Written by: Claire Domian, Dietetic Intern
When we think of the word diet we are usually referring to the verb meaning, “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself to lose weight”. But what if we thought more about the noun? Diet, di-et (noun) “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. Rather than dieting which usually results in cravings, short-term weight loss, and general unhappiness – what if we focus on making changes to our diet, or the foods that we habitually eat. Let’s say for example, you’re like Oprah and you LOVE bread. Rather than breaking up with bread and getting together with Dr. Atkins, why don’t we examine the type of bread and the meal patterns in which you eat bread? Making a simple switch to whole grain or sprouted bread is a great way to get more fiber, reduce risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer. If that seems unrealistic to you, let’s try to fit your favorite type of bread into your day without overdoing it. Portion control and meal planning can allow for all types of food to fit in your diet.
Making these little but meaningful modifications is the key to making lifestyle changes that promote health and weight management. By examining our overall diet, we eliminate the need to by books, products, and pills that promote dieting. It’s important to remember that one snack, one meal, or even one day of eating will not make us gain weight, but what we consistently eat over time that matters for health. Focusing on overall health and what we habitually eat does more good than any four-day “cleanse” or fad diet will ever do.
If you are interested in making healthful, long-term dietary changes, meeting with a Registered Dietitian can help identify any areas of improvement in your diet and eliminate the need to diet. We at Bellin Fitness Center have our own RD that can serve as a resource. Please call the front desk at (920) 430-4756 to schedule an appointment.