*As I'm eating pizza, something fried, having a 2nd or 3rd glass of wine, or diving into a big chocolate chip cookie* - most common time for people to ask me at social gatherings "so, what do you do for work?"
Now, you may be thinking, "oh man, she probably has to spit that cookie out and be like im a dietitian y'all!" .... sorry, but no. In this situation I always reply with "I'm a dietitian!" and I have lost count of how many times the response I get back is "you are?! and you're eating cookies?! wow!"
Why am I telling you this? Well, I think it's important. It's important to recognize that dietitians are just that - dietitians. Dietitian: "an expert on diet and nutrition". No where in that definition does it say "hater of junk food" or "avoids french fries". Dietitians understand how food breaks down in the body, and how certain eating habits impact the body over time. We can help you find ways to improve your diet to achieve your health goals, and we LOVE TO EAT.
With a full understanding of how food impacts the human body, I am completely confident that indulging occasionally (usually at least once a week) in pizza, chips, cookies, wine, or even fried buffalo chicken fingers (!) can be perfectly acceptable, and that the body can handle it when the body is taken care of. Each "normal" day of the week I try my best to choose nutrient-dense foods as often as possible, thinking of getting the most benefit out of the calories I am eating as possible. However, typically every week my husband and I have a day where we get home, look in the fridge at the ingredients we planned on cooking, and say "wanna order a pizza?" It happens. We also tend to indulge on the weekends, not worrying as much about always making the healthiest choice.
The more often you choose nutrient-dense foods over foods that provide little benefit, the more likely you are to achieve your health goals. However... you MUST still be able to ENJOY your food and your LIFE around food. When eating becomes stressful or not enjoyable, something is not right.
Do you find you get stressed about the foods you are eating? Do you feel guilty after indulging?
I'm here to tell you it's okay NOT to feel this way. Indulged a little too much? Well, I don't know about you but I do not have a time machine, so I'd recommend looking FORWARD and deciding to just make the best choice according to your goals at the next chance you get to get yourself back on track. Remember, moderating the foods that provide little benefit, indulging occasionally, and living your life is the way to achieve total health and happiness.