Everyone believes they are an expert in food these days as food is promoted everywhere and we all eat well. As a dietitian, it is apparent that today, more than ever, there is nutrition misinformation at every turn and trying to learn the difference between fact and fiction can be difficult for health professionals, let alone, non-health professionals. Therefore it is recommended you check your source of information for accuracy. Run it by your Accredited Practising Dietitian who is university qualified and required to keep up to date with the latest food and nutrition scientific evidence and translate this into everyday eating habits to suit your lifestyle.
An Accredited Practising Dietitian is your food and eating behaviour expert or your diet coach. We look at the what, when, how often, how much and the why. We nutritionally assess your whole diet, assess children's growth and understand that nutrition needs change throughout our life-cycle, from when we are babies and toddlers through to our old age. Nutrition needs also change depending on your medical condition and there are specialist dietitians who have more expertise in various medical conditions than others.
Many people believe that seeing a Dietitian is a once-off event. This is untrue. In order to see results and make sustainable diet changes to improve your overall long term health, seeing a Dietitian for many months to years is the key. Many small changes over the long term and becoming in control of your eating behaviour is what you will achieve and this does not happen overnight.
There are many times in our lives when our diet changes and food may become the last thing we think about giving rise to those unhelpful habits creeping in. These times may include moving house, getting married, starting a new school, uni or job, having kids, holidays and festivities or when a member of the family/household (perhaps the cook) becomes unwell or moves on. Seeing your Dietitian to just check-in as a preventative measure will help you stay on track and reduce the likelihood of later on being diagnosed with obesity, heart disease or diabetes.
10 Reasons To Give Fad Diets The Flick and Instead See Your Dietitian
Many people find the thought of doing a particular 'diet' appealing, either to lose weight or they think they need to detox or they have symptoms they feel are related to food. Here are 10 reasons why these types of diets are not the way to go and instead choose to see an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
1. Fad diets do not help you learn how to make healthy food choices as part of a normal lifestyle (i.e. not being on a 'diet') in order to enjoy all food in moderation and achieve long term good health.
2. Fad diets do not help you learn skills required for healthy diet planning, food preparation and managing situations when you are in less control of the food offered.
3. If you have kids, you will not be role modelling good eating habits and a healthy relationship with food so they can learn these important life skills.
4. You do not develop a healthy relationship with food when dieting, nor do you address psychological factors such as cravings and non-hungry eating. In fact, when 'dieting', you think of food more often, which increases cravings and predisposes you to become a yo-yo dieter.
5. Most fad diets are made up to make money, so be wary of celebrity advertising, buying books, pills, shakes and the promised magic quick fix.
6. They are not based on sound scientific evidence. Even though the books use scientific words, the science behind it is very muddled, and it takes a diet expert to distinguish fact from fiction.
7. The majority of people who do low-calorie diets to lose weight and lose large amounts of weight end up putting on more weight than what they started out with. Often weight loss is usually due to fluid, muscle and carbohydrate stores lost, not so much fat. Also, our bodies are designed to go through feast and famine situations. When we starve, our body conserves its energy usage (reduces its metabolism). Then when food is plentiful, our bodies will also hold onto its fat stores, ready for the next time of famine. So yo yo dieters are very good at holding on to and increasing fat stores over time.
8. Your liver detoxes for you, and more often than not, those liver cleansing diets are putting more natural chemicals in your body than what you already had, so the liver is actually processing more.
9. If you feel food plays a role in symptoms, fad diets will not help you understand the role of food and help you identify all your triggers. They may increase the likelihood of having nutrition deficiencies if cutting out whole food groups.
10. Fad diets are difficult to sustain, so when the diet is stopped, the same unhealthy eating habits come back in a few months, and you will be back where you started.