In terms of human nutrition the word diet refers to the total amount of foods (and beverages) consumed by one person. What we hear and see on the internet, TV and from our social environments seems to provide a surreal definition. Nutrition is a science. We are constantly learning more about nutrition, however, some of what we hear may not be factual despite ‘articles’ and ‘studies’ cited. Be skeptical of what you read.
If it seems to good to be true it just may be.
Dietitian tip 1: Lose the attitude! The “all or nothing” attitude can be difficult to overcome but doing so can help you improve your relationship with food.
The “all or nothing” attitude can be when:
- You consider foods to only be good or bad.
- If you have a treat you feel that you haven’t achieved your goals for the day.
- You can’t eat the foods you want to eat.
- You eat clean or dirty.
- You eat whole foods or not (Seriously though, what isn’t a whole food? Is it 50% food?)
- You diet on weekdays and have cheat days on the weekend.
- You think, I am a success or I am a failure.
Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to call yourself a cheater in order to enjoy a treat?
I’m all about coaching people about the in-between or the grey area within the points above. You aren’t really eating dirty food unless it is dirty. If that’s the case you should probably just wash it.
Think of foods as a necessary part of life needed to nourish. We need food, so choose the foods that will nourish you best but find foods that you can also afford, that you know how to prepare and you enjoy eating.
Sure there are different variables that make one food healthier than another food but it doesn’t mean you should start thinking of food in two categories, healthy and unhealthy.
I recently was discussing chocolate cravings with a friend. He said his new goal would be to have a treat occasionally, perhaps once a week, when he had a craving. I encouraged to choose a daily limit for the treat and enforce it. His response was “Why? I can’t eat one everyday on my diet!” I explained that if he chooses an amount to stick to every day or X times per week and enforces it with himself he may be more likely to succeed with is goal. The reasoning behind this is that in goal setting we should choose a goal that is not too difficult to achieve. Too often we give ourselves a low limit per week for a treat and once we go over it we may feel guilt, shame or failure. However if he sets a goal of 1 treat or less per day and only has a treat 3 times next week he may see it as a success rather than a failure.
When changing your diet (what you eat) set yourself up for success by setting realistic and achievable goals.
A link to a great article by fellow Dietitian, Sarah Remmer.
A link to an article by a favourite fellow Dietitian, Diana.