Even as a registered dietitian, it’s quite the challenge to keep up with healthy eating trends and newest diets on the block. There’s always a new one right around the corner that promises to solve all of our problems. Most of these diets focus on restricting certain foods (or entire food groups) as a way to lose weight, improve your health, and make you “feel your best.” Sound familiar? These diet-related claims are literally everywhere. Cut this food out, eat at these specific times, take these supplements, and you’ll be on your way to eternity. Sounds pretty promising, right?
Except that it isn’t. Restrictive diets for weight loss tend to not work—many, if not most, people who lose the weight, gain it back. Then they try dieting again. Yo-yo dieting leads to weight cycling, which may contribute to chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. In other words, dieting probably isn’t great for your health, physical or mental.
For me, living my best life means living and eating without restriction and dieting, while making sure I feel good physically and emotionally. But this kind of attitude towards food and eating doesn’t just come to you once you become an R.D. I had to put a lot of effort into this balanced relationship I have with food and eating. It took work. Now that I’m here, there are three simple principles I keep in mind at all times to help me do just that.
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