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Published on January 07, 2020

closeup of hand holding postit with new year new you

New Year, New You, But Don’t Know What to Do?

Daily I hear a joke or snide remark about how wishy-washy we are in the field of nutrition.

Coconut oil, eggs, butter, grains – one day they’re good, the next they’re not, so what’s a person supposed to eat? If your primary source of nutrition advice is daytime television programming, social media or a search engine, I’m sure it feels like recommendations and products come and go just about as quickly as a South Dakota spring.

However, as a registered dietitian who has been in practice for nearly a decade, my message has remained largely unchanged. But because I don’t promise quick fixes or a solution in supplement form, it’s simply not the message most people want.

So, if you’re ready to make some changes, here’s what I would consider:

One Diet Does Not Fit All

Healthy can be vegan or high in animal protein. Healthy can be low, moderate or even fairly high in carbohydrate. Healthy can be gourmet or it can be simple. Healthy can be a big meal or it can be munchies. The bottom line: pick whole, nutritious foods and practice portion control.

Be Picky

I was once told not to put myself on a budget, because it can seem limiting and hard to follow. Instead try a spending plan; know that you are going to spend money but prioritize. Calories work exactly the same way. By prioritizing the foods we choose we can find the balance between needs and wants.

Think Sustainability

Frequently ask yourself these questions: “how sustainable is what I am doing?” “What do I miss most?” “What decisions/choices am I forcing myself to make?” Checking in with yourself can help you dodge obstacles and pitfalls, keeping you on the right path.

Drastic Change Requires Drastic Changes

But, your approach can lead to drastically different results! Cutting out food groups and starving yourself can lead to drastic weight loss, but is often associated with drastic regain. Small changes can lead to a more sustainable 1-2 pound per week weight loss, which over a lifetime yields a drastically different weight and a drastically different relationship with food.

Seek Out Experts

You can do that by reading the research on a new product or diet you’re considering. The time spent in advance is worth it, and if you try adding research to the end of your internet search, you might be surprised by what you find (or the lack thereof). Or you can seek the help of a registered dietitian, like me.

Lauren Cornay, RD, LN, is a registered dietitian at the Avera Heart Hospital

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