These days, it’s impossible to log onto social media or pick up a magazine without seeing a headline about the hot new fad diet. Lifestyle bloggers, podcasts and journalists are constantly singing the praises of trendy, quick-fix diets like the ketogenic diet (keto), the paleo diet and the blood type diet. You name it, it’s out there. While some individuals may have stellar success with these diets, they simply aren’t the best way to lose weight in Springfield Missouri for everyone. Instead of relying on a fad diet to lose weight, consider focusing on nutrient-dense foods and a holistic, long-term approach to wellness.
Why Fad Diets Don’t Work
You’ve probably seen one of your Facebook friends proclaiming the miraculous benefits of diets like the ketogenic diet, otherwise known as keto, which starves the body of carbohydrates in an effort to burn pure fat. Some individuals have almost instant success with diets like the keto diet. However, no two people are genetically identical, which means no two people will respond to a diet the same way. Depending on the way your individual genes are expressed, you may need to eat differently than someone else. Your body may need more fat, while others may see better results from eating more carbohydrates or more protein. Ultimately, escaping diet culture and focusing on real, nutrient-rich food is the best way to ensure long-lasting positive results.
Why Nutrient-Rich Foods Are the Way to Go
So, what does it mean to focus on “real” foods? Start by eating foods that are fresh and colorful. The more naturally-occurring colors – think orange carrots, leafy greens and purple eggplant – that are on your plate, the more nutrients you’ll consume. Dr. Deanna Minich, PhD, is the doctor behind The Rainbow Diet, an intuitive eating system that breaks away from counting calories and encourages participants to fill their plates with colorful fruits and veggies. So, why is color important? Minich has found that fruits and vegetables that exhibit rich color are full of vital phytochemical compounds, which contribute to overall health and longevity. Those compounds include beta carotene, the compound that gives carrots their orange hue and acts as a powerful antioxidant, ridding the body of free radicals. Compounds like beta carotene also play an important role in disease prevention, reducing your risk of contracting certain cancers or autoimmune conditions.
Focus on Color, Not Calories
Not sure where to start? A good rule of thumb is to fill at least half your plate with vegetables. Of course, you should strive to eat different kinds of vegetables to enjoy their different benefits. After all, eating spinach alone isn’t going to provide the body with all of the vitamins and minerals that it needs. Focusing on eating a diverse diet of fruits and veggies also takes the focus off of calories, which can be a problematic way to measure the value of food. Counting calories can be a helpful practice, but it’s important to remember that, while some foods like avocados or coconut oil may be higher in calories, they offer excellent health benefits.
Try Mindful Eating
Part of lifelong wellness is undoing society’s focus on calories and diet culture. Instead, hone in on how certain foods make your body feel. We recommend a practice called mindful eating, which can be extraordinarily helpful to people stuck in the diet yo-yo. Try to be aware of how you feel immediately after eating. For example, do you feel better or worse when you eat fewer carbs or more fatty foods? Do you feel hungry or full? Do you feel fatigued or energized? Paying attention to your body’s cues is the first step to escaping the constant yo-yo of losing weight, gaining weight and pledging allegiance to frustrating diets.
Ready to ditch diet culture and explore mindful eating for lifelong health? Reach out to Kare Health and Wellness in Springfield, Missouri at 417-881-4994. Our goal is twofold: to improve your immediate health and prevent future health issues through functional medicine. We believe that food is often the key to a long, happy life, which is why we offer nutrition education and holistic medical weight loss in Springfield Missouri for patients looking to feel better – not deprived.