OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The start of a new year is often a time when many people are looking for ways to be healthier, be it through exercise or diet. Some of these things that are usually good for us can become dangerous if taken too far.
Following a year of a lot of stress and being home more often, registered dietitian Jess Wegener says these messages to lose the “quarantine weight” and get back in shape for 2021 can be harmful for many who have struggled to find a healthy relationship with food.
“Since March when everything really started to shut down, myself, other dietitians that specialize in eating disorders as well as the therapists that we work with... everyone is extremely busy right now," Wegener said.
While there’s nothing wrong with adding healthy habits into your life, fad diets like keto and intermittent fasting can lead to unhealthy mindsets around food and aren’t sustainable long term.
“They are set up to actually fail you so that you will start on their program again," Wegener said. "You’ll have short term success, which makes you feel like you’re being successful, so then once you go off of it, then you think ‘Wow that worked for me. I’m going to go back to that program and try it again.”
Wegener says instead of restricting calories or certain food groups, add healthy things to your life. She also says examining the way you talk and think about food and weight can make getting healthy a more positive experience.
“It can be a very negative association if you are attaching your nutrition to weight or a number on a scale, because then you can get into some behaviors where you’re weighing yourself too frequently, and then having this emotional roller coaster of whether it was up or down.”
Instead, try focusing on how the food you eat makes you feel and how it will keep you healthy in the long run.
If you feel you need help for disordered eating, you can find resources at http://recovernebraska.com