Episode 116 – Top 10 Nutrition Mistakes

Key Topics Covered

Dieting Way More Aggressively Than Necessary

  • We are not completely opposed to this at times. But it’s important to have a track record of consistency in whatever approach you are going to take.
  • More often than not, these are very restrictive, or very low in calories compared to maintenance.
  • This makes it way harder than necessary.
  • It also comes with a lot of downsides in performance, fatigue, hunger, illness etc.

Being Too Flexible With Nutrition

  • Being too flexible may result in a lack the structure.
  • This can influence your ability to make good decisions in your daily life.
  • This is also not contributing to the habit-forming decisions that could be implemented.
  • This may actually make it harder, particularly when it comes to dieting.

Being Too Rigid With Nutrition

  • Similarly, you also don’t want to be too rigid.
  • It is very difficult to be ‘100% perfect’.
  • The odds of success are very low and the way you react to failing to stick to this may actually impact whether you’re consistent with nutrition overall.

Solely Focusing On Either Calories and Macros or Food Quality

  • Although calories and macros do mainly influence body composition, this doesn’t mean it is the only thing that matters.
  • If it didn’t matter, aspects like protein timing would also not matter. However, we know that this is another variable to help optimize composition.
  • Nutrients in food also influence energy levels, sleep, immune function, and many other aspects of health.
  • Alternatively, solely focusing on food quality instead of calories and macros may also lead to you never actually reaching your body composition goals.

Caffeine Too Late in the Day

Coffees with varying amounts of milk
  • This can impact sleep, which has downstream effects on many aspects of health.
  • ‘Too late’ is also subjective.
  • The half-life of caffeine is about 6 hours on average. However, this ranges from about 1.5-11.5 hours depending on how fast the individual metabolizes caffeine.
  • Even if you can fall asleep, it still may affect sleep quality.
  • This also varies depending on the amount of caffeine. For example, having a pre-workout actually showed to impair sleep 12 hours later, however having something like a tea may have little to no effect.
  • Again, this is an easy win and may have big effects from just reducing caffeine intake.

Not Enough Food Earlier in the Day Leading To Unintentional Overeating on Poorer Quality Foods Later in the Day

  • On one hand, some people who intentionally intermittent fast have no issues with this and works well for them.
  • However, this is more relevant to those who aren’t intentionally doing this.
  • Eating a very small amount in the earlier part of the day typically leads to a substantial increase in intake later in the day.
  • Undereating earlier will increase your hunger levels and potentially fatigue, so you can see how this may lead to you wanting to eat more food.

Not Drinking Enough Water

  • Many people don’t prioritize or really think about this aspect, but it can make a big difference.
  • This can play a role in fatigue, performance, recovery etc.
  • Overall, this is an easy win but is often not done properly.

Having Majority of Your Protein in One Main Meal Instead of Spreading It Out Across the Day

  • This is very common and usually occurs with dinner being the main protein-containing meal.
  • There are several reasons why you would want to spread out your protein.
  • The first is from a muscle-building and muscle-retention perspective.
  • Another is from a satiety perspective.
  • Since protein is the most satiating macronutrient, having a low amount early in the day may lead to overeating or a change in nutritional habits that may not be beneficial.

Cutting Foods Haphazardly to Deal With IBS Symptoms

  • When you have gut-related issues, it’s tempting to completely cut out a lot of foods that you suspect may be the trigger.
  • Doing this may make it hard to identify what the issue actually is.
  • A better option may be going through the process of an elimination diet, looking at lifestyle factors or getting tests done by a GP to see if there is any underlying condition,
  • There can be a balance with some self-experimentation. For example, lactose intolerance may be pretty clear after having a and then cutting out milkshakes.
  • Cutting out a lot of foods is very restrictive, can potentially change the diversity of your gut microbiome, and increases the risk of deficiencies.

A Black and White Approach to Nutrition-Based Goals

  • This is the idea of either ‘doing it perfectly or not doing it at all’.
  • Nutrition and lifestyle stuff is very rarely going to be perfect, every single day. There are going to be deviations.
  • It’s important to not be too rigid or too flexible.
  • Adopt the mindset of doing as much as you can with the time and resources that you have- rather than striving for perfection.
  • People who have this all-or-nothing mindset have very little success.
  • One of the first steps in nutrition is taking a step out of this mindset.
  • You can see how this is flawed if you approached sleep this way i.e. “I need to get 8 hours sleep, otherwise I’ll just get none at all”.

Relevant Links / Resources

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