- Vanessa Rissetto shared her diet dos and don’ts on the Today show
- She explained that people need to be careful not to cut too many calories
- They also need to make sure they are eating enough protein, fat, and fiber.
A registered dietitian has lifted the lid on the six mistakes people make when revising their diets for the summer, from eliminating whole food groups to not drinking enough water.
Vanessa Rissetto, CEO and Co-Founder of Culina Health, discussed how people can achieve their health goals without going to extremes during her recent appearance on the Today show.
She told co-presenters Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb the dos and don’ts of dieting ahead of the summer.
Rissetto explained that the first thing you should do before embarking on a lifestyle change is ask yourself, “Is it safe? »
Severely restrict calories to lose weight
Rissetto pointed out that “A lot of people try to cut calories” to lose weight, but sometimes they take their restriction too far.
“They think, ‘Oh, my friend eats 1,000 calories a day, so I should do that too,'” she told Guthrie and Kotb.
Eating too few calories can cause the body to go into starvation mode, which can lead to an increased risk of developing hair loss, anemia, and brittle bones, among other things.
As a rule of thumb, she advised dividing your weight by 2.2 and multiplying that number by 25 to see how many calories you need per day to maintain your current weight.
Rissetto said if you weigh 150 pounds, you need 1,700 calories a day to maintain your current weight — and less if you want to lose weight.
She added that you shouldn’t go below 1,300 calories a day.
Cut proteins and fats
Another mistake people make is skimping on fat and protein in their diets.
“Please, everyone, eat protein and fat,” Rissetto said. “You need it to fuel your body.”
Healthy dietary fats fuel your body and support cellular function. They also help the body absorb certain essential vitamins.
“On average, fat makes up about 20 to 35 percent of your calorie needs,” Rissetto says.
Meanwhile, protein plays an important role in building bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin. It also helps build and repair tissue, transport oxygen around the body, digest food, and regulate hormones.
The dietician explained that your daily protein intake should be around 1.2 grams (about 0.04 ounces) per kilogram of your weight.
If you weigh 150 pounds (68 kilograms), you should consume between 68 (2.4 ounces) and 82 grams (2.9 ounces) of protein per day, according to Rissetto.
“For context, four ounces of chicken contains 31 grams (1.1 ounces) of protein,” she said.
Not consuming enough water or fiber
Like fat and protein, water and fiber are the cornerstones of a healthy diet, but they’re not always the top priority.
“People don’t realize that in the summer, digestion is slowed down. So what will help speed it up? Fiber and water,” Rissetto says.
She noted that fiber helps with weight management, so adding extra vegetables and fruits to your meals can help you reach your goals.
As for water, most people don’t drink enough to keep their bodies hydrated.
“We need 90 ounces of water (per day),” she told Kotb and Guthrie.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend 125 ounces of daily fluid intake for men and 91 ounces for women.
Rissetto said she carries a 32-ounce water bottle that she likes to refill two or three times a day to make sure she hits her hydration goals.
Omit whole food groups
Rissetto stressed that people shouldn’t cut out whole food groups, including carbs, which have gotten bad press in recent years.
“Carbs aren’t bad. They’re our main source of energy. We need them for fuel,” she said. “We’re afraid of carbs because nobody taught us how to eat them. “
The dietitian explained that once you understand what a carb is and what a serving should look like, “it’s easier to digest.”
Kotb pointed out that there are carbs in everything from lentils to avocados.
“There are different types of carbs. So it’s not always bread and cookies,” Rissetto agreed.
Having unrealistic expectations
Rissetto advised people to consider their daily lives and make sure they understand their limits before drastically changing their diet.
“If you’re this busy mom with a big job cooking for a family of six, then how is all this restriction going to work?” she asked.
The dietician pointed out that having to buy “all those separate meals” can quickly become “cost prohibitive”.
She also pointed out that a diet shouldn’t be so regulated that you can never go out to eat out.
“Really, what’s going to be sustainable in the long run without you losing your mind?” she says.
Wasting money on cleanses and fad diets
Rissetto said people should think twice before embarking on expensive diet programs and unsustainable cleanses.
“When you think of these fads, like a juice cleanse, you have to buy the whole system and it costs you hundreds of dollars over a month,” she explained.
“And then it’s not sustainable, so all that money is going by the wayside.”
She said people should “do the math” and ask themselves, “Can I achieve the goal without breaking the bank?” »
Rissetto also noted that there are professionals like her who could help you change your lifestyle without breaking the bank.
“Dietitians take out insurance, and the cost is probably a co-pay,” she said.
“Seek help. Just like you go to the doctor, you go to the dentist, you go to the dietitian.