BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — New year, new me.
Everyone loves a fresh start but Registered Dietitian Nicole Giumarra warns against certain approaches to changing your diet or losing weight.
“Taking anything to the extreme [isn’t] sustainable and oftentimes is really unnecessary if we are looking to improve our health,” she said.
There are popular trends for trying to reach those goals, like juice cleanses.
“What we do more consistently day after day is ultimately more important than [doing] this one-time juice cleanse,” said Giumarra.
And cutting out carbs.
“Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for every cell in our body” she said. “Low-carbohyrdate diets just leave you feeling like garbage.”
And have you seen these those apps for tracking and counting calories? It sounds like it could help you lose weight fast but Giumarra said to be careful.
“[Calorie counting] can be a slippery slope to very disordered behaviors,” she said. “Oftentimes calorie counting can lead to restriction and lead to us not listening to our bodies’ natural hunger and fullness cues.”
Giumarra said these trends get shared a lot on social media but that doesn’t mean they’re actually healthy or effective.
“Extreme dieting can increase risk for eating disorders,” she said. “Weight cycling can actually increase our risk for chronic diseases and it actually doesn’t improve longterm health outcomes.”
Instead of restricting what you eat, Giumarra said to think about what you can add.
“Are we getting enough fiber? Are we getting enough calcium? Are we getting adequate protein spread throughout the day? Doing all of those things on a consistent basis are going to lead to better health outcomes and higher energy levels, more balanced hormones, and just generally feeling better physically and emotionally,” she said.
And instead of a one-time big goal, make smaller long-lasting changes.
“Eating more fruits and vegetables and fiber, drinking less alcohol, moving their body more, stress management, better sleep, less screen time, less social media. All of those things are going to have bigger dividends than any sort of extreme measures,” said Giumarra.
If you want help reaching your goals, Giumarra recommends working directly with a registered dietitian.