I would like to discuss dieting myths and why this is an interesting area when you think about dieting and how it works for weight management. In North America and throughout the world, there are a lot of people who think all they need to do in order to manage their weight and get healthy is to go on a diet. Well, a diet really is a means to an end. So, one of the things I like to communicate with people the first time I meet with them is that dieting really isn’t necessarily the answer to long-term weight management and overall health. While there’s a lot of diets out there that have some good points, they are almost all unrealistic for long-term success for most people.
I think it’s important to be aware of the different diets out there because they do have a lot of good points. Whether it’s an Atkins Style diet which emphasizes more protein or the Dean Ornish diet that recommends cutting down on a lot of saturated animal fats and focusing more on whole grains, fruits, veggies and legumes. The South Beach diet suggests controlling the glycemic index of our food intake while avoiding too many refined carbs.
There’s a lot of solid points to many of these diets. However, I don’t think it’s realistic when somebody just says they are going to follow a certain diet and stick with only that diet for the rest of their life. It’s completely unrealistic and not really feasible for most people. When it comes to dieting myths, keep in mind that there’s never one magical diet that works for everyone.
I’m going to cover two important things that I hope you remember from this article. I learned these from my nutrition mentor, Dr. John Berardi, and I want to pass them onto you. Number one, you have to use an outcome based approach when you’re dealing with your nutrition. While one type of diet or nutrition plan can work very well for someone, it might not work very well for someone else. It’s easy to read a magazine or a book or hear information from a physician or a dietitian about how these certain foods may work for people but if you tried this approach and it doesn’t work for you, then you need to take a different approach. Don’t feel like you’re a failure if you don’t succeed on that one specific type of plan.
The second thing when it comes to diets is to use the KISS method and keep it simple, stupid. I think a lot of times you get bogged down with the details like figuring out what the glycemic load of a food is, or finding out how much saturated fat grams is in this or that. There’s so many different variables that we can worry about and we really need to just take a step back along with a deep breath and not stress out so much. You might just try implementing a few simple healthy additions to your eating plan like adding more whole grains, increasing your legumes, keeping your protein intake up, or just focusing on getting the most of your carbs from fruits and veggies and building in some starchy carbs as well. This approach seems to work very well for most people, so just try to keep your nutrition plan very simple and stress free.
Watch More Diet and Nutrition Videos!
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- How To Become Overweight & Unhealthy – Part 1
- How To Become Overweight & Unhealthy – Part 2
Another thing that completely bothers me about diet and nutrition plans is not listening to hunger and satiety cues. We get so focused on calories and fat grams that we shut off our hunger satiety red flags and avoid eating when we need to. What good is that going to do? If anything, it’s going to lead to feelings of deprivation and wreak havoc on your long-term weight loss success. It’s important to use an outcome based approach with your nutritional planning and keep it as simple as possible!