Are you searching for the perfect nutrition solution to kick off the new year? Rather than jumping into some crazy fad diet, why not try just being positive? In my experience, people who are more successful with weight loss and weight management view their habits in the glass half full manner. They have a “healthy” and “happy” relationship with food. We all know the human body does not fare well with deprivation and feelings of guilt! Build a healthier habit today by viewing it in a more positive way.

Do you focus more on the foods you need to avoid each day? When planning your dinner meal you get angry because you believe you should have a salad over the slice of pizza? By thinking about these feelings differently, you can shift your eating style. The eating style that was most linked in research to obesity was known as “restrictive overeating”, which is defined as the feelings of restriction resulting in overeating and guilty feelings post consumption. Restrictive diets are very difficult to maintain in the long term, resulting in overconsumption in the future and weight gain.  

Does this mean the solution to all of our dieting problems is to allow ourselves to eat endlessly without any feelings of guilt and wrongdoing? That is not true and we tend to believe in the saying goes “everything in moderation.” Numerous studies have proven that people who tend to hold dichotomous feelings about their nutrition habits, or see things in just black and white/good and bad, have a difficult time losing and maintaining weight. We need to understand the basics of healthy eating for weight management and practice them. At the same time, we need to understand how to turn these into a lifestyle change. Choose healthier foods because they are better for us. Find ways to make healthy foods taste good and how you prefer to eat them.  Create ways that you enjoy maintaining a healthier eating lifestyle.

Start today by viewing your nutritional glass as half full by enforcing and focusing on positive change.  Make changes you can live with, long-term. If everyone is eating pizza for dinner, have one or two slices, but also incorporate veggies and a low calorie fruit and fat free pudding dessert. By focusing on the foods we should be eating, we can limit feelings of wrongdoing and feel better about our nutrition habits. We will also naturally eat less of the bad foods if we focus on getting all of our veggie, fruit, lean meat and whole grain servings in each day.

Start by making healthier food choices, then begin to understand the amount of those foods you need to take in to see weight loss or to maintain weight. From there, find the balance that creates a sustainable lifestyle change for yourself. Remember that the amount of food you eat determines your weight, while the type of food you eat determines how you feel.


-Andrew Williams, Columbus, OH