Rethink Nutrition

When "Healthy" Choices Backfire

In an effort to make healthier choices, you've started changing up your usual food routine. For breakfast, you have a granola bar and an apple on your way out the door. At lunch, you sit down to a salad packed with healthy vegetables, feeling great about your new way of life.

By mid-afternoon, you're ravenous and having trouble focusing so you break out your banana for a healthy snack. You're still hungry but you've been doing so good! This must just be what healthy feels like. At dinner, you have some grilled chicken and roasted vegetables but by 8:00p, you break down and find yourself halfway through a pint of ice cream with no intention of stopping.

Does this sound familiar? Maybe it's because carbohydrates and fats are often demonized in popular culture but, in an effort to make healthier choices, people often forget to include the very foods that will actually satisfy and sustain them until their next meal. This sets you up for an evening battle against biology as your body demands the nutrients that were lacking during the day. At this point, you end up eating far more than you otherwise would have.

The solution is simple - make sure each meal has a combination of fat, fiber, and protein to keep you full longer!


Although a granola bar with fruit seems like a healthy choice, it doesn't provide enough calories to make a full meal and is also lacking in filling protein and fats. Skimping on calories early in the day is not a great idea - you'll just end up ravenous later in the day! Plus, you need fuel for the most active part of your day. Here are some more filling breakfast options:

- homemade granola bites + Greek yogurt + fruit

- 2 slices whole wheat toast or 2 whole grain waffles + peanut butter + banana

- breakfast burrito: whole wheat tortilla, black beans, scrambled egg, avocado, salsa, feta cheese


Vegetables may pack a load of fiber, but salads need fat, protein, and carbohydrates if you plan to make your salad a meal. If you're bringing a salad for lunch, consider adding at least two of the following:

- protein: tuna, chicken, beans, hummus

- fat: salad dressing, nuts, avocado

- carbs: whole wheat bread or roll, whole grain crackers


While fruit is a great snack option, it isn't quite filling enough on it's own. Adding some fat and/or protein will sustain you longer. The following snack options offer more balance:

- pretzels or whole grain crackers + peanut butter or hummus

- fruit + peanut butter or trail mix

- string cheese + fruit or crackers

- Greek yogurt + nuts or nut butter

- deli meat + crackers + cheese

- veggies + hummus

- 1/2 peanut butter or deli meat sandwich


Again, although a dinner of chicken and vegetables contains foods traditionally considered healthy, it is lacking in carbohydrates. Inadequate carbohydrate intake is what leads to cravings for sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods later in the evening. Consider adding one of the following to round out the meal:

- whole wheat pasta, brown or wild rice, bread or rolls, quinoa, potatoes

Having all of the macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fat) at each meal fills you up and makes the meal more satisfying. You'll probably also notice more energy throughout the day. Check out our things in bowls posts if you need some recipe ideas!

Adding in some fun foods like chocolate or ice cream here and there is also a great way to make healthy eating more sustainable. One meal or snack will not make or break your health and avoiding fun foods that you enjoy only sets you up to feel out of control around those foods. You aren't a failure for wanting a food that isn't 100% nutrient packed. You're human!

What Others Are Saying

Josie Werts
Image is not available
Josie Werts
Image is not available

"My experience working with Sydney at Rethink Nutrition was wonderful! She helped me see that consistency and balance are an important part in being healthy, and she taught me how to work towards food freedom. It was easy to be honest about challenges, and I was always met with patience and new solutions to try. There were so many days I wanted to give up on recovery, but her encouragement and advice helped me keep going. If you're struggling but hesitant to see a dietitian, I would suggest Rethink because you deserve the care and support to get better. Sydney is truly amazing at what she does. She's my hero!"

Drew Davis
Image is not available
Drew Davis
Image is not available

"I rarely leave reviews for anything online, but I have to say that Anna Binder and the team at Rethink Nutrition genuinely changed my life. After suffering from IBS and acid reflux for years, it only took a few months with Anna's treatment for me to be almost completely symptom free. I have so much more knowledge and control over my health now than I ever thought possible - not to mention that I can eat without hardly any restrictions or concerns anymore. Could not recommend enough!"

Dunia Harmison
Image is not available
Dunia Harmison
Image is not available

"In just over a week of working with Anna, I feel great! I no longer feel the need to lay down during the day, my face is clearing up, and I'm no longer feeling bloated by foods that I eat. If I'm feeling this good already, I'm excited to see how much better it gets in the coming weeks."

* Results can very. Testimonials are the result of clients committed to changing their health.
Virtual Appointments
Rethink Nutrition is offering the option of secure video or phone sessions. Book a virtual appointment today!
Book Appointment
90-Day Food Sensitivity And Gut Repair Program