Diet is a Four-Letter Word!
Have you ever been on a diet? Have you been on more than one diet?
According to the UK Daily Mail
The average woman tries 61 diets by the time she is 45 years old!
Do any of these diets sound familiar? Nutri System, Organic, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Blood-type diet, Dash, Mediterranean, Elimination, Time restricted eating, Candida, Anti-aging, Anti-carb, Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Atkins, Scarsdale, Whole 30, Ketogenic, Weight watchers, Gluten free, Raw Food Diet, Macrobiotic, Paleolithic, Jenny Craig, Cabbage diet, Master Cleanse diet, Shake Diets, Flexitarian, Mayo Clinic, Makers Diet, Longevity diet, and _______(fill in the blank with your own diet experiences).
Just for fun I typed ‘diet books’ into Amazon. I received 60,000 results! Holy Cow! One thing there is no shortage of is diet books and diet programs!
Why then, if we have all these available resources to help us with dieting, are we struggling with our weight now more than ever?
As of 2022, 78% of Americans are either overweight or obese.
With that statistic in mind, I think we can agree that our jumping from one fad diet to the next does not work. So why then do we keep trying them?
Many companies use our emotions of guilt, shame, and self-hate to sell us their books and products. As Louise Foxcroft, author, historian, and broadcaster reminds us, "It is always the same old line -- we could be thinner, younger and more loved if only we buy whatever new improved diet food or regime they're selling."
Sadly, many of us fall for the diet marketing and media gimmicks and schemes. In fact, we spend more than 61 billion dollars a year trying to lose the fat and gain that perfect image of our thinner and younger looking body.
After receiving my health coaching certification, a common question, I had from people was what diet I recommended for weight loss. And although I am not a nutritionist or a physician, I would like to see us tamp down this diet discussion.
"Perhaps what we really need to ‘lose’ is the four-letter word 'diet' from our vocabulary."
And instead talk about what we need to gain: a new and improved mindset about how to better nourish our bodies and our precious lives.
Instead of monitoring our weight, and our waist measurements, keep track of how we are feeling and our level of energy. No counting calories, count the hours of restful sleep. No more obsession about the fastest way to lose pounds, let's instead become passionate about a sharp, beautiful mind and a stronger, healthier immune system.
So, let's switch our paradigm from 'diet' to 'nutrition'. And there is no need for a lengthy book, or an expensive program. We'll just keep it simple to start with.
Here are 10 basic tenets for better nutrition:
1. Eat More Whole foods (food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and free from additives or other artificial substances) In other words:
Eat more Real Food and less Junk Food.
Check out this video and share with the kids. Learning to decipher junk food from real food should be a family affair.
(18) Junk Food vs. Real Food (7 Ways to Tell the Difference) + BONUS - YouTube
2. Read the labels on the packaging
Know what ingredients you are putting in your, or your child’s mouth. Another perfect opportunity to include the kids and learning together how to read the labels.
3. More ingredients are not better!
The optimal food to eat has only one ingredient.
4. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients…don’t eat them.
5. Beware of marketing manipulation
Even if the packaging tells you this food has been enriched, fortified, fat removed, healthy, sugar free, natural, no calories and gluten free…be cautious
6. Pay close attention to the amount of sugar that has been added.
The American Heart Association guideline recommends the following criteria for sugar intake.
For women and children: less than six teaspoons of sugar per day/25 grams
For men: less than nine teaspoons of sugar per day/37.5 grams
(Read more about the effects of sugar in this month's newsletter)
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7. Don't underestimate the positive power of herbs and spices.
Turmeric, ginger, cumin, nutmeg, basil, peppermint and many spices can give you multiple health benefits. Research shows that these benefits can range from anti-inflammatory properties to cognitive boosters.
8. If a food or drink makes you feel crappy, agitated or bloated, stop eating it or eat less of it.
(Lactose intolerant, gluten sensitive, diabetic, food sensitivities or downright deadly allergic? Don't eat what makes you sick, my friend).
9. Keep healthy foods available and accessible.
Let’s take some of the 61 billion dollars that we have been spending on diet books and diet products and use the cash to buy more fruits, seeds, vegetables and whole grains. It's easier to eat healthy if you have stocked up with real, healthy foods).
10. Be intentional.
Come up with a plan and a list for what you will eat.
I created a list of foods that I believe are healthy. I made copies of the list and stick it to my refrigerator to use as I prepare for my weekly shopping. (See the file at the bottom of blog post to help you get started with your own list).
Most of what I have shared with you is common sense, but remember: it’s not what we know, but what we do with what we know and the action we take consistently over time that is the game changer.
Small Steps to healthier eating:
So now, let me ask you, are you ready to stop using the four-letter word and start focusing on better nutrition?
Let's move our conversation to nurturing our bodies and improving our well-being. I challenge you to improve your nutrition. You will feel better and look even more fabulous! We would love to hear about some of your healthy tips, your Aha’s, and your successes.