When it comes to health and nutrition, most of us will think we have most of the key points down. We know what we should and shouldn’t eat and the effect that food can have on our health – or at least we think we do.

Nutrition mistakes

In truth, you’re probably making more mistakes than you realise when it comes to your nutrition. This is why it is so important not to get stuck in your ways and just assume you’re right.

To help you work out what you should and shouldn’t be doing, here are some of the biggest mistakes made by most people:

Not eating enough

Cutting down your food intake can help you maintain or lower your weight due to the fact you’ll store fewer calories. However, to lose weight and keep it low in the long-run, you can’t simply starve your body of vital calories.

This is because it won’t be as effective for long periods of time, which can mean you lose muscle and start to feel lethargic.

Rather than cutting down on how much food you eat, you should put the focus on what you’re eating. Instead of having minimal meals and avoiding snacks, swap sugary treats and foods that are high in saturated fat for healthier foods.

This will provide you with good levels of energy, leave you feeling satisfied for longer and facilitate weight management.

Dinner as the biggest meal

Too many of us save our biggest meal for the evening, using it as a chance to make up for skipped breakfasts or hurried lunches, but this isn’t the best way to plan your daily food intake.

You’ll burn off more calories during the day when you’re moving around than you will in the evening when you’re watching TV or heading to bed. This is why you should aim to have regular meals to space out your food intake better.

A solid breakfast and lunch, as well as healthy snacks, will leave you feeling full and energised all day, avoiding a crash or cravings for high-energy foods later on in the day. Ideally, your smallest meal should be in the evening, so it is a good idea to change your routine.

Avoiding carbs

We’ve all heard the apparent health benefits of cutting carbs out of your diet, but the truth is carbs are an integral part of keeping what you eat healthy and balanced. While the chances are you should cut back a bit on your carb intake and switch to more complex versions – such as whole grains – you shouldn’t try and get rid of them completely.

Carbohydrates are a vital fuel for your body and will keep you going on a daily basis, as well as during and after working out. So rather than getting rid of them, which is really not very fun, just cut back and be more mindful of the types of carbs you’re consuming.

Avoiding fat

Another thing that many people avoid is fat. That’s not to say they avoid bad, saturated fats – many people try to avoid all fat, which is depriving their body of the good fats it needs. It pays to know the difference between good and bad fat so you know exactly what you shouldn’t be eating much of.

Ideally, you shouldn’t cut out fat completely anyway, as your body uses it for energy. Reducing the amount of saturated fat you eat is the best option, as is getting enough exercise to ensure your body doesn’t store it and to keep your heart and lungs healthy.

Your body cannot physically function without some fat, so don’t be afraid of including some in your diet.