When looking for new ways to eat healthier, it seems like a new fad diet comes out every day. We’ve all heard names like paleo, keto, or intermittent fasting, but it’s nearly impossible to do your research on all of them. With so much conflicting information out there, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out which diet is the best for you.
As a student studying to be a Registered Dietitian, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with several dietitians who are experts on these diets. When asked about which diet is the best, the overwhelming response I get from most dietitians is that frankly, none of them work very well. The vicious cycle that these dietitians see consistently is when people want to lose weight, they go on a diet, they lose a few pounds, then they go off the diet, and they end up putting the weight right back on or more. The issue with many of these diets is that they are so restrictive that they simply are not sustainable for the majority of people. Whether they’re restrictive towards calories, certain food groups, or times when the dieter can eat, these diets cannot become daily habits for most people.
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The Sustainable Diet
If you’re still looking for the perfect diet, here’s a new one to try out, the sustainable diet. The sustainable diet is simply your diet. It is the food that you eat day in and day out on a consistent basis. Your diet should consist of foods that are compatible with your lifestyle and taste buds. A sustainable diet lasts forever and is different for each person. It is not a light switch. You can’t turn it on and off.
- It involves eating healthy foods that you enjoy so that you can keep eating them regularly.
- It involves eating when you’re hungry, and stopping when you’re full.
- It involves developing a healthier relationship with food that brings back the joy of eating instead of guilt and stress.
All of these characteristics can help you feel a lot happier and healthier instead of constantly stressing about food while going on and off various diets.
In the long-term, it is much more beneficial to develop a few healthy habits that you can maintain forever, rather than short-term radical changes that’ll leave you back where you started or worse. Your diet lasts a lifetime, so it’s important to eat a diet that you can maintain and enjoy for your whole life. If you want to learn more about diet sustainability and developing healthy habits, reach out to a Registered Dietitian and set up a consultation.
I’m a first year graduate student in the Diet and Exercise program at Iowa State University. I’m from Marion, Iowa where I ran track, cross country, and played baseball in high school. I’m currently a strength and condition coach at Premier Athlete Training and work in a nutrition research laboratory at Iowa State. My future plans are to continue doing public health related research, become a registered dietitian, and get involved with academia at a college or university!