The Question I Get Asked Most Often as a Dietitian


TopSupplementIn my practice, and in my life, the question that I am asked most often by clients, friends, and family is, “What should I eat to lose weight?” or “get healthier?”   The question itself is indicative of the lack of connection that people have with their bodies these days.  It saddens me that so many people are living their lives at the mercy of advertisers in the food, weight loss and wellness industries.  While we have more nutrition information available then at any other time in history, we still have a population in which nearly two-thirds of individuals are overweight or obese.

I spend a lot of time coaching women who have lived with diet mentality for years and they are so bound up in finding the next “magic potion”, that they have forgotten how to just listen to their bodies and focus on the basics.  I have learned that we’re all inclined to seek out the quick fix.  Add to that the culture of instant gratification that we live in and anyone can get caught up in following the latest and greatest diet fad.

So, what do I tell people who ask me this question?  It’s pretty simple…First I ask them how much water they drink on a daily basis.  More often than not, the answer is “a couple of glasses” or “I don’t drink water, I only drink soda, juice or sports drinks”.  Most of them know at some level that these are not the answers that I was hoping to hear.  Yet and still, many of them proceed to ask me “but what should I eat?”   This illustrates the point I made earlier

So, what advice DO I give them?  I suggest that they start by drinking water (at least 6-8 cups per day) as their only beverage for 2 weeks and I advise them to call me when they have accomplished this.  In other words, I give them something practical and basic to test their “readiness for change”.  The last thing people need is more information that they can’t put into practice.  Good nutrition advice is important but more information is not always the answer.  Sometimes we just have to do the first thing and when we have got that thing mastered we can move on to the next step.

What basic nutrition advice have you returned to when you find yourself searching for answers to health and weight loss questions?