Is My New Diet Unhealthy?, by Dr. Robert Wallace

Doctor. Wallace: In an effort to lose weight, I started skipping breakfast and lunch instead of eating a really big evening meal. I’ve found that while it’s hard not to eat a lot during the morning and afternoon, it keeps me from consuming a lot of calories throughout the day. This way, I can eat what I want for dinner while still being less than my recommended daily calories.

I really like my new diet because it allows me to use all my daily calories for dinner, which means I can eat my favorite “junk” foods at night and still not exceed the recommended calories. My mom told me, however, that this was a really unhealthy way of approaching dieting, and that it would only move me in the opposite direction of my weight loss goals. She is adamant that I should eat three meals a day, but each one should be healthy and small. This would force me to cut out all my favorite junk foods, and I would rather eat one tasty meal a day than three snacks and tasteless. Is my new diet really bad for an idea? – Calorie counter via email

Calorie Counter: I’m hesitant to call your current diet a “diet” because diets are usually aimed at promoting health (although many fall short), and what you’re doing now seems very unhealthy. I am no expert in nutrition, but I am pretty sure that not exceeding the recommended calories has no health benefits if the quality of the calories you consume is poor. You seem to be starving all day so you don’t feel guilty about indulging in junk food at night, and your mom is right that this will ultimately do more harm than good to your body.

If you are serious about staying healthy and losing weight, I highly recommend meeting a professional nutritionist and getting their advice firsthand. There is a lot of contradictory information to be found on the internet about what is healthy and what is unhealthy, so instead of getting caught up in confusion, I think it would be better for you to seek direct professional advice. A dietitian will be able to give you more detailed and accurate information about dieting, but I’m sure abstaining from junk food will be part of their advice.

I froze because of my mistakes

Doctor. Wallace: I’m a very good student, but I know for sure that I have one major flaw that slows me down and even sets me back.

My challenge is that I don’t do a good job when it comes to dealing with my mistakes and my failures. When I make mistakes, I feel like I’m out of place, and I quickly become paralyzed and stumble upon how not to make similar mistakes in the future. I find that I focus more on my failures than on my successes.

is this normal? And is there anything I can do about it? – Freeze by my failure, via email

FROZEN BY MY FAULTS: There is definitely something you can do about it! There is an old tale about making mistakes as a human being but the tolerance for these mistakes being divine. The first thing you should do is forgive yourself for not intentionally making your own mistakes. Realize that you are human and the human condition means that we will always be imperfect, but always have the ability to learn from our mistakes and work hard to improve ourselves in the future.

I suggest that you find a trusted teacher, counselor, or colleague to talk to about this. Find someone you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with. What you may need more than anything at this point is simple encouragement and continual reinforcement of all the good things you are doing. Sometimes, hearing the simple words “good job” releases endorphins and helps the individual feel more positive and energized moving forward.

Strive to learn from mistakes so that you get value from those experiences. Apply your lessons and do better next time. I really feel that your situation is more common than you realize, and once you discuss this with others, especially those you trust and who will encourage you, you will soon feel stronger and better day by day.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes readers’ questions. Although he is unable to answer all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in that column. Email it to [email protected] To learn more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features from writers and other cartoonists from the Creators Guild, visit the Creators Guild website at www.creators.com.

Image credit: silviarita at Pixabay

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