Everyday we are inundated with information about the best new way to get healthy or lose weight, but during the New Year it is simply overwhelming. One report may tell you that the Mediterranean Diet is the best diet for heart health, while another claims that going “clean” and vegan is the only responsible way to eat for your health, heart and the environment. Reports often claim quick results and include recommendation to eliminate entire food groups. The overabundance of nutrition information can often leave us feeling confused and conflicted.
In our quest for health people unintentionally create a fear of food. Most programs and advice are based on what is bad or what not to do. They are exclusive, not inclusive. We have lost sight of why we eat food in the first place. Food was created to nourish us physically and emotionally. Instead of fearing food, I am passionate about helping to foster a movement towards a time where we love food again. Let’s acknowledge the beautifully intricate system inside our bodies that takes food, converts nutrients from it into components of the engine that keeps us running and functioning.
This year, make a healthy relationship with food your resolution. As a registered dietitian, my advice during this season of resolutions is to make sure your source of nutrition information is credible, work with a qualified health professional and make your goals attainable and realistic. The best “diet” is the one that works for YOU. Choose something that sounds like something you want to do, not something you should do. Here are my top five tips on how to help create a healthy relationship with food in the new year:
1.Eat the rainbow
Fill your plate with colorful fruits and veggies. These vivid pigments are not only beautiful but also pack in vitamins and minerals.
2.Balance your plate
Use the Myplate model as an easy guide – but be careful to notice that it’s based on a 9” diameter plate.
3. Balance your protein throughout the day
Research shows this may help with blood sugar balance, curbing hunger, and weight loss.
4. Enjoy meals together at the table
Eat the foods you love with the people you love. Make time for family meals at the table instead of around the tv. Family dinners are not only an opportunity to share a nutritious meal, it’s also a time to create lasting memories.
5. Listen to your body and honor your hunger and fullness cues.
Your body has a special machine that can tell how much YOU need and how often. Get used to listening to your physical symptoms and begin to trust them. At the end of the day, love your body, trust your body, and love food again. Don’t focus on a new you, focus on loving you.