Thursday, July 4, 2013

What are we supposed to do??

As a dietitian, particularly one in private practice, I spend a large part of my day reading articles. Those in the popular press and peer reviewed, scientific journal articles. The goal is that when people ask me about a diet or a study, I'll know what they're talking about, and I'll be able to back it up or dispute it with solid science.

In the last week, the following topics have come across my desk, all backed by a scientific study: Skipping breakfast won't make you fat, Eating breakfast will keep you slim, Three meals a day is best for health, 6 mini meals a day is best for health, intermittent fasting will keep you slim, frequent meals charges up your metabolism... So what are you supposed to do??

If you look at most of these studies, the bottom line is always that if you eat fewer calories then you burn, you'll lose weight. If three meals fits into your schedule, then have three well planned meals a day. If you'd prefer 5 or 6 mini meals, then plan that and have snacks prepared. The problem people run into is when their meals are unplanned, whether it is an unplanned snack or an unplanned stop for fast food at 6:00 because you got too hungry and didn't know what was for supper. Generally, this leads to overeating, cravings for less healthy foods and lower nutrient intakes. (Not too many people stand starving in front of the fridge and grab a bunch of vegetables to devour mindlessly).

Plan your day, eat mindfully, eat slowly, choose foods you enjoy.. Follow a pattern of eating you can sustain for life, don't diet. And eat more vegetables and fruit.

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