Today I was starstruck hanging out with Kristen Currie and talking about 5 things to try before you dive into the next diet! (Thanks @kristencurrietv for calming my nerves!) If you missed the clip check it out here! 

Here is the deal… 10 years of working in the health world I don’t go a day without someone asking me about the latest fad diet. Five years ago it was paleo, now we are at “keto” and moving into intermittent-fasting… and my answer is the same every time….

There is a time and a place that these diets may be helpful. But the reality is they don’t ever live up to what they promise if they aren’t sustainable. Research shows that 95% of diets FAIL… and I second that with what I see in my office. So when people come to see me these are the first 5 things we tackle… THEN, if they don’t get the results they want, we can have a different conversation. 😆

1) Probiotics 

These are live bacteria cultures that you can get from food and/or supplements. The reason they are all the rage right now is because they are what we need in our gut. That’s right! You have a-whole-lot of bacteria in your gut and its called your microbiome. I think of the microbiome as your “food interpreter”— it translates how you receive food into your body and this can be for the good, or not so good. Mounting amounts of research is showing that a healthy microbiome is linked to everything from better immune function to mental health.  I recommend getting a probiotic daily which be found in foods like yogurt, Yakult shots, kefir, kombucha, or sauerkraut. 

2) Fruits and Veggies 

Have you heard me and every other health professional recommend this? Well there is a reason for that… they are good for you (and your microbiome). Wherever you are at, aim to up your intake by 2 servings. It will give you an energy lift you can feel! And if you are like me and my 2 year old and have weird aversions to these 2 food groups, don’t underestimate the power of smoothies! My favorite morning blend is a frozen fruit of choice, 1/2 banana OR avocado for creaminess, handful of fresh greens and water! Cheers! 

3) Protein

After having kids and passing the 30 year mark- acquiring and maintaining muscle has gotten a lot more difficult. Having 20g of protein per meal turns on your muscle repair process, so it is a must! You can get this from 3-5oz of chicken, beef, or salmon,1 cup of greek yogurt or 1 1/2 cups of beans and cheese. As a dietitian, I am a foods first kind of person, but as a working mom of 2 rug-rats, I am a give-me-something-quick kind of person! When in a rush I will mix my protein shake with my iced coffee to add to a meal or enjoy with fruit for a snack. Again… cheers! 

4) Mindfulness…. 

…is SO DIFFICULT in a world that never stops. The next meal or snack you have try to disengage from all electronics for 5 FULL minutes. It is amazing what you can discover in 5 minutes. I know its hard to stay off social media, or step away from your email; but I dare you to try it and see if you can taste the food you are eating! 

5) Permission 

It seems some people are more afraid of giving themselves permission to eat enjoyable foods than they are swimming with sharks. Both research and what I have seen in my office day in and day out is that people who give themselves permission to eat enjoyable food, but are mindful and attentive to it… make better food choices the rest of the day. 

I call this budgeting your fun food. 

For example, I wish I could lie and say a donut is nutritionally good for you, but I can’t. BUT I can say there is something great about eating a donut and being able to enjoy that with my little boys. And when I give myself that permission, my satisfaction factor increases— mentally and physiologically. Research shows your hunger hormones decrease when you acknowledge the deliciousness of food! 

There you have it! Try these 5 things out… and if you are still stuck… check out my resources or come have coffee with me in my office and we can chat more about those fad diets. 

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