- Vanessa Rissetto shares her dieting dos and don’ts on the Today show
- He explained that people need to be careful not to cut too many calories
- They also need to make sure they eat enough protein, fat, and fiber
A registered dietician breaks down six mistakes people make when adjusting their summer diets, from eliminating entire food groups to not drinking enough water.
Vanessa Rissetto, CEO and co-founder of Culina Health, opened up about how people can reach their health goals without going overboard during her recent appearance on the Today show.
She walked co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb through the dos and don’ts of dieting before summer.
Rissetto explains that the first thing you should do before starting a lifestyle change is to ask yourself: ‘Is it safe?’
Severe calorie restriction to lose weight
Rissetto pointed that out “Many people try to cut calories” to lose weight, but sometimes they restrict too far.
‘They think, “Oh my friend eats 1,000 calories a day, so I should do that too,”‘ she told Guthrie and Kotb.
Eat too few calories can cause hunger in the bodywhich can lead to an increased risk of hair loss, anemia, and brittle bones, among other things.
As a general rule of thumb, he advises dividing your weight by 2.2 and multiplying that number by 25 to see how many calories you need a day to maintain your current weight.
Rissetto says if you weigh 150 pounds, you need 1,700 calories per day to maintain your current weight — and less if you want to lose weight.
He adds that you shouldn’t go below 1,300 calories per day.
Removal of protein and fat
Another mistake people make is skimping on fat and protein in their diet.
‘Please, everyone, eat protein and fat,’ says Rissetto. ‘You need that to fuel your body.’
Healthy dietary fats give your body energy and support cell function. They also help the body absorb some important vitamins.
“On average, fat makes up about 20 to 35 percent of your calorie needs,” says Rissetto.
Meanwhile, protein plays an important part in the formation of bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin. It also helps build and repair tissue, carry oxygen to the body, digest food, and regulate hormones.
The dietician explains that your daily protein intake should be about 1.2 grams (about 0.04 ounces) per kilogram of your weight.
If you weigh 150 pounds (68 kilograms), you should get 68 (2.4 ounces) to 82 grams (2.9 ounces) of protein a day, according to Rissetto.
‘For context, four ounces of chicken has 31 grams (1.1 ounces) of protein,’ he says.
Not getting enough water or fiber
Like fats and proteins, water and fiber are the cornerstones of a healthy diet, but they are not always the top priority.
‘People don’t realize in the summer digestion is slowed down. So what can help speed it up? Fiber and water,’ says Rissetto.
He 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],’ he told Kotb and Guthrie.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine 125 ounces of daily fluid intake is recommended for men and 91 ounces for women.
Rissetto said she carries a 32-ounce water bottle that she likes to fill two or three times a day to make sure she meets her hydration goals.
Eliminates entire food groups
Rissetto emphasized that people shouldn’t cut out entire food groups, including carbohydrates, which have gotten a bad rap in recent years.
‘Carbs are not bad. They are 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 dietician explained that once you figure out what a carb is and what a serving size should look like ‘it’s easier to digest.’
Kotb points 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 advises that people consider their daily lives and make sure they understand their limits before changing their diets.
‘If you’re a really busy mum with a big job and you’re cooking for a family of six, how do all these restrictions work?’ he asked.
The dietician points out that having to buy ‘all the separate foods’ can quickly become ‘expensive.’
He also emphasized that a diet shouldn’t be so regimented that you can’t go out to eat at a restaurant.
‘Really, what’s going to be sustainable in the long run without making you lose your mind?’ he says.
Wasting money on cleanses and fad diets
Rissetto says people should think twice before splurging on expensive diet programs and cleanses that aren’t sustainable.
‘When you think about these fads, like a juice cleanse, you have to buy the whole system and that costs hundreds of dollars a month,’ he explains.
‘And then it’s not sustainable so all the money goes by the wayside.’
He said people should ‘do the math’ and ask themselves: ‘Can I achieve the goal while not blowing my pocket?’
Rissetto also noted that there are professionals like her who can help you make lifestyle changes without breaking the bank.
‘Dieticians take out insurance, and the cost is probably a co-pay,’ she says.
‘Ask for help. Like you go to the doctor, you go to the dentist, you go to the dietician.’