough food throughout the day. It’s 3 o’clock and you’ve realized you’ve only had a cup of coffee. We’ve all been there. Whether it is a stressful workday, lack of time, decreased appetite, saving for a larger meal, or the intention cutback to lose unwanted weight, under-eating is a surefire way to increase physical, emotional, and mental health issues. If you have brain fog, continual exhaustion, binging episodes, dizziness, irritability, decreased immune health, or trouble sleeping, you might need to reevaluate your source of fuel throughout the day.

Working with a nutritionist or dietitian is the best way to determine what to eat, when to eat, and food quality, as that is the key to maintaining stable blood sugar levels and slimming your waistline.

3.  Eating fast food on the go. 

There seems to be a stop at every corner.  The smell of grease and fried food permeates the air, triggering the senses to stop and make the purchase.  Undoubtedly, there will be times where you don’t have access to a kitchen or life gets in the way and it’s hard to stick to your normal plan.  In our modern day, we do have access to options, and it is possible to make better choices that include fiber rich foods and leaner proteins.  Our favorite choices are Panera’s Turkey Chili, Starbuck’s Protein Boxes, Chick-Fil-A’s Grilled Market Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, or Chipotle’s Salad Bowls with guacamole (no cheese or sour cream).

4.  Snacking when you aren’t hungry. 

You walk by the break room and grab a muffin.  Your deadline is quickly approaching and your pull out the bag of Hershey Kisses.  You walk by the kitchen and grab a handful of chips.  You need that Starbuck’s latte at 4pm.  Mindless snacking throughout the day does come with a cost.

There are many reasons why we mindlessly graze, and the main culprit is that we rely on external cues rather than our internal ones to decide if we have true hunger.  Snacking when you are not hungry can easily mess with your blood sugar leading to weight gain over time.  Insulin is our master hormone, and our goal should always be to keep this hormone balanced by tuning in to hunger signals to recognize the difference between internal and external cues.  The best way to do this is to focus on three solid meals a day that keep you satiated for at least 4 hours.

 5.  Thinking that one bad meal ruined your plan. 

Repeat after me, “Food should be enjoyable and occasionally treating myself is perfectly fine.”  Summer is full of cookouts and social gathers and fall and winter is sprinkled with holiday joy.  Food brings joy and many social gathers revolve around food and alcohol as a form of celebration.  Mindset is powerful and your outlook may be the key to your success.  Health is a lifestyle, not a single meal or day.  One meal or day will have little to no impact on your long-term success.  Learning positive mental hacks to support your goals will leave you empowered and more confident in all situations.


The more you are aware, the better decisions you can make.  Making better choices each day is one of the best things you can do to lead a healthy lifestyle – physically, mentally, and emotionally.  We encourage you to continually learn and take things one day at a time as you strive to be the best version of you.