How Flexible is Your Diet?

Tina Butt

How many of you are on a diet or have ever been on a diet?

How do you know what “diet” is right for YOU?

Why are you on a diet?

Dieting has become a huge business in America. Why? My thoughts are because everyone is trying to find the quick fix. An easy way to lose weight fast.

Have you searched the web trying to figure out what to eat, when to eat, how many carbs(if any)should I have in a day?

Why are you searching the web for your “dieting” concern? Because you can find anything and everything on Google, right!? SO how do you know if what you’re reading is accurate or meant for you?

I have read things on the World Wide Web and was like……. “they are speaking right to me, they know what I am going through”. Then I trust what I am reading . Then I try to do what I am reading. Then I FAIL at what I have read.

For years I did this. I tried: Low carb, No carb, high fat, high protein diets. Add more water. Skip meals. Eat every 2 hours. Exercise more. Where did it lead me? NOWHERE! I failed every time. Why? Because I needed to figure our what worked for ME! Not for you, her, him, them. What worked for ME!

SO how will you know what “diet” is right for you? First, there is no DIET that fits all. Unless you have a health issue, illness, or diagnosis that requires you to be on a strict diet, then here is some shocking information!

The best thing to do for long-longevity is to NOT eliminate food groups from your daily eating habits. Again, if you have a health related issue requiring you to eliminate food groups, then this is not for you. But if you do not have a health issue requiring you to follow a special diet, then you need to ingest the main food groups. The USDA lists the following 5 basic food groups:

MyPlate food groups, subgroups, and sample foods table

Have you heard of the Food Plate Method?

Sample MyPlate Plan

When I worked in Endocrinology as a Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Educator, this is the method I taught my diabetic patients. It is easy to follow, you get all of your nutrients, you get your calories. There is no counting, minimal measuring, and no tracking. You get to eat food! I used to hand out a plate that already had the measurements so you don’t have to do any math, just load up your plate and eat.

Image result for usda food plate

Part of the problem with dieting is people say “I feel like I am starving”. Most Americans eat more than double what the recommended serving size is supposed to be for a healthy lifestyle. So, your “diet” is not making you starve, you’re just used to eating way more than what you are supposed to eat for health.

Put your hand in a fist, that is approximately the size of your stomach. Well, the size that it is supposed to be. So as you are watching what you eat and working toward a healthy lifestyle, you will be eating less, causing your stomach to shrink. During this time, your brain is used to more food, more calories, more sugar. You need to retrain your brain. Make small changes in your diet. You can’t go from 3 helpings of food to 1 right away or you will feel like you could “eat a horse”, then you will not be able to sustain your new way of life, you will go back to looking on the World Wide Web to try another “diet”, another quick fix. Understand, there is no quick fix in health. It takes time and dedication to achieve anything in life. You were not born with the Lexis in the driveway without working for it, you were not given a paycheck without having to work hard for it. The commonality here is, you have to work for what you want!

Cut your portions down slowly, once you are not “starving” any longer, then cut the portions even more, until you reach the appropriate amount as stated above. You will find that you will stick to this “diet” which is actually a healthy way to live, easier than any other diet you have tried. You can go to a party and eat, you can go to a restaurant and eat, you can EAT! You can even have treats in moderation.

Does this sound achievable to you!

I hope this is something that you are willing to try, I hope you can find solace knowing that you do not have to give up what you like-Food.

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

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