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3 Big Mistakes Holding You Back on Your Nutrition Journey

Hi Friend,

This week I'm sharing the top biggest mistakes you might be making when it comes to your relationship with food and overall health.

Mistake #1. Believing that extremes accomplish your goals.

If you've ever felt like you're smashing a diet or completely "off the wagon" this one's for you. If you are usually "all in " or "all out" in regards to your eating, it could be due to a false belief that you hold which says in order to be healthy, you have to be obsessive about your intake. You might be able to follow whichever diet you've picked for a month, maybe even six months, but then you find yourself completely burnt out on the extremity of your new "lifestyle" change. You are tired of missing out on birthdays and the more you say no to the foods you love, the more you can't wait for your next cheat day. Picking the most extreme diet will likely result in weight loss. It will also likely result in regaining the weight you lost. Unless it is for a very specific medical diagnosis, be careful of eating patterns that make you feel like you're confined to a very limited variety of foods. You could be setting yourself up for burnout by limiting your food choices.

Mistake#2. Avoiding the tough stuff.

Improving your health takes work. There's no doubt about it. It takes work to think about what you're going to eat, when you're going to grocery shop, how to learn new cooking skills, etc. But the toughest (yet most rewarding) work is in your mind when it comes to bettering your food relationship. Allowing yourself to take a step back from the hard skills, and focus more on the soft skills in your food relationship (like assessing body image issues, understanding your internal hunger/fullness cues, realizing why you think food is the enemy, finding different coping mechanisms to handle emotions outside of eating/restricting etc) is where it gets really tough. Developing soft skills is also where a lot of sustained change happens. You might be able to follow a list of recommended and not recommended foods for one month, but are you willing to address the deeply rooted beliefs about how you perceive yourself and break down why you have been stuck in the same spot health-wise for so many years? Do you know why you binge or why you self sabotage and how to implement different mindsets to prevent these setbacks? Once you can answer yes to these questions, the lasting change can begin.

Mistake#3. Refusing to say, "Yes" to a journey of improved health.

If you have dieted a lot in the past, you might be used to dropping 25 lbs in a month. You might be used to getting results fast. You might also be used to regaining the weight you've previously lost and have found yourself scouring the internet for the next best weight loss program more than once. Or on the flip side, you might have overcome your food rules and have found food freedom for a moment, only to be triggered and fall back into old coping mechanisms of restriction. If you desire the results more than you desire the learning that takes place along the way to said results, you will likely become frustrated and want to give up on your health. Developing a holistically healthy lifestyle does not look like going straight from point A to point B. It looks like going from A, to A.1, to A.2, to A.3, to A.4, then back to A.2, then A.4 THEN to point B. (Perhaps you'll have even more in-between steps, but overall- you get the point.) Health is not a linear journey. It is filled with turns, jumps, backtracking, missteps, and everything in between. And that's how it should be. Life is messy, but you succeed when you finally say yes to baby steps that you can maintain. Eventually, baby steps become monster interventions you can follow for many years to come.

If you found yourself saying, "Yup, that's me" to any one of these mistakes, I want you to know, there is more for you. My patients say all the time that they can't believe how freeing it is to not obsess over food anymore and how much better quality of life they have after working on their food relationship. I believe the same can be true for you, with some hard work and effort.

Heaps of blessings,

Mikyah, RDN, LD, CD


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