Ditch Dieting for GOOD + Get Real... with Jess!
Written by: Jessica Kimbrell, Certified Nutritionist/Nutrition Coach
Have you gone on one or two extreme 'diets' in the past? Have you gone to great lengths to fit into something or look great for a particular event, only to put the weight back on as soon as the event was over? The health and wellness industry is full of ways for you to take weight loss to the extreme. It seems like every day a new headline announces a certain food or diet as 'bad' and one that will 'ruin' our health, while promoting another food or program and praising its 'amazing benefits'! It’s so confusing!
It’s no wonder so many of us (myself included) have taken on programs, gotten excited when we have success, and then felt incredible FRUSTRATION when the weight came back. Argh! There is so much (mis)information out there. Time to kick some dieting myths to the curb and end the dieting madness once and for all!
MYTH 1: Food is just fuel.
You may have seen some of the popular memes floating around which proclaim that 'food is just fuel'. Yes, it is. But, it is also joy, pleasure, and fun! Healthy eating is a pattern, not a rule.
Food is a part of so many social and memorable experiences. Food does give your body energy (a calorie is a unit of energy, not something to be feared!). However, you also deserve to ENJOY and savor your food.
MYTH 2: Your nutrition is a reflection of your 'good'ness.
We’ve all heard someone gripe, “I ate a brownie. I was so bad today.”
Food isn’t 'good' or 'bad'. The reality is that all foods in moderation can fit into a healthy diet. Further, what you choose to eat does not determine your value or worth as a human being. The only reason to feel guilty for eating a brownie is if you stole it from the store. Let’s get a grip!
MYTH 3: You shouldn’t eat after 7 pm.
The idea that you shouldn’t eat later in the evening is a very common nutrition myth.
Our metabolism keeps running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Random rules (like telling yourself when to stop eating) create fear and a sense that you can’t trust yourself with food. Consistently fueling your body every few hours - especially when you feel hungry - will allow you to feel your best and keep you from needing rules like this one! So when your tummy grumbles before heading to bed, eat some nuts or a spoonful of peanut butter - or something else that is sensible and sounds good to you - then go to sleep happy.
MYTH 4: Chocolate and cookies are bad for your health.
What the WHAT?!?
We’ve all seen those 'foods you should avoid at all costs' lists floating around the internet. Desserts like chocolate cake or cookies are often considered to be off-limits by dieters or people who want to be healthy. However, the idea that you have to avoid desserts and sweets to be 'healthy' is simply not a healthy way to live (and it will just make you want those foods more).
There is no single food that will improve or worsen your health (unless we’re talking rotten foods - stay away from those!). All foods provide a different nutrient profile and serve a different purpose.
Further, mental health is an important part of your overall health. I think we can all agree that being terrified to eat a cookie is not mentally healthy. Rather than focusing on extremes and food rules, go for a balance and a variety of foods. Let yourself be flexible with your nutrition.
MYTH 5: You don’t need to diet, you just need to eat clean.
There are people who feel that traditional diets can be harmful (and don’t result in sustainable weight loss for the vast majority of people), but who promote the idea of strict 'clean eating' as THE answer to health and happiness.
Eating clean is a diet, as is any other plan where you cut out certain food groups, limit foods that you love, or follow any other strict rules. Labeling foods as good (clean) and bad (can’t have that) is not helpful, and can end up causing harm when we put judgments or stigmas on them. Time to get rid of that mentality once and for all! There is no way I am going the rest of my life without a cheeseburger, pizza or a slice of cheesecake every once in a while!
Intuitive Eating (NOT a myth)
At this point you might be feeling confused as to how you can work toward feeling great in your body and satisfied/nourished by your food choices. If you are struggling with chronic/yo-yo dieting and 'food fear', try to ditch the food rules and reconnect with your body’s intuition and wisdom. If you are having trouble doing this on your own, or feel confused, it might be helpful to reach out for some guidance.
As a Certified Nutritionist and weight loss coach, I offer realistic plans for the everyday REAL person. I don’t believe in starving, depriving yourself, eliminating food groups completely or punishing yourself for eating things that you think taste delicious. You are a real person and you live in the real world. You deserve a realistic plan to help you reach your health and weight loss goals.
Are you ready to stop yo-yo dieting and trying fad diet after fad diet? Schedule your FREE consultation by clicking here: Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to talk or meet in person. No strings attached.
We’ll chat about your goals, your current lifestyle and how you can kick diets to the curb with a realistic plan that works for YOU. No deprivation and no counting calories (cuz who has time for THAT?!).
Bye, bye, diets! Hello, Real Life!