Making healthy choices in the face of unhealthy options is a daily struggle for anyone with dietary restrictions. It can be difficult to keep health goals in mind when there’s a chocolate cake in the break room, or when the waiter sets down a big basket of bread. That’s why it’s important to learn dieting techniques that can keep you on track no matter what your day throws at you. Below, we’ve collected some rules to live by to help you achieve success in your diet.
Find Substitutes for Your Favorite Foods
When eliminating your favorite foods from your diet, it helps to find substitutes so you don’t miss them as much. Many weight loss dieters use fresh fruit to get that sweet kick they’re lacking after cutting out sugar. For low-oxalate dieters, finding substitutions demands a bit more research because there is no single low-oxalate food category. To get you started, some useful low-oxalate substitutions include:
- Cauliflower mashed potatoes instead of french fries
- Kale instead of spinach
- Corn flour-based recipes instead of wheat-based recipes
Get into a Restaurant Routine
Having a set routine for eating out will help you keep to your diet no matter the menu. A few ideas for a range of diets are below. You can use these as a jumping-off point to develop a restaurant routine that works for your personal dietary restrictions.
- Ask for side vegetables to be left out or cooked (low oxalate)
- Skip the bread basket before your meal arrives (low oxalate; weight loss; paleo; gluten free)
- Always order water for your drink (weight loss; paleo; also good for kidney health)
- Ask your waiter to substitute olive oil or butter for canola oil (low oxalate; paleo)
You can also check the menu or call ahead before you go to a restaurant so that you’re not making diet decisions on the fly.
Work with a Professional
Professional nutritionists and/or dietitians can help you develop a personalized meal plan based on your goals. These professionals can demonstrate healthy grocery shopping habits, teach you about food science and its impact on your health, and monitor your nutrition long-term. Before hiring a nutritionist or dietitian, ask about his or her training, certifications and licenses.
As with any dietary change, it’s important to speak with your health care provider about your individual needs. Your doctor can help you determine how to create a diet that will best match your medical history and lifestyle.
Keep Your Long-term Goals in Mind
Sustained motivation is essential to any diet. When you’re wavering in the grocery store or at the dinner table, remind yourself: why did I start this diet? If I stick to my dietary restrictions, how will I benefit? It’s important not to be too harsh with yourself – dieting is difficult for almost everyone. Envisioning long-term success will help you progress toward your goals with positivity.
Know You’re Not Alone
Whether you have questions about your diet or need a little moral support, it’s helpful to find others who are living with the same restrictions. Look online for forums and groups on Facebook or meetup.com that concern your particular diet. For low-oxalate dieters specifically, there’s a strong community of like-minded consumers who are working to boost kidney health and overall nutrition.
For more resources and to connect with the oxalate-conscious community, enter your email in the sidebar.