There are so many fad diets. And even just fad diets. All you have to do is listen to commercials on the radio for 5 minutes and you will be inundated with outlandish answers to all sorts of problems. "Cool sculpting can remove unwanted fat round the mid-section, underarms, upper thighs..." Next commercial: "Such-and-such office sees 20lb weight loss on average with first month, using no diets, no exercise, no HCG, no injections, blah..blah...blah..." Don't get me wrong. I think all of it sounds 'too good to be true' also. And if there is one thing I can stand behind, if it sounds too good to be true, it's not true.
What is true? I tell my patients frequently that your body requires wholesome foods/nutrients to act as fuel. What we eat/drink becomes our fuel source, much like a car requires gasoline to get from point A to point B. Our bodies require sustenance to function. I see, often, due to side effects from treatment or medications, eating is a challenge. The goal is not to force-feed ones self, but do our best to take in wholesome, nutrient dense foods when able. If you are on treatment for cancer or some other disease, my first advice is to ask your doctor for a nutrition consultation. Most cancer centers and/or insurance companies can provide a consultation to discuss your particular needs and recommendations.
For those of you reading this blog that are blessed enough to not be impacted by chronic disease or medications that impact your diet/food consumption, my advice is this...
1. Drink the water. Water does wonders for our bodies. The goal water intake (remember this is if you do not have any underlying condition that prohibits high water intake) is half of one's body weight in ounces. I try to aim for a gallon of water a day. I recognize this is a lot of water... and some days I do not meet the goal. But the important thing to remember is you have to build up a tolerance to water intake. Me telling a person who is used to drinking 20 ounces (1 bottle) of water a day to drink a gallon of water a day will be totally defeated before he/she even starts. I do not expect someone to be able to turn 1 bottle of water into a gallon in a day, or even a week. My recommendation is to increase by 20ounces a day per week. So if you drink 1 bottle of water a day, for the next week increase to 2 bottles of water per day. Then the following week, increase to 3 bottles per day for the week, then 4... and so on. Your body will begin to tolerate and actually crave increased hydration.
2. Focus on what you CAN eat, not what you can't have. This is my own personal struggle. I am going to start eating 'better.' So that means 'no more chips, pizza, cookies, cinnamon roles, birthday cupcakes, cereal, etc...' As soon as we set a restriction in our brain, we constantly feel the need to revert back. The problem with reverting back (if you are anything like me) leads to feelings of frustration, guilt, and failure. And emotionally that is not a good place to be when you are trying to make changes.
Instead, over the last 3 weeks I have decided to stop telling myself "I can't have this, that, and the next thing...' and instead I set a goal of eating 800g of fruits and/or veggies in a day, in addition to whatever else I am planning on eating. Pizza with the kids? Great. I'll have a slice topped with veggies, in addition to the large salad I am planning to hit my 800g. Frozen yogurt treat out with the family? You betcha. Just make sure to top with pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries instead of sour worms, sprinkles, and candy bars. I can have whatever I want. But what I am noticing in the last 3 weeks with doing this, I am having little to NO cravings between meals. I am completely satisfied until my next meal.
Your body has been on this journey with and for you every step of every day. Isn't that just remarkable to think about? This one body you have has been through and seen everything with you. It is never too late to start fueling and nourishing your body in a way that feels good.
As always, please feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions.
Strength and healing,