Rhiannon Lambert: A Healthy Start to the New Year
Most people, I am sure have considered or embarked upon some kind of diet to ‘undo’ the over indulgence at Christmas. When we deprive ourselves and spend anything from a few days to a few weeks starving and grumpy, it is likely we may lose a few pounds. The problem is this often isn’t sustainable and it usually goes back when we revert to our previous eating habits.
Diets have been around for a long time now, yet not one single ‘diet’ is scientifically proven to work for everyone. There is no research suggesting they have long-term, positive effects on our health, well-being or our relationship with food.
Dieting often includes a form of restriction, be it a low carbohydrate intake, low fat intake, the use of meal replacement products and so much more. Unfortunately, by becoming engrossed in counting calories and restricting food, this can often cause more confusion when searching for how to simply be healthy.
I like to challenge my clients to think about what they can put in to their diet instead of focusing on what they can take out. I hear all too often people talking about what they think they should cut out in order to be healthy. But taking foods out of your diet may result in a lack of nutrition and an intake from less favourable sources. For this very reason, I encourage people to focus on what they are eating instead, what extra new and nutritious item can be included today?
Think about all of your foods groups – carbs, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients that come from fruit and vegetables. Now, be aware that all these groups have important roles to play. For example, carbs are the body’s primary source of energy. It is worth noting that wholegrain carbs contain more fibre than refined carbohydrates and fibre has been linked to helping maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which has also been linked to weight management. We know protein is essential for muscle growth and repair and fats help aid nutrient absorption. There are so many things to consider when it comes to a healthy diet.
I’m always reminding my clients of just how incredible our bodies are. All of our cells, muscles, skin, bones are built on the foundations of the food we fuel it with, so chose wisely.
As long as you believe in the power of positive nutrition and make informed choices to nourish your mind and body, then more often than not, you should live a long and fulfilling life with few health concerns. If anything you read, hear or see is confusing, please consult a qualified health professional. You are unique and your nutrition will not be the same as your neighbour, friend, mother and especially not the generic online health guru. A bit of extra guidance and advice may be all it takes to help you become the healthiest and happiest version of you.
BSc, MSc, ANutr