If you are craving a big, fat, juicy burger, will you be satisfied with a thin, veggie-laden, dry turkey patty? Probably not. You don’t gain weight by eating everything that nourishes your body, and some foods are probably stronger triggers for you than others.
Here’s the problem with these diet rules. You might hate the healthier new choices, and then what?
You won’t eat them. If you don’t eat them, you get resentful. And, you go back to eating what you like.
Some magical day, we will be able to eat everything we enjoy without any sort of guilt or consequences. Until then, here are 3 diet rules that you can completely ignore.
1. Eat This, not That
Remember the “Eat This, not That” books? These books by David Zinczenko and Matt Groulding have been published every year between 2009 and today. The whole premise is that you can lose weight by simply making smarter choices amongst the large grocery aisles, non-compliant kitchens, or restaurants that are a normal part of everyone’s lives.
As a health coach, the last thing I want to do is become your mother. It’s not my job to tell you what to do eat, or to check that the broccoli on your plate didn’t end up in the trash can or in the dog’s belly.
I have zero interest in getting you to obey my rules, OR anyone else’s! Instead, I help you discover ways to fill your plate with foods you love while still exploring new ones. For more on that, read through to the end
2. Only Organic or non-G.M.O.
At the Farmer’s market the other day, I became one of those annoying moms. You know, the one who asks 15 questions about each item while poking and prodding it and skeptically giving the seller the stink-eye.
The number one question I asked was, “Is this organic?”
Most farmers could not say “yes”. That’s right- even at the farmer’s market, the food is NOT guaranteed to be organic! It may be locally sourced, home-grown, not sprayed with anything, but they cannot hold it up in a court of law as “organic”. To be certified organic, the food must meet a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping that include:
- Avoidance of synthetic chemical inputs*
- Use of farmland that has been free from these inputs for 3+ years
- Keeping detailed written production/sales records
- Maintaining strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products
- Undergoing periodic on-site inspections
*certain pesticides are allowed
There is a whole food movement to reject Big Ag and support locally grown and sourced food. In Minnesota, I am lucky to embrace this trend.
Most of this movement stemmed from movies like “Food, Inc”, “Fed Up”, “Hungry for Change” and food pioneers like Leah Segedie of Mamavation. Basically, it’s a movement to reject food-like substances in favor of whole, unprocessed nutrition.
Here’s the reality. It is important to do your best to feed your family healthy foods that are free from toxins, especially if your children have allergies or intolerances.
But, healthy eating depends largely on how you currently eat.
Most pioneers in the whole food movement are already eating clean foods and are especially aware of the dangers of chemicals and pesticides, either through personal experience, research, or both. As a result, it is less challenging for them to reject foods that most people would consider “healthy”.
For my own personal reasons, I started NRT (Nutrition Response Testing), and my nutritionist firmly believes we live in a “toxic” world, which makes it next to impossible to avoid environmental dangers.
She eats cleaner than anyone I know, and her diet is free of just about everything that doesn’t grow in a garden or eat grass. Still, she takes supplements every day to counteract the toxins she ingested.
I am not sure how toxic our environment is, or that all of us need to embrace a healthy eating program that is “free” of anything beyond the basic Paleo diet. What I do know is that most of my clients cannot pay top dollar to feed their family foods that are completely organic, non-G.M.O. and toxin-free.
We do what we can, when we can. But, if our kids end up turning their noses or throwing these healthy foods away, we are back to where we started. Feeding them mac and cheese and Goldfish crackers, and even more upset that we didn’t start a movement in our own household.
Here is a great place to start when you consider organic foods. If the produce falls within the Dirty Dozen, ALWAYS buy it organic. Otherwise, do what you can, but don’t blow your payday in Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Save your money for the best quality meat you can.
As for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), the top crops in the US are corn, wheat and soy. These can be hard to avoid 100% of the time. I even found out that my peanut butter had “soy protein” in it! Start by educating yourself about food labels, and identifying the common sources of GMOs in even the innocuous products. Here is an article I recommend.
3. Enhanced Water
Drinks are big business in the U.S. Between soda, juice and enhanced water, is anyone just drinking plain H20? I personally know of several people who “hate” drinking water, or who “forget” to drink water.
Hold up! You have time to drink 3 cups of coffee, 2 cans of soda, 1 glass of wine, and a bedtime cup of tea, but forget water???
I have a big problem with enhanced waters in particular. This is a marketing ploy that needs to disappear. According to Authority Nutrition, a 20 oz bottle of Vitaminwater, a Coke product, contains about 32 grams of sugar. The recommended maximum intake of added sugar is 62 grams.
As if that is not infuriating enough, most of the vitamins added to this water are simply washed out of the body via urine. Yep, you pee those vitamins clean out!
If you have ever gone down the water aisle, you will be blown away by all the available products, many of which are “zero calorie”. Not only are they enhanced with vitamins or minerals, but they are also pumped up with fake sugars.Just because it is zero calorie does not make it healthy. Click To Tweet
Note: you could lose weight on these products, but is replacing your soda with a similar-tasting product with a bunch of added preservatives a worthy substitute?
There are many helpful water solutions, some of which you may have tried. There’s the good ole gallon challenge, where you carry around a full gallon jug and know you drank enough water when it is empty. As a special bonus, this works your biceps quite nicely. Not recommended for frequent travelers or moms-on-the-go.
There is the sip-through-a-straw trick, where you sip all day long in front of your computer. Straws are amazing for allowing you to drink more than you think. Kinda like snacking out of a full package of food. Before you know it, it’s empty.
Finally, you could try a natural solution, like fruit-infused water. Check out this Hydrate board for tasty suggestions.
There are the 3 diet rules you can ignore.
To learn more about how you can fill up your plate without going on another diet, check out my free training, Meal Planning Made Easy. This training tells you why it’s important to ditch diet rules in order to improve your health for true lifestyle change.