The number 1 diet rule nutritionists never give up
As we go reeling headfirst into February, here come the pangs of guilt because let’s be honest: we’ve been eating our way through January. And as you contemplate another “healthy eating” drive (never say diet, never say diet), these are the make or break points that will help you stick to your healthy guns for … longer than normal. Because even on their cheat days, these are the rules nutritionists abide by.
1. Never associate guilt with consuming a food
“Associating emotions with our food consumption does not place us in a strong positive mental state which can drive disordered eating patterns over time.
Stress associated around food can have both social, psychological, and physiological effects which together can be even worse for our overall health than eating the one less healthy food option in the first place.
I believe in making conscious and educated decisions about the foods we select to consume, and when selecting a less healthy option, to simply think about this in the context of our overall eating patterns, enjoy the food for the pleasure being found in it, and simply make sure that the majority of the food options selected fit into a more nourishing food category.”
– Kara Landau, BND (Bachelor Nutrition and Dietetics), APD, AN; MEI (Masters Entrepreneurship and Innovation) Founding Manager, Head Dietitian, Corporate Nutrition Melbourne.
2. Eat enough protein
“My number one diet rule is to ensure I consume enough protein in each meal. Protein is so important for our energy levels, our mental function and our blood sugar levels. It’s definitely one of the most valuable things I learnt and implemented in my life which has made the biggest impact on my health.
Ensuring I have some protein before caffeine or sugar helps to stabilise my metabolism and prevent spikes and crashes in my blood sugars.
Protein contains 20 amino acids which are essential for functions and health of all systems of our bodies:
– Branch chain amino acids help with energy.
– Sulphur amino acids with our nervous system and collagen and keratin production.
– Aromatic amino acids help support thyroid and adrenal health.
Eating sufficient protein also helps to fill you up and make you feel satisfied. If you’re unsure of what a good portion size is, something the size and thickness of your palm is a good guideline.
– Gigi Cumbers @healthbygigi, nutritionist from Hard Candy Fitness
3. Never eat when you are emotional
“Food shouldn’t be a source of comfort for emotion, that’s how negative relationships develop with food. Food is for nourishment, not as a means to resolve emotion. If you feel emotional, step away from fridge. Do some deep breathing, take a walk outside, go put your feet in the earth, have a shower, bath or dip in the ocean if you can. Come back to food, when you’ve had time to process your feelings.
The body needs to be at rest to digest well and absorb the nutrition in our food, and often when emotional, our gut feels anything but relaxed. In fact usually it’s the first thing that goes into twist. Our gut and our brain have an incredible communication channel linking them, in fact they say our second brain is in the gut, so best to relieve one, whilst the other processes what is going on for you emotionally.”
Jacqueline Alwill, nutritionist from The Brown Paper Bag
4. Eat lots of veggies
“Include at least one portion of vegetables with every meal. Not only do I love veggies but they fill me up, provide a lot of flavour and also keep my digestive system moving. I find that if I get lazy then everything slows down, I feel sluggish and bloated.”
Rachael Javes, Bodypass nutritionist
5. Avoid any low fat/no fat foods at all times
“These foods are so highly processed and laden with sugar that they wreak havoc with your body. Not only do they spike your blood sugar but you also need to eat so much more to feel satiated. They are highly inflammatory and acidic so you will be doing yourself a massive favour by steering clear. Plus lets face it, the full fat variety tastes so much better!”
Rachael Javes, Bodypass nutritionist
6. Don’t eat on the run
“I never eat on the run, for example, when I’m driving, walking down the road or in the street. I would rather be hungry than eat in such a way! I confess that’s partly etiquette – my Mum always taught me eating in the street was uncouth. But it’s also a sure fire route to indigestion and/or overeating. The kinds of foods that are easy to eat in that way also tend to be the wrong types – energy dense and not enough veggies for example. I always try to sit down to eat at a table and give some priority to the meal, even if only for five minutes. Check out the Blackmores Wellbeing Check to see how healthy you are.”
– Dr Joanna McMillan, doctor, nutritional expert and Blackmores Influencer
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