We make nutrition way too complicated. A friend of mine recently shared a post with me:
This easily shows how messed up our nutrition information is. Mostly, because individuals who are not nutrition professionals and experts are providing nutrition information to people without any validity and long term research! It begins to get muddled in what us dietitians are trying to educate.
I had a client of mine tell me, “you know, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is just not edgy enough”. What she had meant by that is the information provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is not the information you hear around social media, in gyms, in your break room at work – such as; recommended weight loss via ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, paleo, alkaline diet, etc. Nor does it recommend "magic" supplements that boost metabolism, increase energy, suppress appetite. The reason for this is BECAUSE THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT RESEARCH THAT SUPPORTS THOSE DIETS AND SUPPLEMENTS! The Academy will only provide evidenced based nutrition information in which we know long term outcomes, results and safety. We, as nutrition professionals, would not provide recommendations in which we are not sure the outcome and safety it would be long term.
I had another discussion with a different client of mine and we were discussing the misinformation around nutrition. She had said “no one listens to dietitians”. We laughed because it is a ridiculous thought, but I also cried a little on the inside because it is true. For some reason, many people believe the "health professional" that has no previous education in nutrition and is definitely NOT an expert in that field or believe the lady that is trying to sell them Advocare, Thrive or some other expensive “magic” supplement who has never gone through nutrition training (well maybe through the supplement manufacturer who is only in it to provide insignificant research so they can make money) or their dear sister who learned about a diet from some celebrity which is the “best new thing”. Most dietitians are not trying to sell you anything, we just want to help you live the best and most vibrant life you can, with sound, research based nutrition information. Some might consider it boring and not “edgy” enough but it is true information, it is sound information, it is the RIGHT information.
So here is the thing – you can make nutrition as simple or as complicated as you want.
So how do you get back to eating normally?
Below are a couple of steps to help you sort out how to nourish your body well.
Clear your mind from all diet related junk – I know….easier said than done… but let’s start from scratch!
Go back to the basics – not sure what that means – well most likely, prior to starting your first diet you were eating pretty well... (maybe think of your 2 year old self – a 2 year old knows exactly what they want to eat, when they want to eat, and how much they want to eat).
--> Eat breakfast.
--> Eat lunch.
--> Eat dinner.
--> Have snacks if you need snacks.
--> Eat ALL of the food groups: Protein, Grains, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables.
--> Meet with a Registered Dietitian to learn how.
3. Remember – your body knows EXACTLY what you need (even if you don’t believe it does). So we need to start paying attention to what it is trying to tell us.
--> You should eat when you are hungry.
--> You should stop when you are full.
--> You should drink water when you are thirsty – or even before you get thirsty, really. Just drink water.
--> You should sleep when you are tired.
--> You should have chocolate when you want chocolate.
4. If someone is providing you nutrition information and also trying to sell you supplements of some kind, just STOP listening to them. They are not providing you the information for the right reasons and it is most likely biased because they want to make money.
5. If you hear something about a super food that is too good to be true….it is. Example: putting lemon in water speeds up metabolism or eating kale burns belly fat. It just doesn’t happen that way.
6. If you are about to start a diet that wants you to completely avoid a specific food group – just STOP and DON’T do it! Our bodies just don’t work that way, we need every food group for specific reasons and nutrients for our bodies. Please don’t abuse your body that way, there is a better way to help with weight loss I promise!
7. If you are reading something about nutrition on social media and it is very negative about a specific food – it is false.
8. Make sure to get your nutrition information from credible sources. If a dietitian (a REGISTERED DIETITIAN or LICENSED NUTRITIONIST) is quoted then it is credible. If someone just calls themselves a NUTRITIONIST without being licensed or certified or doesn’t call themselves a registered dietitian, then they are an imposter and please stop listening to them! For example: If you have watched the documentary ‘What The Health’ (if you haven’t, please don’t. It is the worst) – which is really all about nutrition, a dietitian is never quoted ONCE for any of the nutrition information they are spewing in that movie. Which shows that the information they are spewing is not what a registered dietitian (who as nutrition experts we would definitely tell you if a food is hurting you) would say then it is inaccurate and not research based.
9. Any fast way to lose weight is NOT sustainable and will end up causing you to gain more weight in the future. Weight loss cannot be fast, it is not how our bodies work. If you lose weight quickly, your body then thinks something in the environment is not right (a famine or plague or something crazy like that) therefore your amazing body (because it is trying to do what is best for you, always) will regain all that weight you lost and more because it wants to prepare for the next “famine, plague, etc”. Your body does not know you want to lose weight, you have to work WITH IT not AGAINST IT if you do want lasting weight loss.
10. Respect your body. Period.