We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
Trying to eat healthier? Watch out for healthy eating mistakes that everyone makes, which could undermine your new start before you’ve even got going.
We’ve all been there. We vow to make some changes and stick to them, only to find we’re starving by mid-morning/it’s harder than we thought/there are chocolate biscuits everywhere! But there are a few mistakes everyone makes when it comes to healthy eating, often with the best intentions.
Once you know what they are, it’s much easier to be avoid them and keep on track…
1. Attempting a complete overhaul
A whole lifestyle change might seem admirable, but trying to radically change the way you eat overnight is hard – and makes it much more difficult to keep up long term (or even for a week). You’re much more likely to end up feeling like a failure and give up completely. Healthy eating should be sustainable, so don’t deny yourself the odd treat if you are eating well most of the time.
Want some inspiration? Take a look at all our healthy recipes.
2. Skipping breakfast
Probably the biggest crime against healthy eating, missing breakfast means you start the day running on empty – and are much more likely to grab anything that comes to hand (biscuits, chocolate, you know the rest) come mid-morning. Fill up with proper healthy breakfast recipes.
3. Grabbing lunch
Plan your meals when you’re out and about, whether it’s bringing a healthy lunchbox filled with homemade soup, wholewheat pasta or a superfood salad into work, or thinking about where you can order a lighter option for lunch.
See plenty of portable ideas in our healthy lunch recipes.
4. Snacking on the wrong thing
Put a fruit bowl on your desk and keep it topped up with seasonal fruit so that you always have a healthy snack to hand. For a sweet fix, try a few dates stopped with nut butter or pop a bunch of grapes in the freezer and grab a handful when you’re craving sweetness. Carry dried fruit or a couple of Jamie Oliver’s tasty energy balls (pictured) in your handbag for snacking emergencies!
5. Not getting the recommended 5-a-day
Make the extra effort to eat 5 different portions of fruit and veg every day and you’ll really feel and see the benefit of all those nutrients. Don’t skimp on these, or think supplements will do as a replacement. The aim is to eat a rainbow to get as many different vitamins as possible. Plus, it needn’t be expensive if you look out for what’s in season, as these will always be the best value.
6. Drinking calories
Watch out for the sneaky extra calories you might be drinking without realising; those frothy lattes and cappuccinos, tea with sugar, fizzy drinks or glass of wine will almost certainly contain more calories, fat or sugar than you realise. In the spirit of healthy eating being sustainable, don’t feel you have to cut them out completely, but make sure you keep an eye on how much you’re having.
7. Giving up
Cracked and had a chocolate biscuit or three? Don’t lose heart and decide you’re through with healthy eating for the day (or for good). These things happen, but it’s important not feel guilty – or see it as a free pass to more chocolate biscuits. If you’re hungry and reaching for things you shouldn’t, make sure you’re eating healthy meals that will fill you up, or that you have healthy snacks to hand. You can do it!