DIET: Ditch diet resolutions, urges nutritionist
In this week’s Ask the Nutritionist, Nonie De Long offers some mind-shifting suggestions for readers who want a healthier diet and lifestyle.
Dear readers, at this time of year it is common for people to start thinking about the past year and planning for the year ahead. I like this practice in my own life because it helps me take stock and correct the course if necessary. I can check that my values ââcorrespond to my actions and that I am moving towards the goals that I have set for myself. It’s exciting to imagine what will happen with the year to come and how I will be different around the same time next year. And if we want to live intentionally, I would say that is absolutely essential.
People invariably take stock of their health this time of year as well. This leads to making resolutions on weight loss diets, generally for weight and appearance and sometimes for better health. But those resolutions almost always involve giving up delicious diets in favor of bland and restrictive ones. But I’m going to let you in on a little nutrition industry secret to save you a lot of effort, time, and money this year.
Do not do it.
Dieting as a New Year’s resolution doesn’t work. Dieting doesn’t work. And it prepares you for the cycle of eating disorders of the diet that no one in their right mind wants to go into. So don’t do it. Don’t set this diet resolution!
If we are to change our health – really, really, and permanently – what we need is not a new diet. Or a diet called a âlifestyle changeâ. What we need is a change of mindset.
If we want to do something forever, it doesn’t have to be restrictive. It doesn’t have to be boring and boring. It doesn’t have to be bland and repetitive. If we want to eat healthier foods for life, what we need is a passion for healthy foods. And nothing will do it for us in a more powerful way than learning how to grow and cook delicious foods at home.
Children who are exposed to garden cultivation at school come home excited about vegetables their parents may never have used. Have you seen this in your child? Adults also get excited when they go to a friend’s house (remember when it wasn’t a crime?) And they taste a new dish that excites the senses. The food is amazing and the options are endless. And when we get excited to play with food like this, we become passionate about quality. And quality food means food rich in nutrients. And when you eat like that, everything changes.
A body that has abundant nutrients does not crave sugars for energy. He doesn’t need it! He can comfortably fast without any cravings! A body that has organic, nutrient-dense, and biologically appropriate foods is not full of inflammation and pain. A body thus nourished has a strong immune system and ages without the inflammatory diseases in our society. The joints move painlessly. Muscles quickly recover from work. The brain recovers from trauma without getting stuck in it. The digestive system works the way it is supposed to. The flu is just the flu. Our minds keep their sharpness.
A person who is excited about food like this doesn’t come home and hate making dinner before they let themselves exhaust in front of the TV. He / she has a dinner plan to make sure the ingredients are on hand and the prep has been done and he / she cooks up something healthy with ease and joy. The children feel the joy and the meals are transformed.
Remember the joy with food? No? Then you need to take a cooking or gardening class, not start another diet.
Unless you have food allergies / intolerances, an imbalanced metabolism, or a chronic health problem, there is no reason for the diet to be restrictive. The guidelines are good. Find out which are the healthiest options and learn to include them more. It’s clean. If you fall into the categories that require some sort of restriction to rebalance your body, then don’t do it from a dieting standpoint. This will make success much more difficult! Do it from an exploratory standpoint.
Yes, it makes a difference! It makes all the difference if you want to do it for life and keep the weight off. Or encourage children to choose healthier foods. The way we mentally frame things makes all the difference in how we eagerly approach them and how successful our efforts are.
Think about the following two statements. Think about it and see how they make you feel.
- I will never eat sugar again!
- I’ll find healthy recipes that I love as much as I love sugar!
Which one made you want to take action?
Now, if you want to amplify that even more, consider a salad or some obviously healthy meat or other food that you once had that was absolutely delicious. Something you liked. Something surprising. Now start training your brain to make the connection: healthy food can be absolutely delicious! You are now on the right track to achieving your goals, with no further diet resolutions!
Do you want to go further? Get a small grow kit and grow your own herbs to use in your new recipes. Or sign up for a healthy cooking class. Or contact local farmers to see how they can help you buy top-quality food for your family. Register for a community garden in the spring. Obtain heirloom planters and seeds to start growing edible plants and flowers. Join a group of seed savers. Find out when Seedy Saturday is closest to you. Join a gardening group. Start a healthy recipe exchange with your closest friends / relatives.
You now have a resolution that will have a profound and lasting impact on your health! Here’s the new, excited-about-healthy-food awaiting you this year! I hope you will join me in a cooking class to share this enthusiasm for food.