Dieting can be done well and it can be done poorly.
What determines this is of course the advice you choose to follow, the way you approach your nutrition, your mindset/mentality around goal achievement and dieting, and of course your individual circumstances that could be making or breaking your efforts.
It is important that you also understand that a big part of success with nutrition is “dieting” using proven systems and strategies and following the evidence trail so to speak.
Luckily there are some common signs of poor dieting that you can look out for to make sure you aren’t making these mistakes and following a “sh*tty diet’ as I like to bluntly say. This is particularly evident among those following a diet plan for weight loss or seeking a rapid fat loss diet.
In this blog, I share 6 signs of poor dieting practices I see time and time and again as a Sports Dietitian working with athletes and active professionals from all walks of life and with all sorts of individual goals.
6 Signs of Poor Dieting Practice
There are so many dieting approaches out there. Some are more popular then others. While others are more problematic than others. It’s kind of a jungle at times out there in the nutrition world.
You have people following Intermittent Fasting. Others are doing the ol classic Mediterranean diet. Some are still doing the unnecessary keto diet. Then you have the newest fad diet in town, the carnivore diet.
However, the issue of poor dieting approaches and practices are universal in its influence. No matter what diet one does, these problems and mistakes can manifest itself.
It seems everyone and their doggo are looking for a “diet plan for weight loss” or to “lose weight fast”. With this territory comes a tendency to want to fasat track results and find quick fix solutions.
This leads to mistakes being made because you lose the sense of strategy and the frameworks of nutritional success get forgotten.
Well, I want you to know more and do better! So here are 6 signs of bad dieting that you need to address if you are doing it yourself!
#1: Cutting out all the foods you enjoY
Often many people see restrictive dieting and “clean eating”, as the best diet to lose weight. However, the evidence is clear and so is the fundamental science, showing us that it’s not quite like this.
You can get the same results with more food freedom and flexibility as long as your caloric and protein adequacy is in the right position. In other words, if you eat the right amount of calories and also ensure protein intake is stable, then the fat loss results can still be just as good as if you were to be following a very restrictive diet.
So cutting out all the foods you enjoy becomes more so a futile change because it’s at best an unnecessary, temporary change and at worst a gateway to poor food relationships and risks of disordered eating.
It is not realistic to expect yourself to sustain dieting efforts eating NO foods you enjoy. There needs to be a balance. I like to use the 80/20 rule - 80% nutritional, 20% fun.
#2: Comparing your diet to others around you
Comparing your diet to others is a silly endeavour for multiple results. Not one of which is as important as the fact that your approach needs to be unique because YOU are unique and so are your goals and nutritional needs.
What works for one person, may not work in the same way (or at all) for the next. That is what my point is here.
You need to do your own thing and if you feel you are not doing the right thing, you can seek guidance professionally to get you on the pathway to success (aka working with a Sports Dietitian such as myself).
However, this “game” you play when you compare and copy the diets of your friends/family/teammates, is setting you up to hit roadblocks with your results long term.
#3: Crash dieting (rapid fat loss diet)
Soooo many (too many in fact) people are seeking the “best diet for rapid weight loss” to the point that it is leading them astray with their dieting and causing issues.
Quite simply, following a rapid weight loss diet is not the answer for long term success with achieving your body composition goals. It is potentially harmful and also does not allow you time to create the habits and behaviours needed to sustain results.
Focusing on achieving super quick and easy weight loss is just that, a temporary and quick fix at best for most dieters. You may find yourself part of the weight regain statistic which does not paint a nice picture of success with long term fat loss (aka keeping the weight off).
Instead, you should be focusing on strategic, tailored fat loss planning so that you can lose weight the right way and follow the right process.
Say NO to crash dieting!
#4: Being “hot” and “cold” with your diet
You’re hot and your cold. You’re yes and you’re no. You’re in and you’re out. You’re up and you’re down. Katy Perry put it perfectly - as if she was literally speaking to your diet.
All jokes aside, the lack of consistency you are having with your diet is no joke. If you find yourself on and off (hot vs cold) with your dieting efforts, you can not expect the results to translate.
The results expected need to meet the effort provided. Simple math, my friend.
So if you are finding yourself running the hamster wheel of dieting, there is a chance it is your lack of consistency that is doing it (or not doing it for you, really). Food for thought.
#5: You are lacking energy and feel like poop
Energy and performance are pillars of human health and condition. Therefore, when you feel like your energy and performance is taking the wrong turn Eliza Dushku style, it may be time to hit the breaks and re-examine your nutrition.
Poor nutrition and crappy dieting will likely lead to some problems emerging in relation to your energy levels and overall feeling of “poop”.
This is why looking out for these non-scale metrics and signs is an important thing to do. Otherwise you can miss the key signs that something needs a tweakin’ and a good ol adjustin’. Your nutrition that is.
So are you lacking energy and feeling like poop, my friend?
Well, here is your reminder to go and fix up your dieting. Need help with that? Reach out to me on: email@example.com.
#6: Poor sustainability (not sticking to it long-term)
Having a diet that is sustainable enough to achieve the required (well desired) result and then maintain it…well it’s frickin’ important.
That is why one of the biggest and most classic signs of a sh**ty diet is poor sustainability (not sticking it it long-term in laymans).
You want to make sure you choose the diet and strategy that suits you and is doable. Choosing one that resonates with you and fits your lifestyle and preferences. Doing this will at least put you in the better position when you start and improve your chances.
Stop seeking the “best diet” or the “newest trendy diet”, seek out the best diet approach for you!
There you go!
You are now equipped with the powerful (or at least useful) knowledge on the 6 signs of crappy, poop-esque dieting that you can know recognise and remove from your life lickity split.
There is no reason you need to be making the same mistakes others are making when you are aware of them. That is why I wanted to share these with you, so you can start levelling up your nutrition rather than stagnanting it.
Of course, this list is NOT exhaustive and other factors and signs could be impacting you and keeping your results back. So if you are struggling to see progression then it may be time to seek out the guidance of a professional who has been there, done that…and helped others too!
So I do want to ask…
Do you feel you need expert guidance when it comes to your fuelling, recovery, and nourishment?
Not seeing the body you feel happier, healthier, and more confident in?
Performance lagging like an early 2000’s dial up internet setup?
I may be able to be of assistance.
If you are ready to take your nutrition and body to the next level and elevate your performance in a way that doesn’t make you want to punch your Sports Dietitian, then let’s chat.
I have developed a bespoke nutrition coaching solution that allows you to work with me personally 1:1 to help start bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be with your physique & performance.
In this program, I'll personally coach you using my flexible nutrition system to help you harness the power of calories and macro strategy to regain your competitive edge - think of it as a bespoke nutrition solution that empowers you to eat better to achieve better.
Interested in learning more?
Simply email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to have a chat about this and see if we are a good fit to work together and get you your best results yet.
Or to apply now to see if you are a good fit, simply CLICK HERE and start the process for reaching your peak potential.
Your Brisbane Sports Dietitian and Nutritionist
Hi there! My name's Aleksa Gagic - i'm a Brisbane Sports Dietitian & Brisbane Sports Nutritionist. I have 7+ years experience in providing professional nutrition consulting and want to help you learn about the power of flexible nutrition.