Some diet and nutrition trends come and go, but others stick around longer than they should. You may already be thinking about how you can kickstart healthier nutrition habits in the New Year. And while some diet and nutrition trends come and go, others stick around longer than they should. Here are five (5) ways to avoid easy missteps when planning your healthy eating goals in 2019.
THE CHEAT DAY
Many people use a ‘cheat day’ or ‘cheat meal’ to help them stick to their healthy-eating plan, but this is the epitome of harmful diet culture. It restricts when you’re allowed to have certain foods that seem ‘bad’ and promotes the idea that you should feel guilty over eating a certain food. If your nutrition plan is so strict that you need a break from it with a cheat meal, then it’s just a temporary diet, and it won’t last. The only way healthy eating will last a lifetime is if you have the flexibility to eat foods you love and learn to honor food cravings without guilt. Word.
LOW-CALORIE ICE CREAM
“Ice creams that market themselves as having less than 300 calories have negatively impacted our self-control when it comes to this dessert. They don’t contain milk fat, which is essential for quieting hunger hormones so you actually feel satisfied after a serving. Thus, without milk fat these desserts are low-cal but you need to eat more to feel satisfied and can often finish a pint in one sitting. Instead, eat the real ice cream and stick to a serving size of roughly half a cup. Notice the difference in satisfaction in your taste buds and brain. I promise, you’ll be happier in the long term.”
DOING KETO WITHOUT TALKING TO A PROFESSIONAL FIRST
The keto diet is not for everyone. People often jump on the bandwagon of whatever is new — especially if the new diet allows them to eat ‘forbidden’ foods like bacon and butter. The truth is that people don’t often do it correctly and they see it as more of a high-protein diet. But 65–85% of your calories should come from fat, and you really need to limit protein, too. Going too high in protein can kick your body out of ketosis. And if you don’t get enough fiber, it can create digestion problems, like constipation. Most people aren’t planning things out or working with a knowledgeable dietitian to create a balanced keto diet. If you’re active, it may also be tough to do power and HIIT workouts; without the carbohydrates that give your body energy. My advice is to find a way of eating that’s sustainable in the long-term.
DRINKING YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES
You’re constantly hearing that you should eat more fruits and veggies, so juicing might seem like a quick, easy way to get them in. But even if you’re drinking green juice, there’s likely a lot of other juices added, like apple, to counteract the bitterness, which will increase the sugar and calorie content. Besides, one glass of orange juice can contain several oranges, far more than you’d eat in a sitting. And these juices have no fiber. From a health perspective, it’s always better to eat your nutrients rather than drink them. If you have trouble eating vegetables, play around with different ways to cook them (many people like the especially bitter ones, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, roasted) and focus on the sweeter ones at first, like red peppers and carrots. Both might make veggies in their whole form more palatable and even fun to eat.
GOING ON A CLEANSE
The concept of ‘cleansing’ your body is a myth. Your liver and kidneys are working 24 hours a day to rid your body of toxins and particles that enter it, ones you put in it (like alcohol) and ones you don’t. In addition, your gut has good bacteria that’s constantly fighting bad bacteria. Many people go on a cleanse to jumpstart weight loss, but if you lose weight, it’s likely water weight that will return when you start eating again. If you insist on ‘cleansing,’ at least do a whole food cleanse where you cut out the junk and processed foods for a few weeks but still eat fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, avocado, beans and whole grains. At least then you’re also getting vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
Thoughts? Stay Tuned for more!