How to Eat Healthy When You are Busy
Almost everyone wants to lose weight. It is disappointing when you step on the scale only to see that the number has increased. Busy and stressful lifestyles lead to chronic overeating of highly processed foods. Not only are highly processed foods linked to multiple diseases, but you also train your brain to crave them more. Additionally, stress hormones contribute to weight gain, especially in the midsection for both women and men.
The common solution is to pick a fad diet and stick to it. Although effective temporarily, fad diets are not sustainable and lead to more weight gain after the diet is over.
As a dietitian, I preach that there is no one-size-fits-all diet. However, there is one thing all healthy diets have in common— they are based on whole, unprocessed foods rather than processed foods. Whether you are paleo or vegan, high carb or low carb, or gluten-free, your diet should be comprised of unprocessed foods. In practice, I tailor my clients’ diets to their health situation, body’s needs, and personal wants, all within the whole foods diet.
What IS Whole Food?
Whole foods are foods that are in their real natural form. Whole food is food that has not been altered since it was harvested from the ground or animal.
A processed food goes to a factory and is altered, treated, or combined as an ingredient into some food product. Bread is an example of processed food; wheat does not come out of the ground looking like a loaf of bread.
Are ALL processed foods bad?
We can also eat minimally processed foods, such as olive oil. It does not come off the olive tree in a glass bottle. But it is still a whole food, one ingredient, and good for you.
Some foods must be scrutinized to determine if they are minimally processed. For example, almond milk may fall into either category of minimally or largely processed. When choosing a brand of almond milk, it is important to examine the ingredients first. Look for almond milk that contains only almonds, water, and salt.
How to EAT the Whole Foods Diet
As you decide what foods to eat, practice asking yourself, “is this a processed food?” It is a simple, straightforward way to look at food. Plan your meals to include half your plate of vegetables. Look for packaged foods that have minimal ingredients. Although this can feel very daunting, remember, you do not need to be perfect. Try as often as you can. The more you stick to whole foods, the more your body will thank you for it.
Dianne Rishikof, MS, RDN, LDN, IFNCP, is a holistic registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist for people determined to get rid of the pain, discomfort, or unwanted symptoms in their body, but just don’t know how. Their issues may be in the gut (IBS, IBD, gluten sensitivity), the brain (ADHD/ADD, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s prevention), or somewhere else (fatigue, inflammation, joint pain, high cholesterol, weight gain, headache, skin issues).
Dianne is president of Health Takes Guts Inc. and has been in private practice for 15 years in MetroWest Boston, practicing integrative and functional nutrition. Dianne is a national speaker and published author. She and her team see clients in person and provide video or phone sessions at their clients’ convenience. Find more information at HealthTakesGuts.com.
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