Many of my clients know I do home renovations on the side including stonework to tiling, to installing floors. So, it came to no surprise last month when I was installing new floors in a room to make into a closet when I started thinking about an analogy, I was discussing with a few of my clients.
What do clothes and your closet have to do with diet? It has nothing to do with your size, so read on to find out.
To start with it has to do with organization, and choices of what to keep, what to use often, what to use seasonally, or throw out. Then decide what can be added.
For instance, if you’re a man, and you want a new look, it may only be a matter of purchasing a new belt, shoes, and a shirt or jacket to go with multiple pants, jeans, and shorts you already own. For a woman, a new sweater, handbag, or scarf whether new or something you discovered in your closet from long ago might create enough variety for 10 new outfits. As I discovered while moving my old walk-in closet into the new room, I really did not need new clothes, I only needed to rearrange to recreate a new look.
This is the same with our living space and surroundings at home where we choose to have things a certain way within reason. Sure, we would all like the latest and greatest home, but many times it is only a matter of changing the look without renovation.
It is the same for cooking and the food we choose to buy, let’s start here. Look inside your kitchen cabinets, see what is used and what is not used or needed. Start putting things away or donate what you don’t need or throw it out if it’s bad or outdated.
What about diet? When I work with clients, I start with what they are presently eating, and work with their lifestyle, but tweak it in ways that involve some individual attention and education. In some instances, if someone has high blood pressure, or desires to lose weight, it does not mean taking all foods away. Most often we are adding foods into the diet and introducing new food to replace others, just as you would do with your wardrobe. Only with diet, we aim to add foods with more nutritional value and fiber to add fullness, in turn, this will decrease or replace the amount of higher calorie or sugary foods you would normally reach for without thinking that often leads to unwanted weight gain.
This is how it works with diet. Keeping many of the same foods you like, but add more fruits, vegetables, or higher quality protein foods, or reduce the sodium by replacing the flavor with herbs or spices or choosing smaller frequent portions that prevent you from becoming famished.
An example is if someone who is eating ice cream every night and is gaining weight, do we have to take away the ice cream? Not necessarily, but we may have to tweak it a bit by decreasing the serving size and adding in some nutritious berries, or depending on the individual we may decide to have ice cream only one time a week or change it out for a different frozen treat or yogurt. You do not have to change your entire life and way of living or eating unless you want to.
My clients usually only set three goals to start with that are realistic and manageable, yet it makes a huge impact on their weight, energy level, muscle mass, and their health.
To answer the question can changing your diet be as simple as cleaning out your closet? Yes, it can be. Start by getting organized in your kitchen to make life easier to prep meals on busy days. Add a few new healthy foods at a time that can be habit-forming that in turn will replace high-calorie snacks and unnecessary large portions.
Another example is changing out a sugary cereal for a bran cereal or oatmeal with added fruit and a few nuts because it will keep you filled up, prevent you from overeating, and it’s more nutritious. As above, it is okay to eat ice cream but ask yourself if you really need the whole bowl? Change to one-half cup and add fruit, or change over to frozen yogurt with fruit, and eventually change to plain Greek yogurt, or homemade yogurt with active cultures topped off with fruit and wheat germ to add sweetness, then save the ice cream for a special weekly treat.
The bottom line is, there is no one diet for all, just as there is no one size or style for all, it is only a matter of preference, and balance to meet your nutrition needs.
If you need help with diet and lifestyle change or want a nutrition analysis performed with over 100 nutrients, I’d love to hear from you, and we’ll see what we can accomplish together for you to find a plan that fits your needs.
Dark Chocolate Berry Frozen Yogurt Treat
½ Cup Frozen Low-Fat Chocolate Yogurt
¼ Cup Fresh Blueberries
1 Strawberry – sliced
2 Tsp Hershey’s Syrup Special Dark
2 Small pieces Lindt 100% Dark Chocolate (around 0.2oz)
Calories 180, Carbohydrate 35g, Protein 4g
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Kathy LaBella, RDN, CDN, CSSD, ACE-CMES/CPT