Diet Tips From a Dietitian: Why You Should Focus on the Health Benefits of Your Diet Rather Than Its Weight Loss Effects by Niti Patel
As a clinical nutritionist and registered dietitian, I get asked a lot about which diet is best for losing excess weight. And while yes, many of the diets I create and prescribe tend to provide that added benefit, really, their main purpose is to supply the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly based on each client’s lifestyle or their health issues.
In order for us dietitians to create a program for an individual, we need to have a very thorough understanding of their health history, lifestyle and goals. People who usually get our services are either those who struggle with eating disorders, have specific bodybuilding goals or those with existing health issues that need strict dietary guidelines. That said, I also get quite a number of people come to me with no health issues or desire to have a healthier relationship with food, but just really want to lose weight.
While totally understandable for some, generally, this kind of approach to getting on a diet is neither healthy nor sustainable. Below I listed down some reasons why you should shift your reason for getting on a diet from focusing on aesthetics to wanting to get actual functional benefits.
1. Dieting Solely for the Purpose of Aesthetics Is Not Sustainable
For the most part, it will make you feel deprived. And for what reason? Unless you’re a model or a celebrity whose livelihood is greatly affected by how you look, this is not something that can really be sustained for long periods of time. A big part of my practice is about keeping food simple. Anything restrictive is a no-no. I teach my clients how to make takeout healthy using little tweaks, how to choose nutritious items from convenience stores, and provide a checklist of everyday items they can consume based on their lifestyle.
2. You Risk Serious Problems
I’ve always advocated having a healthy relationship with food. This means eating both the things that make you happy and ones that provide you the nutrients your body needs. It’s this thinking that drives me to educate my clients how to read nutrition labels instead of product labels to determine just how healthy or unhealthy a food item is, so that they are able to balance eating healthy with eating well. Dieting solely to lose weight – especially getting on programs that drastically change your food intake to focus only certain macronutrients – will not provide you this and can even lead to some serious health and mental issues.
3. Some Weight Loss Diets Can Take a Toll on Your Organs
There are studies out there that show how some weight loss diets can lead to increased chances of developing kidney stones and increasing uric acid levels, among other things. I need you to understand that these conditions are very painful and can be expensive to correct. If you think this is something you’re willing to risk, by all means. But let me tell you from a dietitian and nutritionist’s perspective, it’s really not worth it.
One more thing I’d like to add is the importance of regularly cleansing the body of toxins to keep your different organs functioning well. Cleansing is one of those things that you can do using natural ingredients that break down toxins, improve circulation, fight oxidation and enhance the body’s natural ability to rid itself of toxins. I developed Wellness on the Go (W.O.T.G.), which is a healing powerhouse lemon mint herbal infusion drink using my Western dietitian expertise combined with my cultural knowledge of Ayurveda to make it easier for anyone to do this.
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