Starting A New Exercise Program? Don't Make These Dietary Mistakes

The moment of truth has finally arrived. You've just completed the first week of your new exercise routine, and you are feeling fabulous. The soreness in your legs, the slight exhaustion you feel, all of it will be worth it the second you find yourself a few pounds lighter and headed in the direction of your ideal weight. But then, something awful happens.You step on the scale and the needle hasn't moved an inch. You begin to replay your week frantically in your mind. You hit the treadmill every day! You cut back on carbs! You even started hydrating with those energy-boosting sports drinks so you could go harder!

Starting a New Exercise Program? Don't Make These Dietary Mistakes

[pullquote:left]The truth is, all of those well-intentioned actions could actually be detrimental to your workout plan. When you are starting a new exercise routine, you cannot simply hop on a few machines at the gym, cut the calorie intake in half, and expect fast results. You have to make the program work for you and your unique body. It's important to fuel up properly and make sure that you are making changes that can last a lifetime. 

For instance, you have to stop playing roulette with your diet. Just because you are being more active doesn't mean you should totally treat yourself at every opportunity.

"Some people find that their appetites increase when they start exercising, but that shouldn't be a green light to start overeating," warns Keri Gans, nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet. Rather, a growth in appetite means you need to start paying attention to what your body actually needs and to satiate it with the healthiest options.

To help you make sure that you are as successful as possible, we rounded up some mistakes you probably didn't know you were making when it comes to your diet and exercising. Be sure to avoid these common misconceptions about eating while active.


Just because carbs can fuel your workout (and even help you lose weight) doesn't mean you should overload on them. "Ideally, you want both carbs and protein before and after working out," advises Gans. "The carbs are needed to help fuel your workout and to deplete your glycogen stores afterwards. Protein brings nutrients and oxygen to your muscles; it helps to rebuild and repair."

Drinking Sports Drinks

Yes, you need to stay hydrated during your workout, but be smart about your fuel. Adding a sports drink to your exercise regimen when you only worked out for an hour or less is completely unnecessary. "Unless you are working out for more than one hour at a high intensity, water will do just fine for hydration," says Gans.