When it comes to losing weight, is there a “one size fits all” reducing diet? No!
The world of weight stigma, appearance, and diet culture has left a lot of people confused and struggling to sort out what is right. Athletes and fitness exercisers alike can become easily become anxious and frustrated about undesired body fat, especially if their coaches or doctors judge them by a number on the scale or a high Body Mass Index (BMI). Many athletes weigh more than they “should” and have high BMIs due to their muscular physiques.
If you think losing weight is “simple” and a good way to help you perform better, think again. According to Eileen Myers RD, a respected registered dietitian who has worked with obesity and eating disorders, the answer to the question “Should I diet or not?” is not black and white. It is all about you, your story, your health history, as well as your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
Meyers encourages you to think about the pros and cons of each weight management decision. Will sticking to a ‘diet’ make you happy or miserable? Likely miserable, unless every food you enjoy is included in your eating plan. That might be Friday night pizza night as a family, Sunday morning brunch with your friends, or Oreos for dessert. If you have strong ties to an Italian heritage, ‘giving up’ meatballs and mozzarella filled pasta dishes should not on your dieting priority list. Rather, you want to learn how to enjoy an appropriate portion with your family—and not break your weight loss goal. Denial or deprivation of favorite foods will ultimately lead to discontent and commonly binge eating.
Dieting doesn’t work; do not spend hours trying to figure out the best way to lose weight by surfing the web! Instead, consult with a registered dietitian (RD) who is a certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD). This professional can provide you with science-based information that can truly help you reach your weight and performance goals. RDs are trained in the complex world of nutrition, food, and healthcare. They can provide compassionate solutions with a personalized plan that works for you.
To find your local registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition, use the referral network at https://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert. For science-backed Internet information on weight loss, please visit https://www.eatright.org/health/weight-loss/tips-for-weight-loss
Written by guest-blogger Ali Mattia, nutrition student at Simmons University and Certified Athletic Trainer.