When people find out that I am a health coach, the questions start coming in:
"What do you think about the Keto diet?"
"I should stop eating all carbs to lose weight, right?"
"Which form of intermittent fasting should I do?"
"If I eat 500 calories a day and workout for hours, can I lose 20 pounds this week?"
Unfortunately, society has woven this diet mindset into our heads for the last several hundred years. We grow up by watching our teachers, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, coaches, friends, etc., try countless diets over and over again, finding success for a bit (maybe) and then going back to their old habits, only to gain even more weight before trying a different diet, again. We see it in the movies, on TV, in magazines and now on social media. Diets are EVERYWHERE. They are hard to ignore. I bet you have tried a few different ones out. If not you, someone very close to you has.
We are constantly hearing or reading about super foods, specific ways we should eat, what time of day is best to eat, how often to eat (or not eat), different pills, supplements, drinks and more. All of these things that promise us the one thing we can't seem to do on our own...weight loss. One false promise after another. Some of these things have never been studied, aren't FDA approved, give false stories/research and some have even resulted in death. All to help us lose a few pounds...to probably eventually gain it all back, plus more...leading us to diet again! It is a vicious cycle.
Now, I am not saying diets don't work. Yes, there are people who have done diets and have effectively lost weight and kept it off and that is wonderful! Sometimes they can even be motivating for a fresh start. I am talking to the average person who has completed diet after diet only to lose and gain weight over and over again. You know why it isn't working? Diets are NOT long-term solutions. Diets are something made to be done and completed. The problem is that most people will not continue these diets over time. They are too restrictive, cut too many calories, cause you to be obsessed or depressed, causing calories to RULE your life. Once you decide you are done with the diet, you fall back into your old habits (the ones that caused you to gain weight in the first place).
These diets cause you to feel fear, sadness, anger, depression and restriction towards food. STOP your war with food! Food is meant to be used as a fuel source, and yes...to even be enjoyed! It provides your body with the energy you need to not only sustain your life, but give you energy, keep your brain functioning and help you to feel good! It should not cause you stress and make you feel guilty!
There are no "bad" foods. You haven't "messed up". You make choices each day with what you eat. Some meals/snacks/days/weeks might be better than others. The idea is to eat nutritious food to provide your body and brain with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that it needs. There is no perfect way of eating. There is no perfect diet. There is no perfect meal and there is no perfect food. The key is variety.
Eat a variety of food! Try different vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, dairy/calcium foods. See what you like. If you don't like something, try it again and again in different ways. Create a lifestyle that you can live with...forever! Identify your unhealthy habits and replace them with healthy ones. Get creative with your food and find your balance between healthy eating and indulgent. You don't have to follow any rules or stick to any magic numbers. Aim to choose foods closest to their natural form and when you can't or don't, that is okay too! Try to do a little better each day. Aim to make small changes that you can live with. By making small changes, you won't feel overwhelmed by a major overhaul and you will be able to comfortably start down the right path. It might take a little while to see results from living a healthy, balanced lifestyle versus a diet, but would you rather start to slowly see a change that gets bigger and bigger with time and lasts forever, or see a drastic difference that quickly fades away as soon as you stop your diet?
Eat salads...but eat some burgers too! Pizza? Sure! Nachos? Of course! Eat your favorite indulgences in moderation. It is not a problem. It does not mean that you aren't healthy. It does not mean that you made a "bad" or "wrong" choice...and it doesn't even mean you had a "cheat" meal. It just means that you are human. Don't starve yourself. Don't stuff yourself. Do your best to live each day balanced.
Stop your war with food. Start making more nutritious choices. Stop counting calories. Don't try to be perfect, just try to be a little better each day. Enough with the pressure to eat perfect, look perfect and be perfect! Don't eat to lose weight; eat to fuel your body, eat to get the vitamins and minerals you need, eat to provide energy to get through each day, eat to feel good!!! Weight doesn't matter. Focus on your health. When you focus on eating nutritious foods and enjoying some of your favorite treats in moderation, the rest of the results you desire will come.
Eat well. Live well. Be well.
I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
Looking for something specific? Everything can be found by category under the "Life" and "Recipes" sections on my website or you can search below.