6 Healthy-Eating Mistakes Most People Make & How To Avoid Them

Healthy eating isn't something that happens overnight. It requires learning about nutritious foods and forming new habits, and even when you're trying your hardest, there still can be healthy eating mistakes that a lot of people make. No one can be perfect when it comes to eating well, but it's good to know which habits to pick up and what to avoid in your quest to cleaning up your eating.

According to the The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2012 Food and Health Survey, over half of Americans believe it is easier to figure out their income taxes than to figure out what they should and shouldn’t eat to be healthier. With so much contradicting information as well as changing studies, it can be difficult to remain educated on the right foods to eat and the right habits to pick up.

Information on the web can sometimes be deceiving, but sticking to taking nutritional advice from a registered dietitian or doctor can help ensure you are headed on the right track. At the end of the day, it's important to know the major errors that people make so you can avoid them yourself. If you're trying to adapt healthier eating habits, try to avoid these six healthy eating mistakes that many people make.

1. They Skip Meals

"People think less calories equals weight loss; therefore if I skip breakfast, I'm good," says Tiffany Newenhouse, RD over email. "The problem is, by the time they get to lunch or dinner, they're famished and end up overeating whatever is in front of them." In fact, one study from the Mayo Clinic found that skipping meals increases your brain's desires for more fattening and unhealthy foods.

2. They Procrastinate

"Everyone has an excuse," says Newenhouse. "It's someone's birthday, it's the weekend, it's the Monday after a long weekend, your sister's home from college, you have friends in town — so the diet 'always starts tomorrow.'" Ditch the idea of a diet, and work to have healthy eating habits everyday. Make it a lifestyle, even when you're attending someone's birthday party.

3. They Go Too Extreme

"Three-day juice cleanses give you nothing but a few vitamins and hunger, so by the time you're done, you want to eat everything," says Newenhouse. "If you eat healthy all the time you don't have to go on these extreme diets. According to Psychology Today, extreme dieting can lead to issues such as fatigue, irritability, and anxiety.

4. They Don't Plan

If you're on the go, it's important to think about your meals before you're hungry. Pre-make lunches before work or always carry healthy snacks with you to avoid ending up having to buy unhealthy food when you're out. "I've recently found myself traveling a lot, and I find the most important thing I pack is my refillable water and snacks," says Newenhouse. "This way you don't fall prey to the airport food or vending machines."

5. They Rely On Supplements

A study from the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who took dietary supplements were at a slightly higher risk of dying, although researchers were not able to pinpoint why. Supplements may be helpful for certain deficiencies, but it's best to get your nutrients from real, whole foods rather than from supplements.

6. They Don't Eat Much After Exercising

You may be tempted to munch on just a salad after a workout, but if you're not eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein after exercising, you won't give your muscles a chance to repair and rebuild. Staying nourished is important after exercising, and not eating won't give you the results you need.

No one diet rule works for everyone, but eating a properly balanced diet and eating frequently can help you stay on track.

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