René Norman, a registered dietitian with Bailey Bariatrics, means what she says when she tells patients to ditch the fad diets and stick to committing to a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s not about following the latest dieting fad,” Norman said. “It’s about finding an eating pattern that helps you achieve your health goal that you can sustain.”
When it comes to dieting trends, the Mediterranean diet ranks high from Norman’s perspective.
“Research has shown that this is one of the healthiest eating patterns because it focuses on whole foods (closest to the farm), moderate portions and healthy fats.”
If you are on the fence about trying intermittent fasting, cycling through time of eating and times of fasting, Norman recommends talking to your physician first.
“Emerging research is showing there may be some benefit, but most of the plans out there focus on the time of the fast and not on the quality of choices,” Norman said. “I think what the research and information we have on intermittent fasting comes down to is that we Americans often eat entirely too much, too often.”
That doesn’t mean you should be skipping meals, according to Norman.
“Skipping meals backfires,” Norman said. “You end up being so hungry that you don’t think about quality of choices, but rather how quick you can find something to eat. Small frequent meals and snacks that are protein rich works well to sustain fullness.”
Plant-based foods should also be incorporated into meals and snacks.
“Look for fruits and vegetables with lots of color, as well as beans and whole grains,” Norman said. “These are full of fiber and phytochemicals that provide an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Berries and beans are among the highest in anti-oxidants we have.”