The Simple Truth About Nutrition
There are endless controversies over nutrition, diets, and supplements. Some ideas are backed by legit research. Some philosophies are driven by testimonials. Still others are derived from 1 celebrity’s comment going viral on social media, resulting in phrases like “research shows” (with no study in hand) or “they say” (Who are “they” anyway?).
In my 9 short years as a Registered Dietitian, I have seen and heard every end of the spectrum. And the interesting thing is, any extreme, which often manifests as obsession, usually negates the pursuit of wellness all together.
For the sake of sanity-yours and mine-I want to stay out of the weeds. Since keeping our mental health in check is part of wellness, let’s touch on a few principles that shouldn’t get us into too much trouble.
Keep it simple. We will talk more about social media next week, but media in general and network marketing are making the nutrition piece of wellness way too complicated. A simple salutation? Choose MyPlate. Make half your plate fruits and veggies, ¼ whole grain, ¼ lean protein, and have 1 serving of low-fat dairy at each meal. Keep it simple. Make it attainable.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Before you ask if they should be organic, fresh, frozen or canned, I will ask you this. Which ones will you eat? Those are the best options. As we addressed in our exercise discussion, knowledge is useless if not translated into action. You know fruits and veggies are good. So put that knowledge to good use and eat the ones your like! If you want more info about adding more nutrients from fruits and veggies, click here.
Ignore the magic bullet. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Enough said.
Ditch the diet. The problem with going “on a diet” is you eventually go “off a diet.” And the moment you come off, the weight goes back on. Diets may be the jump start you need (only for 4-6 weeks) but are unsustainable long term. They often leave out important food groups which means important vitamins and minerals as well. Resist the urge to follow the latest fad and try this next practice instead.
Focus on lifestyle change. Nutrition needs to be doable and sustainable, something that should transcend any situation and any stage in life. Viewing healthy eating as a new way of life makes something click in your brain. “I am in it for the long run.” Diets are restrictive and can lead to anxiety. Healthy eating as a way of life that allows freedom and flexibility.
Okay, here is where it gets real. As you consider what you just read and realize something. These practices aren’t sexy. They aren’t flashy fads that will get you hundreds of likes on Facebook. They aren’t actually a lot of fun.
But. This. Stuff. Works.
If you want to experience wellness in the area of nutrition, start by practicing these principles that are the result of a lifestyle change and enjoy real, lasting wellness.