How many of you have personally, or know someone who has been on a diet? For our intents and purposes, we will define ‘dieting’ as the act of restricting food(s) and/or food group(s) for the purpose of losing weight. As a dietitian, some may find it ironic that I so strongly disapprove of diets. Allow me to explain…
- For starters, I am not a fan of four letter words, this would include diet.
- Next, notice diets are RESTRICTIVE. Variety is the spice of life, that’s what I say. Fad diets that promote eating the same foods over and over lack essential vitamins and minerals found in various phytochemicals. For example, those who exclude animal products from their diet are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin B12. Likewise, those who eliminate dairy are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Not to mention how boring it becomes eating plain chicken breasts and green beans every night of your life😫
- To further expound upon point number two…restriction requires great willpower. How long will you forbid yourself from consuming any added sugar, EVER?! You mean to tell me you will never again have a piece of birthday cake, wedding cake, cheesecake, any kind of cake?!?!? Where’s the fun in that? Don’t get me wrong though, you won’t find me downing doughnuts by the dozen on the daily, but that’s not to say tasty treats can’t be part of a healthy lifestyle.
- While the title of this article reads ‘why diets don’t work’, I suppose I should add they ‘work’, but only for the short term. That also is the reason I never recommend diets for long term healthy, happy living. Diets are an effective way to implement new, healthy behaviors, but it is only a baby step and to be used as a temporary tool… (Stay tuned for PART 2 of this series).
- What works for one person, may not work (as well) for you. Until nutrigenomics becomes commonplace, nutrition will continue to be both a science, as well as an art. Translation: it’ll take a little bit of trial and error to find what works best for you, ideally, with the assistance of a dietitian (like me🤗). Collecting anthropometrics with a tanita scale and cross referencing with skin fold calipers/bioelectrical impedance analysis along with scientific formularies is something you won’t find on some keto IG account…just sayin’.
So, how do you go from following diets to eating what you want, when you want, all while maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle? Stay tuned my friends for PART 2!