Dietian recommends The ‘un-diet’

Published 4:15 pm Saturday, March 18, 2017

The “Un-Diet.” Yes, that’s sort of a made-up word. In our metabolic and weight loss surgery program, Phoebe Bariatrics, we like to focus on what we consider mindful eating. Take a moment and imagine you are on a diet. An endless cycle of planning ahead, calculating calories, carbohydrates, fat grams, obsessing over when your next meal is, did you exercise enough, etc. What’s the first thing you want to do?
Over 95 percent of you reading this will answer with: Eat. I would, too. We want to teach you that diets don’t work. Most people will have tried multiple diets by the time they enter our program to have only gained back equivalent lost pounds or possibly more with discontinuation of said “diets.” You can guess this leaves them frustrated as any normal person would be.
Losing weight and keeping it off is without a doubt not easy. I understand first-hand how hard it is. I struggled with my weight since I was a child. By the age of 19, I was already in what was considered the overweight category on the BMI scale. I was able to lose 30 lbs. and have kept it off successfully for over 10 years. I didn’t go on any particular diet. I made positive changes such as 20-30 minutes of exercise three to five times per week, drinking only water or 0 calorie beverages, eating more fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Don’t be fooled into thinking that I eat perfectly or that I am what most patients like to consider dietitians — “The Food Police!” You don’t have to run from me in the grocery store. I promise next to my baby spinach, lean chicken breast and strawberries, you may also find a box of brownies or package of bacon.
As a dietitian, I want my patients to learn for successful weight loss, the most practical approach is to implement lifestyle changes. Use the 85/15 rule which means 85 percent of your diet should be nourishing foods in which you can identify why the food is good for you and the other 15 percent may be pleasure foods in moderation. Follow these simple guidelines (NOT RULES!) below to move toward a healthier lifestyle:

o    Eat real food — Nutrient dense/low calorie foods contribute to satiety and caloric deficits (think lean protein/high fiber).
o    Empty calorie diet foods contain excess starch devoid of fiber and leave you hungry and unsatisfied.
o    Always choose protein first followed by non-starchy vegetables and smaller amounts of high fiber carbohydrates.
o    Divide your plate into four equal parts. Use one part for meat, one for starch (such as pasta, rice, potatoes, or bread), and two for non-starchy vegetables.
o    Eat only when hungry. Ask yourself, “Why is this food good for me?

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call 229-924-6011. We are here to serve and help you in any way we can.

Ashley D Patterson, RD, LD, is dietitian for Phoebe Bariatrics, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, Americus.