Nutrition: It’s a mind game. 

What’s all the fuss about? Losing weight and getting healthy is easy!

Just burn more calories than you take in, eat your fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. What is so hard about that? If only it were that simple; I would be out of a job and the term “obesity” wouldn’t be on public health officials’ radar. Yet, here in Mississippi, we face the reality that many of our residents are overweight, yet undernourished. Obesity in children and adults is a leading health concern for the Magnolia state and contributes to our rise in major chronic disease killers: heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Any health professional will tell you their job is to educate, equip, and encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. As a registered dietitian, I have experienced that even with the best nutrition education; I often fail miserably at getting people to make lasting changes to their diet. By now, most American adults are educated above their level of obedience when it comes to health and wellness.

Sure some of the conflicting information is confusing, but ask any 5th grader and they can tell you apple slices are a healthier choice than French Fries.

What’s the deal?  For many of you struggling with weight loss the issue with food has nothing to do with the food on your plate. That is why about one quarter of the vegetables consumed in America comes from French fries. That’s not one quarter of potatoes, that’s one quarter of all vegetables in total! Americans now eat an average of four servings of French fries every week. 

Endurance athletes, like myself, know that the marathon is conquered with the mind and the feet are just along for the journey. That goes for all of life’s biggest obstacles; the mind is the most powerful muscle in the body. If you are a chronic dieter, then consider bypassing the next fad diet and focus on conquering the mind to not just win the battle but gain victory over your war with food.

Every day you wake up and face a million and one choices. Without much effort you allow the snarky voice in your head to dictate what you wear, who you smile at, and what you eat. Over the next several articles we will explore how with a little awareness and practical solutions, you can achieve freedom from dieting and reclaim a positive relationship with food and physical activity, if you really want to.

In the meantime, you can head on over to and purchase my book: Mind Over Fork: Escape Dieting to Find the Healthy Lifestyle You Deserve.  Or, you can email me at and I will sign and deliver one to you at the gym!

Rebecca Turner is a registered dietitian, certified specialist in sports dietetics and author of "Mind Over Fork." She can be reached at Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @RebeccaTurnerNutrition.