Tag Archives: diet change

Positive Nutrition

My husband recently told me about how a popular new verb is “to adult”. Our family is undergoing a lot of changes in the next few months, and I will admit to sometimes wondering when an adult will step in and tell me what to do. Then I remember I am the adult. Scary. I guess I always imagined as an adult I would have all the answers. I would know the do’s and don’ts. When I am “adulting”, I find myself saying “no”to my toddler a lot, which isn’t fun.

Turns out, saying “no” is also not very effective when it comes to teaching people about nutrition. A recent study looked at the combined data from 43 previous studies on nutrition messaging. The combined results suggest that negative nutrition messages don’t work well in changing behaviors but positive messages do.

How do you apply this? If you are talking to others about nutrition, focus more on the good things they are eating than the bad. For example, rather than criticize your spouse for eating too many hamburgers, praise them for choosing a salad or a side of vegetables. For self-talk, focus on the good things you are doing in your diet rather than harping on yourself for any side steps.

Being positive works! Happy eating!

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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Small changes can help you have a better life

I just read about two different studies that provide even more evidence that even small changes can have big impacts on your health.

In the first study, researchers found that substituting on serving each day of water, unsweetened tea or unsweetened coffee for a sugar sweetened beverage (such as soft drinks, sweetened tea/coffee, fruit drinks, etc) decreased overall risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of obesity. That means, even if you don’t lose weight, swapping your Coca-Cola for a glass of water can help prevent diabetes later on. Seems a good swap to me.

The second study looked at the effects of replacing sedentary time with light physical activity. Replacing two minutes per hour of sedentary time with light physical activity, such as walking, lowered the risk of dying. Think about it. If you got up from your desk every hour for just a couple minutes and went for a walk, you would improve your health. Seems fairly simple, doesn’t it?

Obviously, no single study is conclusive. But this adds to the mountain of evidence available that even small changes can improve your health, even if it doesn’t change your weight or appearance.

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Weight loss plans stalled?

All of us either have experienced diet failure ourselves or known someone who has. Most people lose little to no weight while on a diet. Those who do lose any, gain it right back.

A recent article highlighted the reasons why, for many Americans, diet and exercise will not be enough to attain and maintain desired weight loss. The article focuses on many biological changes that occur in the body once a person has been obese for a sustained period of time (at least 2 years or so). One of these is what I have previously called the “set point” theory of weight. But there are many others. Unless something happens to change the hormones and regulatory systems of the body, a formerly obese person’s body will always be fighting to regain the weight.

This sounds pretty depressing and not helpful on a healthy eating blog. But the article points out that even a 5-10% weight loss can have significant health benefits even if you are obese. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts (here and here). My main hope for this blog is to help you eat healthier, no matter your weight. And the article makes a valid point: if you are obese and can’t lose weight, you should seek medical help. You are not a failure for not making a diet work alone.

So eat healthy, be happy, and get help if you need it!

To read more about the research, click here.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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Q&A: Single change

Pensive Pears

Pensive Pears

Q: What is the single thing you wish people would do differently about how they eat?

A: Wow, tough question.

All of us can change many things about our diets. No one is perfect. But I think one change can help bring about many of the other changes: mindfulness. I wish all of us would be more thoughtful and conscientious about what we are putting in our mouths. Even if it is a chocolate bar.

Why?

When we are mindful of our eating habits, we are in control of the situation. Control is the key for healthy eating. Whether it is stopping yourself from eating a snack when you aren’t hungry or realizing that a snack you thought was healthy actually has a lot of added salt or sugar. The knowledge we gain by thinking about each bite puts us in control.

That isn’t to say you can’t ever eat an “unhealthy” food. For example, I stopped myself from snacking on Halloween candy last Friday afternoon when I realized I was just bored. I thought through that I would really like to eat a treat while watching a movie with my husband that night. By being mindful of my eating, I was able to keep my sweet consumption in line but still enjoy my evening.

Stop and think the next time you eat. Think about how you feel before, during, and after eating. Ask why you are eating at all or that specific item. Read some labels. Measure a portion size. Even if it causes no diet change whatsoever, focusing on eating enhances the pleasure you derive from your food.

Thanks for the question. Happy eating and thinking!

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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