Keto or gluten-free? Paleo or low-carb? With so much clamor and contradiction about nutrition, it can be difficult to know what is truly best for your body. Below, find seven common dieting mistakes — and how to correct them.
1. Not personalizing your diet.
Your body is unique. Your diet should be too. To most, it's clear that the nutritional needs of, say, a marathoner are vastly different from those of the occasional jogger. But did you know the connection between food and your body runs deeper?
As The New York Times reported, studies are increasingly showing variations in individuals' abilities to absorb and metabolize nutrients. Many of these differences stem from genetic makeup and related biological markers. As this science becomes more widely known, the public has become increasingly interested in mapping their genomes, subscribing to DNA testing services like 23andMe. Genetic analysis can provide individuals with a roadmap to better health.
2. Not knowing your blood type.
Of all the biological markers defining nutritional needs, blood type wields the largest influence on your health. Your ABO profile changes the way you can best handle stress, manage weight and increase energy.
Science has shown that Blood Type As, for example, do best on a lean vegetarian diet, while Type Os thrive on high-protein meals. Don't know your blood type? You can find out in under six minutes with our Home Blood-typing kit.
3. "Cheating" at restaurants
Eating clean can be difficult. But at restaurants, where temptations are everywhere, staying healthy can feel impossible. To keep your nutrition on track, try carrying a reminder list of the foods you can and can't eat on your specific dieting plan.
If you follow Dr. Peter D'Adamo's Blood Type Diet, download his Blood Type Diet App to quickly reference your "beneficial," "neutral" and "avoid" foods on the go. Or, check out these handy Blood Type Pocket Books (O, A, B, AB).
4. Missing vital vitamins and minerals
9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in potassium, while 4 out of 10 are deficient in vitamin D. The truth is, getting your daily dose of essentials is tough — even the healthiest eaters sometimes need a little boost. And if you're following a diet that eliminates a large number of foods, you might be in particular need of nutritional aid.
Taking multi-vitamins or supplements is an easy way to avoid deficiencies and accelerate your journey to optimal fitness. Having trouble picking the right formulas? Our D'Adamo Supplement Advisor analyzes your goals and health emphasis choices to recommend D'Adamo Personalized Nutrition products that best suit your needs.
5. Not tracking nutritional progress
Changes in fitness can happen slowly. And, sometimes, it's easy to forget how far you've come. By clearly documenting your diet journey — from the foods you eat to the exercise you do — you can analyze what lifestyle changes have the biggest impacts on your health.
Keep a paper "diet diary" or try a digital tool. Our web-based Datapunk DietBuddy program helps users plan meals, measure diet compliance and analyze overall health data.
And setting clear goals, either on paper or through the web, will keep you pointed toward nutritional success.
6. Not exercising right for your body
Just as biology determines your optimal diet, genetic makeup affects the way you react to exercise. People with blood type A, for example, possess naturally higher levels of cortisol, the "stress hormone," and thus benefit from soothing workouts like yoga. On the other hand, those with type O blood benefit from vigorous, regular activity.
Of course, any movement is better than none, but as long as you're exercising, you might as well pick the activity that's best for your body.
7. Getting caught up in fad diets
You've seen the news stories. "Revolutionary diet promises 50 pounds shed in a week." Or that one about losing weight eating only steak and burgers. Starting a healthy diet (keyword: healthy) requires digging through snake-oil-salesman-like pitches and absurd claims. In fact, googling "diet" yields over one billion hits.
So how do you tell fact from fad? Read up on your chosen diet. When did it come out? What's the feedback from fellow followers? A nutritional plan decades old with years of success stories like the Blood Type Diet is worthy of consideration over some passing fad dad diet..