This blog was written by Lori H. as a guest blogger with NIFS.
Just a few days after Christmas, I met with NIFS Wellness Coordinator Angie Scheetz, a Registered Dietitian, to go over the food diary I kept earlier in the month and get an assessment of my dietary habits.
Getting a personal nutrition coaching session is something I have been wanting to do for myself for several years. But that didn't keep me from being nervous about it. I enjoy fatty foods and lead a fairly sedentary life. I wasn't looking forward to being told to lay off the potato chips!
Meeting the Registered Dietitian
But Angie put me at ease from the very first minute of our meeting. I never felt like I was being judged. She had analyzed my food diary and found that I was actually not far off the mark in terms of calories consumed. But to reach my goal of losing 25 to 30 pounds, she said, I needed to be getting more calories from protein and less from fat. She also said I wasn't getting enough fiber.
We talked about what foods I like (cheese) and which ones I really don't like (fish). She told me how to select cheeses that are lower in fat and higher in protein. We talked about ways to get more fiber into my diet, such as brown rice and high-fiber cereals. (My usual favorite cereal bars are out the window and Fiber Plus cereal is in.) She also told me to have skim-milk hot chocolate for breakfast instead of sugared-up hot tea. (That's a switch I can make easily.)
Angie worked up a good plan for optimal meals and snacks, giving me ideas of some healthy alternatives, and ways to still eat my favorites in moderation and paired with more fruits and veggies.
We talked about how, when I was keeping my food diary and noting everything I ate, I was reluctant to eat unhealthy things because I would have to write it down. As it turns out, that trick serves dieters well. She directed me to My Daily Plate, where I can continue to track what I eat and get nutritional reports on it.
One casualty of the meeting was my daily indulgence of one soft drink per day. It's much better to have water instead, and Angie told me to try adding thin slices of lemon or cucumber to flavor it. She also suggested high-protein Greek yogurt instead of the sweeter varieties I have recently learned to like.
Three Power Rules for Healthy Eating and Weight Loss
She ended the meeting with some high-impact rules to keep in mind:
- Eat three food groups at every meal.
- Eat every four to five hours (this means two healthy snacks a day in addition to meals).
- Drink 64 ounces of caffeine-free fluid per day.
It was a cruel irony to go into my final family Christmas celebration armed with all of this information. Check back in a few weeks to see how I'm doing!
Disclosure: NIFS discloses that it does remit monies to Lori H. for other nonrelated services. However, this venture with the nutritionist is being conducted at the will and request of Lori H., and Lori H. is not being compensated for the authorship of this blog.