SportMedBC RunWalk Nutrition Tips: How We Sabotage Our Diets

How We Sabotage Our Diets

By Cristina Sutter, SportMedBC RunWalk Dietitian

Congratulations to everyone who participated in The Vancouver Sun Run InTraining program. Well done! Hopefully, you were able to enjoy nutritious and delicious food to fuel your training along the way. 

If you feel that you struggle with your diet, I invite you to consider what you are doing to sabotage your nutrition. Most of us have good intentions about our way of eating and do make lots of healthy food choices, but we often have one area of weakness that sabotages our success. We often do not need a total diet overhaul or to follow an extreme diet, we just need to identify and neutralize our pattern of sabotage.

Everyone’s area of weakness is unique and addressing our Achilles' heel is the key to enjoying a healthy relationship with food. Ask yourself which of these problem areas or “sabotage” is an issue for you and devise a plan to overcome it:

Identify Your Sabotage:

Tips to Overcome this Challenge:

  1. Takeout or restaurants for dinner. 

·         Cooking your own meals will reduce your portions, Calories, fat and salt. 

·         Plan simple meals for the week. 

·         Go grocery shopping with a list. 

·         Have food prepped and ready to cook when you get home.

·         Use a slow cooker, batch cooking and leftovers to save time.

  1. Crave carbs all day.

·         Include protein and whole grains at each meal.  Whole grain toast and eggs for breakfast gives lasting energy.

·         Avoid having white flour or sugar especially in the morning.  Skip the bagels and croissants.

  1. Eat large portions at lunch and dinner.

·         Have nutritious snacks between meals to reduce overeating at meal times.  Try greek yogurt and fruit or veggies and hummus.

·         Fill half your plate with vegetables so you don’t overeat on the starch or meat at a meal. 

  1. Evening snacking in front of the TV.

·         Turn off the TV when you eat.  Unplug all electronics while eating.  Eating mindlessly while watching TV always makes you eat more, even when you are not hungry. 

  1. Buying lunch every day.

·         You’ll feel better and save money if you make your own lunches.  Whole grain sandwich with fruit and salad leaves you satisfied and energized.

  1. Free donuts and chocolate at the office. 

·         Try to avoid the office dessert table.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Bring your own snacks instead. 

  1. Skipping meals when too busy. 

·         Fuel your body with regular meals and snacks to keep you energized all day long.  This will help prevent overeating later. 

  1. Going out for lavish dinners and beverages on weekends.

·         Enjoy alcohol in moderation.  If you have a couple bottles of wine on weekends, try to cut back your drinks to half your usual intake. 

·         Order simple grilled meals at restaurants or share a dish with your date.  Avoid appies and the bread plate. 

·         Look up the menu nutrition information on the restaurant website ahead of time, to help inform your choice. 

  1. Having a Frappuccino and muffin every morning.

·         Try a latte instead.   Pass up the baked goods and enjoy fresh fruit instead.

·         Your breakfast probably is missing protein if you are hungry at morning break.  Have eggs, cottage cheese or greek yogurt at breakfast to reduce hunger mid morning and cravings late afternoon. 

  1. Alternate between a “perfect” diet and a total binge. 

·         Try not to eat so “perfectly”.  This pressure is hard to keep up with and encourages an “All or Nothing” approach with your diet.  Enjoy moderately balanced meals that have some carbs and occasional treats to reduce your cravings. 

Enlist the help of a registered dietitian to provide specific strategies to support your goals. Speak with a Registered Dietitian for free at Health Link BC to get expert nutrition advice by dialing 8-1-1 on your phone.  

Cristina Sutter is a Private Practice Sport Dietitian at Optimal Performance Clinic in Vancouver. For more information, visit

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