A Healthy Nutrition Mindset: 3 Lifestyle Mantras That a Nutritionist Lives By by Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN
We live in a seductive eating environment – high-calorie food tempts us everywhere. Yes, if you restrict what you’re eating any diet will work. I repeat, any diet will work if you are cutting calories or whole food groups. If there are no “carbs” allowed like bread, rice, pasta, cereal, beans, legumes, fruit or starchy vegetables on your plate you will lose weight. The problem is when you eat these foods you feel like you “cheated.” So what happens? You throw in the towel.
There’s no moderate way of eating “forbidden” foods, or is there? It takes a mindset shift. Here are a few lifestyle mantras that I live by that might help you:
- Eat less, more often. I don’t know about you, but when I go too long without eating I get hangry – and I want to eat EVERYTHING but the kitchen sink. Eat like a bird who eats frequently for energy, not like a bear that eats large amounts and stores energy. My recommendation: cut your portions in half and eat every three hours to keep both your metabolism and appetite happy.
- Choose plant foods over processed foods. With one out 10 people in the U.S. eating enough produce every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, let’s get on the plant bandwagon. Enjoy whole vegetables and fruits, as well as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, to fill up on fiber, plant protein and oooodles of good-for-you plant compounds.
- Ditch the sugary, high-calorie drinks. The occasional sweetened coffee drink or jumbo juice smoothie may sneak in, but it’s not smart to make it a daily habit. Research has shown that beverages don’t register in the brain the same way as eating solid food does, which means you’ll drink hundreds of calories and not realize it. Instead, sip water throughout the day and if you want mineral water go for it with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange in it.
I hope this helps you stay the course of not dieting, but appreciating real food first.
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