This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding diet.
A Diet is a way of eating, or just what you eat. Dieting is associated with disordered eating and negative mental health regarding food and body.
Diet Culture is the culture we live in where we generate black and white thinking around food, and label foods as good and bad.
Anti-Diet Culture is the idea to reject the weight-centric way of looking at health and self-worth. Being inclusive of all different types of bodies, and not demonize foods. Finding peace with food choices and working with your body to feel your best. Making choices on food and exercise because it feels good, and has internal rewards, rather than focusing on the physical appearance outcomes.
Restrictive Eating is usually with the goal to reduce caloric intake and lose weight by staying away from foods an individual perceives as ‘high in calories’ or ‘unhealthy’. The dieting does not last long, and the individual eventually goes back to regular habits.
Fad Diets are popular diets or what we perceive as factual nutritional evidence that suggests that one way of restrictive eating, or overly consuming one type of food will somehow make you “healthier”. These diets are not sustainable, people get tired of them, and they often don’t produce the results that are expected.
Yo-Yo Dieting is when an individual goes on and off restrictive diets, which may result in some, or a substantial amount of weight loss. But in turn, when they return back to their regular habits over time, they gain the weight back, and more.
It's time to make peace with food.
A good relationship with food is not surrounding yourself with walls of rules, eliminating fear foods, removing good and bad food labels, and acknowledging you are a human that lives in the world and is allowed to enjoy food however you please.
Eating a variety of foods is healthy! And when it’s not always balanced, that’s ok, and you move on. It’s about honoring your body, your hunger cues, and allowing yourself food freedom. And practicing not feeling shame and guilt around foods. We are not machines that stop at the pump and fuel up. Food, dining out, desserts, have emotional ties to them. It reminds us of friends, family, and good times. Why would we leave that out of the equation? That’s why healthy habits need to take into account reality.
Here are 6 tips from our Registered Dietitians for making long lasting, actual healthful diet changes, defy anti diet culture, where you can enjoy all your favourite foods, and love yourself in the process!
1. Begin with a mindset change
Consider the way we were raised to be hyper-focused on weight and diet. Reflect on what types of food rules you’ve made simply because you’re a product of your environment. Soak in these definitions. A new mindset around food will be beneficial in more ways than just what you eat.
2. Intuitive mindful eating and portioning
Become more aware of your hunger cues. Intuitive and mindful eating is inclusive of all foods and does not cut anything out.
- Assess your hunger - Take a bite, fully chew and swallow your bite before picking up your fork to take another one.
- Slow down and notice the texture of the food, the taste, your thoughts..
- Sit at the table, away from the tv or your phone so you can focus and be mindful at your meal.
- Being mindful, and eating slower, can better help you assess your hunger cues, which makes it easier to be mindful of fullness and satisfaction.
- Feeling satisfied, but you still have food on your plate? That’s okay, you can stop.
- Not feeling satisfied, but you finished your plate? Then eat some more until you are satisfied.
3. Eat regularly
Eating regularly and listening to your hunger cues keep your metabolism going and keeps you out of hangry mode. Did you know that eating first thing in the morning gets your metabolism going? Some people report not being hungry in the morning, this is commonly a result of being slightly dehydrated when you wake up, Try drinking a glass of water and making a small breakfast.
4. Plate balance
This is my favorite tip, because I think it’s the easiest and most visually pleasing. When trying to eat in moderation, the best way is to balance each plate. You will see some different suggestions for how to balance your plate out there, and none should be demonized or put on a pedestal. There’s room for all of them! The main point of learning plate balance is to help yourself portion more appropriately and give you a reference point. So don’t stress out about getting the exact amount of carbs!
Here is a general guideline: ¼ plate protein, ¼ plate grain or starchy vegetable, the rest of the plate veggies (& fruit), and throughout the meal will be healthy fats.
5. Eat the Rainbow
Another fun and exciting tip is to eat all the colors! When your plate looks colorful, it’s not only pleasing to the eye and appetizing, it’s good for you! Having different colors signifies richness in antioxidants, flavonoids, and nutrients that serve you in many ways. Also, when you have lots of different colors, you have a more varied diet, which is also important.
Most diets tell you to cut this, cut that, when in reality, it’s better to include. Including or incorporating more foods is more positive thinking, and allows for a more varied diet. It also allows you to still have your favorite foods.
- I will include more vegetables at dinner time.
- I will include more fresh fruit for a snack.
- I will include more whole grains in my house.
- I will incorporate a small breakfast when I wake up.
Our Registered Dieticians Can Help
At Performance Kitchen, we make it easier for you to eat well and have a healthy relationship with food. Our meals are designed by chefs, approved by Registered Dietitians, and handcrafted in small batches using minimally processed ingredients.
Our Registered Dietitians can work with you to design a meal plan that meets all of your health and nutrition goals, whether you're looking to lose weight, manage your diabetes, or simply find convenient, delicious and healthy meals.
This article has been reviewed by a Registered Dietitian, Waverly Taki, MS. RD. CD. and Dietetics Student, Danielle Lychlama, for additional accuracy.