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8 things you WON’T hear our dietitian say

Written by Melinda Braithwaite, dietitian and nutritionist at Connective Healthcare

There is not a week that goes by without another diet or superfood being talking about in the media. This can lead to us feeling very frustrated and confused about what we should be eating.

It can also be daunting making that first step to seek help with your nutrition. Often people are worried that they will be told their whole diet needs an overhaul. Here are 8 things you won’t hear our dietitian, Melinda say.

Try counting calories

Let’s get serious, who really wants to be counting calories. I know I sure wouldn’t want to be. I often hear many people talking about a 1200 calorie diet for weight loss. This is not the secret number to weight loss, we are all individual and have different requirements. Even our own requirements vary from day to day. Rather than counting calories, I believe in focusing on being more mindful when eating and listening to our hunger and fullness signals.

Weigh yourself daily

It is easy to get obsessed with the number on the scales, with it becoming part of your daily routine. Well I would like to tell you to ditch the scales, they are not helping you reach your health goals and there is so many more positive ways that you can measure your progress. At the end of the day the scales is just a number and it is completely normal for your weight to fluctuate daily due to bowels, fluid intake and hormonal changes.

You need to give this diet a go

I am a firm believer that dieting does not work and is not the way to go. Whilst yes you will probably lose weight in the short-term rarely will the weight stay off. Often you will end up heavier than before the diet. Rather than dieting and depriving yourself, I can help you find a way of eating that works for you.

Have you tried quitting sugar?

Sugar is not toxic or poisonous as many health bloggers would like you to believe. Yes I agree we do need to watch our added sugar intake, but it can still be included occasionally as part of a healthy balanced diet. It is a very over simplistic view to blame all our health problems on sugar. Plus it is basically impossible to avoid all sugar in the diet and would actually be detrimental to your health as many healthy foods contain natural sugar such as fruit and many vegetables.

Carbohydrates are fattening

You do not need to avoid carbohydrates to lose weight. Having a small portion of carbohydrate based foods such as wholegrains can actually help manage your weight. It is not uncommon for me to see people struggling with afternoon or night time cravings as a result of skipping nutrient dense carbohydrates at lunch or dinner.

Eat low-fat

You do not need to steer clear of all fats in the diet, as we were once led to believe. Healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil and oily fish have many health benefits including helping with weight management and heart health. I am also always wary of low-fat or diet products as these can often be higher in sugar, salt or artificial sweeteners to improve the taste.

Cut out dairy

When it comes to dairy I would like to clear up a few myths. Dairy does not cause weight gain, in fact research shows that dairy (regular or low fat) can actually help with weight management and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. There is also no evidence to support that dairy is a trigger for mucus production or asthma.

What about eating this superfood?

I personally do not like the term ‘superfood’. It is a clever marketing trick designed to make you think that you need to eat or drink a certain food to be healthy. Often these superfoods come with a hefty price tag. Rest assured I do not expect you to break the budget for these foods and can always suggest alternatives foods with similar nutrients and health properties that will not leave you broke.