Healthy eating overrides diets

Mollie Greenwood, Print editor

Winter time is a big season for dieting because it is cold and people are not getting as much exercise.  It is also the season for rich holiday foods which can be many people’s source of downfall.  Some prefer doing juice cleanses to lose weight or detox their bodies.  Some cut out all carbs, and some just try to watch their portion sizes and junk food intake. Some supplement exercise and healthy eating.

Urbandale Hy-Vee dietitian Heather Illg and Koch Center for Integrative Health dietitian Jessica Schroeder give their advice about dieting.  Both dietitians expressed roughly the same beliefs about dieting.  “Most dietitians would say that they hate the word diet because so many people hear that word and it should really just be about eating healthy overall,” Schroeder said.  The overall message from both health professionals is to eat well balanced meals with lots of fruits and vegetables.  “If you think of the plate method, half of the plate should be fruits and vegetables,” Illg said. “If people focused on that, many more people would be able to manage their weight.”

Juniors Megan Buckallew and Anna Toot both decided to do the “21 Day Challenge”. The challenge requires participants to abstain from eating white bread, chips, fast food and sweets.  “Basically anything that tastes good,” Toot said.

Both girls participated in the challenge after the cross country season was over.  One problem health professionals and consumers find with dieting is that it is hard to follow the plans exactly.   “We went to Nike Cross Regionals in South Dakota so we went out to eat and we broke it and it was really hard to get back on track,” Buckallew said.

Senior Allyse Shoeman recently tried a Dr. Oz 48 hour cleanse to try to rejuvenate her energy level and detox her body. For breakfast she ate quinoa, lunch she had a fruit smoothie, and for dinner she ate vegetable soup.  Shoeman followed the diet pretty strictly, but also felt that it was hard to follow. “You have to have really good willpower just because I love food so it was hard not to have like ice cream or anything like that,” Shoeman said.

Shoeman said during the cleanse she felt like she had a lot more energy and said it was refreshing, but does not recommend doing it for more than the recommended two or three days. “ I don’t think they are good to do for a long time at all because they don’t give you all the nutrients you need for extended periods of time.”

If someone wants to lose weight or detox themselves, both dietitians recommend eating healthier as opposed to doing a diet.  “Don’t eliminate anything either,” Illg said. “ We also need to remember protein and healthy fats too.”