Where Do I Even Start On My Diet?... - The Physio Revolution

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Where Do I Even Start On My Diet?…

[Diets: Low carb. Low fat. Low sugar. Keto. Paleo.  Jenny Craig.  Nutrisystem. Atkins.]

Any of these look familiar?

Have you personally tried any of these and are still looking for an answer to bettering your “diet”?  Do you find a link between having extra, frustrating weight hanging around causing back pain or “flare ups?” Once and awhile, we know that it is probably due to not watching what we are eating… or not sleeping well.. or poor choices.

This happens. Life happens, right?

If you are ready to take control of your weight to help back pain, then keep reading on.

So, where do you even start to help your weight.. (that may ultimately help your back in return)?

The options of advice for nutrition and dietary changes available to us these days are overwhelming, confusing, and very strict in what each one believes to help a person.  There is research behind most diets to allow us to understand the process of what each “diet” is enabling and/or deactivating in order to help you towards “weight loss”.  Let me tell you right now, I don’t believe any one of those stated up above (Keto, Atkins, Low Carb, etc) is the one-size fits all solution for you.

We are all unique. You are unique. And we must keep that in mind when it comes to items of food and the fuel we put into our mouths.

These words also, to me, make me think of a temporary, unsustainable “diet”… that only helps while on it.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Think about it…  Can one maintain a full low carb diet or purchase Atkins bars and Jenny Craig meals for the rest of their lives?… and NEVER include carbohydrates back into their diet? I would suppose not, for the sake of your wallet and your sanity.  But, on the contrary, could someone BOOST their weight loss or lifestyle change with one of these to help get started and see some changes quickly? 100%.

All too often, I get clients asking about nutrition and advice on what to do about their frustrating weight issues. It’s not because they want to necessarily (because who doesn’t honestly love indulging on sweets???), but they know they HAVE to make changes or else they may head down the similar scary tunnel their parent, friend, or loved has gone down before…. and quickly, too.

Think of it: How many people do you know (family, friend, co-worker, etc.) that suffers from at least one of these issues:[su_list icon=”icon: check” icon_color=”#38c4ad”]

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke or Heart Attack
  • Over-weight or difficulty with weight control[/su_list]

You can probably put a check mark next to each one at this time in our lives.

Thing is, there is a large correlation to these diseases by our GUT.

So, learning how to control your weight and what FUEL should be provided to a body to successfully lose the weight you want and keep back pain from flaring up is imperative for most people who are driven to avoid the paths they have watched their loved ones go down.

Some advice that I’m going to share with you today, is advice that I give my clients to just find a place to START.

Before I do this, I must warn you, I am not a dietitian, but much of what I tell you is from research and collaboration with our on staff Registered Dietitian that I have accumulated since changing my own lifestyle and becoming a physical therapist.  And I also must disclose that I am a vegetarian.  I am not opposed to anyone eating meats or animal products, I just choose not to…. even after growing up on a farm and being a meat eater the majority of my life. Vegetarian works for me and it doesn’t work for everyone.


I typically get this statement, “I honestly just don’t even know where to start”…

Sound familiar to you?

It can be overwhelming to think about giving up items you love to eat: pasta, pizza, bread, cookies, etc.

So, instead what I tell my clients is this:[su_list icon=”icon: check-circle” icon_color=”#38c4ad”]

  • Start by drinking more water.  Don’t take away what you currently do drink (soda, juices, milk), but do add more water into your day.  Start with one extra glass per day for a week and then go up to 2 glasses the following week.. etc. Just add it in. Chug it, sip it, add cucumber, lemon, or lime to it. Doll it up. Whatever you have to do to get it down the hatch. Do it.
  • Add a vegetable to every plate and eat it first.  ALWAYS eat your greens and veggies first each meal… yes, breakfast too! This way, it’s done. It’s in you. It can be processed and help with whatever goodness lies on the rest of your plate. Vegetables and fruits have an ABUNDANCE of nutritious benefits (which will have to reside in a whole different blog some day).   I cannot emphasize how we do not eat enough of them!  Try one serving or 1 cup every meal, every day and let it be the first thing you eat.
  • Limit yourself to 1 plate or 1 bowl of food. No seconds.
  • If you find yourself hungry for a sweet later, grab fruit. Simple carbohydrates such as fruit are not necessarily bad for you.  The tough outer layer of fruit have such a nutritious benefit for our bodies to fend off some nasty things that happen in our body (free-radicals).  Eat fruit. It’s a sweet, colorful tasty snack.
  • Try a no meat Monday or a no sugar Sunday. Set some boundaries for yourself that are not too dramatic and unattainable. Try to add some family cooking and fun times with the family or kids in the kitchen to make these meals more enjoyable.
  • Don’t cut yourself cold turkey. Majority of the time, this does not work. If it has for you in the past or currently, that’s awesome!  But for the other larger sum, this doesn’t work.  Short steps forward become bounds, then become leaps towards the larger picture.


Here are some EASY tips to just start incorporating each day. The benefits you will reap from this will begin to show in your lab values, in your energy levels, and your overall health will begin to improve as you continue to make better, more informed and educated decisions about your health.

There is NO BETTER time than right NOW.  Make a commitment to yourself. Hold yourself accountable…

HINT: I always make an ultimatum for my goals.  You should too!

For Example:

If I eat seconds or refill my plate/bowl on a meal, I must donate $50 to a charity I do not support.  (Ex: if you republican, you must donate to the democrats or vice versa)


If I don’t eat a vegetable in a meal, I have to do 100 push-ups that day.

Make the repercussion tough on yourself… that way, you won’t fall through and cut yourself short of what you want to achieve.  This is a tactic I have seen in so many self-motivating books, healthy habit changes, and multiple other successful people use to help achieve their goals in life.

Make a commitment to yourself. Make it now. And follow through with a repercussion if you don’t.

Again, there’s no better time than right now.

If you’d like to learn more, click here to read another recent blog post about the 80/20 Rule and What the big fuss about “Clean Eating” is really about…

To Your Health & Happiness,


Brooke Olsen, PT, DPT, Cert-APHPT

Co-Owner of The Physio Revolution

Brooke Olsen

Brooke Olsen

Co-Founder, Director of Physical Therapy
Brooke is a physical therapist, director of physical therapy, and co-founder at The Physio Revolution. She has worked with professional athletes from Olympic level and recreational weekend warriors to others who are in need of regaining their independence and mobility back in their everyday life. Brooke works extensively with all of the PT’s and spends a vast amount of her time ensuring our treatment plans keep pace with the rapid advancements that make physical therapy so effective and such a ‘go-to’ profession for people aged 45+.
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