It’s all in her new book Good Food Bad Diet: The Habits You Need to Ditch Diet Culture, Lose Weight and Fix Your Relationship with Food Forever
Toronto Dietitian Abby Langer and author of the newly released book Good Food Bad Diet: The Habits You Need to Ditch Diet Culture, Lose Weight and Fix Your Relationship with Food Forever has two pieces of advice when it comes to making New Year’s dieting resolutions.
“The first one is to not make New Year’s resolutions!” says Langer. “It’s so much pressure and people generally resolve to do something that is not realistic or long-lasting. It is also a hard time of year as January and February are cold and dark, and our mood tends to be low. Do not punish yourself. My second piece of advice is instead of trying to change your diet, choose to be kinder to yourself. Diets are like a Band-Aid to hide what is bothering us. Getting to the real reason behind why we eat – that is what I would wish for everybody in 2021.”
And now Abby throws in a real shocker when it comes to the world of dieting.
“All foods are good, and diets are bad!” states Langer. “The book title Good Food Bad Diet relates to my basic philosophy. It is what I have been practicing over 20 years of assisting clients in various settings including hospitals and private clinics and as founder of Abby Langer Nutrition.
“You should allow yourself to eat all foods. No foods are bad, or dirty, or unclean. When we categorize food like that, we just want them more. You should enjoy all foods—even carbs and fat, without guilt, but listen to your body,” said Langer.
With bookstores jammed with the latest diet books, Langer states; “This is NOT a diet book—this book is different. I help readers uncover the ‘why’ behind the desire to lose weight as they learn how to make meaningful and lasting changes to the way they see food, nutrition and how they see themselves. I also show readers how to differentiate between real and false hunger and talk about high value eating as being the best way to eat according to science.”
“You should enjoy all foods—even carbs and fat, without guilt, but listen to your body.”Abby Langer, RD
Although you can eat all foods in moderation, Langer suggests a High-Value approach to eating. This involves a few key secrets including “Prioritizing Protein” by choosing high quality protein at each meal, whether it is chicken or chickpeas; “Picking Your Plants” (at least two non-starchy veggies), “Adding Fat for Flavour” and “Carbs for Energy”, but not necessarily at every meal. You do not need to have a perfect plate at every meal, and yes snacks are okay including things like fruit, dried fruits and nuts, lattes, hummus and more. You need not go hungry!
“The reason many diets fail over the long run is because they are not sustainable and when the weight comes back, it is often because we have not discovered the ‘why’ behind why we eat: our core beliefs and what’s really bothering us,” says Abby.
How do we find out the ‘why’ behind why we eat?
“We all have things that we believe to be true about how we are in the world, and a lot of times our negative beliefs when it comes to food and our bodies, are established in childhood,” explains Langer. “We cover them up with diets or self-disparaging remarks. I ask my clients how often they say things like ‘I’m so fat’ or, ‘I’m not worthy’ to themselves and they often reply, ‘once or twice a day’. I then ask them to recognize and write down every time they say something negative about themselves for a period of one week. I ask them if they would say these unkind things to their kids or their best friends. They immediately say, ‘of course not’ and often clients will start to cry because they realize how hard and unfair, they have been on themselves. Even recognizing that you are saying this stuff is a step in the right direction. Not all our thoughts are based on reality. I guide readers along the path to help them find their own negative core beliefs and once discovered, to flip them into something positive. I think this is one of the first actions people should take in 2021—to change their tape and the negative self-talk inside their head.”
Langer is also on a mission to debunk several nutrition myths and she does so in her book and as a popular media health expert who has written articles for SELF, Men’s Health, Women’s Health and has been featured as an expert in The New York Times and CBC Radio. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.
Ditching the ‘diet culture’ is one of the steps to fixing our relationship with food.
“Diet culture is basically the philosophy that we have all around us – the messages that tells us that fat is the worse thing possible and you should be thin at any cost; even if you have to punish yourself it doesn’t matter,” explains Langer. “It’s the belief that when you lose weight your life will be transformed, and you will be a good person. The habits that you need to ditch diet culture begin with recognizing and understanding diet culture, what it is and how it affects you.”
It is all about finding balance, says Langer. “I want people to step away from controlling diets and to enjoy a more balanced way of eating. I think people will breathe a big sigh of relief when they read this book and realize they no longer have to diet. This is the end of diets as we know them.”
Good Food Bad Diet: The Habits You Need to Ditch Diet Culture, Lose Weight and Fix Your Relationship with Food Forever by Abby Langer, R.D. is available in bookstores in early January, published by Simon & Schuster Canada a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.
https://abbylangernutrition.com/abbys-book/. Visit Abby at AbbyLangerNutrition.com or @LangerNutrition.
by Laurie Wallace-Lynch