We interviewed Dr. Lisa Young, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, private practice nutritionist, and adjunct professor of nutrition in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University.
Widely considered an expert on portion control, Dr. Young shares insights with us on achieving your nutrition goals by creating healthier habits today.
I recognized the importance of nutrition and health at a young age. I was influenced by my late grandmother who was a breast cancer survivor and always strived to gather the latest info on nutrition.
We also feel better when we eat better and I recognized that connection while still in college. Rather than wait till we get a disease to change our habits, I suggest eating well to prevent disease.
People often have black and white thinking when it comes to food. And that’s a mistake. We aren’t lab rats and we don’t need to eat perfectly to be healthy.
People often also think that if one nutrient is good for you (carbs, for example), then the other is bad for you (fat, for example.) In truth, there are healthy carbs and healthy fats. The solution is balance as opposed to all-or-nothing.
Focus on healthy foods you can ADD to your diet rather than focusing on restricting foods. Practice portion control by eating more healthy foods and less unhealthy foods. Make half your plate colorful fruits and vegetables.
The most important thing to look for is to create a lifestyle program that works for you! Do something you can sustain. The best diet to go on is the one you don’t know you’re on – something that feels natural for your life. No point in cutting carbs and doing keto for a few weeks just to go off it and then binge on carbs. All foods fit – portion control is key.
Exercise is very important. Find movement you enjoy. And do a mix of cardio and strength training. Aim for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
Look at the full nutrition profile and read the ingredient list. Eat a reasonable portion size, read food labels, and aim to limit added sugar and sodium. Enjoy a meal made with whole grains and vegetables, and at least several grams of fiber.