Yesterday was a day of celebrating for me! It was my birthday…which also coincided with International No Diet Day. What are the chances that an anti-diet dietitian gets to celebrate a no diet day on her birthday? Cake seemed appropriate on so many levels. 🙂
So what is a diet?
It can be defined as the types of foods a person restricts themselves to in order to lose weight and is most often designed and prescribed by someone else.
So you may be asking yourself “why is this lady such a zealot when it comes to her dieting opposition…we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic here?!”
Well, I’m in the business of health. And it turns out that all diets are the biggest predictors of future weight gain. They also create increased food obsession which makes eating miserable. Additionally, food restriction almost always precipitates binging and compulsive overeating. And to top it off, dieting is one of the biggest risk factors to developing disordered eating or a full blown eating disorder. In essence, dieting worsens all of the problems it advertises solving.
So if not a diet, what’s the first step to re-establishing health eating patterns?
When I work with my clients I almost always establish structure with consistent eating. If you feel like your eating needs a tune up, make a commitment to eat every 3-4 hours. Do your best to balance each eating opportunity with carbs, fats, and protein. Give it a try for a couple of days and notice how you feel.
Eating consistently is like hitting “control alt delete” for your brain, your digestion, and your metabolism. Eating balanced allows your hormones to remain in relative balance which just feels better.
I hope this basic primer on tuning up your nutrition without dieting was helpful. What healthy habits allow you to feel your best? I’d love to hear about it!