By Amber Charles, MSPH, RDN
December 28, 2020
Hint: It's about *not* dieting.
Get off the fad dieting train... that's it... that's the resolution.
Not only does yo-yo dieting not work, but it sends the wrong message to the Caribbean Diaspora: cultural foods are vilified, underrepresented and undervalued.
(Be sure to check out the Caribbean Market blogs).
Worry not, here are just 2 golden tips to help you hit your health goals without losing your food culture:
Allow yourself to eat ALL foods
This sounds counterintuitive to "health", but truly, it is a mindset. (Doubles? Yes, please).
You do not actually have to eat all foods, however, if you allow yourself to have access to all foods, the urge to binge eat is reduced.
Binge eating occurs mainly because you've restricted foods and when you do have access to those foods, you eat more than usual because "you're not supposed to eat it" or you're not sure when next you'd have some.
Give yourself the flexibility to incorporate your "guilty pleasures" - without guilt.
Integrate your favorite cultural foods
You don't need to always eat salads or never eat sweets to be healthy (read more about the all-or-nothing mindset here).
Also, saying "just have a balanced diet" is overplayed and vague.
Consuming foods that make you feel well - physically, mentally and emotionally - are important to your overall health.
Learning how to integrate foods into a healthy lifestyle without compromising your health goals is key.
Setting goals are key to staying on track and focused, but new year's resolutions and fad diets often push cultural foods out of the picture.
Embrace and integrate your cultural foods into a healthy lifestyle by firstly giving yourself permission to eat all foods and secondly by integrating them in a manner that serves your overall health.
This information is intended for nutrition education purposes only. Always consult with your medical team and Registered Dietitian on a one-on-one basis to determine what is best for you and your health goals.