If you are reading this, chances are you’ve been on a diet before.
Flexible Dieting (If It Fits Your Macros - IIFYM)
Blood Type Diet
Cabbage Soup Diet
Raw Food Diet
The Master Cleanse
These are 24 diets I could think of off the top of my head. There are hundreds more out there but for arguments sake lets say there are 24. So with 24 styles of eating, 24 programs that claim to be the answer to health and weight loss, here we are……confused, frustrated and disappointed.
What. The. French…?
How is it that we have so much research, so much technology, so much access to information and yet we are still trying to figure out how to get this nutrition thing “right”?
If you are like most of us and have tried 3,6,10 or all of the diets listed above, I’m glad you are here! Today I’m going to talk briefly about how you can finally find a style of eating that works FOR YOU.
“Wait a second, I’ve heard this before” you might be thinking, and I don’t blame you for your skepticism! Unlike many people behind these fad diets, I’m not here to sell you a book or product. I’m not here to offer you empty promises. I’m not here to tell you how to drop 12 pounds fast. I’m here to help you give all of this up for good, settle into a weight that is healthy for your body and help you get back to more important things in life that don’t involve points, grams or a food scale.
Your mom was right….You are special :) You are unique and unlike anyone else on this planet (yay for affirmations).
We are all unique. We have different lifestyles, different activity levels, different upbringings and different genes. We have different goals, different medical histories, make different amounts of money, and have different food preferences.
SO WHY WOULD WE ALL EAT THE SAME?!
What works for one person might not work for someone else.
So then, what is the BEST DIET for YOU?!
The best diet for you is:
The best diet for you also:
aids in good digestion
allows for social events
meets your medical needs
supports stable energy and mood
provides satisfaction and pleasure
meets your physical and emotional needs
aligns with your cultural and personal beliefs
promotes health (but not so much that you miss out on the satisfaction factor of foods)
“Cool” you might be thinking…..how do I figure out what that looks like?
That my friend is the work, and it’s the work not everyone wants to do. We live in a society today where we want instant gratification (and I’ve got my hand way up, I am massively impatient and I know it) and we don’t want to do the work or wait for the results.
It’s a lot easier to follow a plan mindlessly then tune into your body and listen to what it is saying. Or to observe your behaviors and question why you do what you do. It’s a lot harder to challenge your beliefs and re-frame your thoughts, so we try diet plan after diet plan looking for the answer. The answer, which is corny I know, is within my friend.
Think about this….
When we were hungry as an infant, we would cry until our caretaker fed us. Once we were full we would push away and move on, until we were hungry again. Infants don’t stress eat, they don’t feel guilty for eating more at one feeding session then the other, and they don’t eat all day long.
We are ALL born with this "eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full” mechanism if you will. It’s not until we get a bit older and we are told to "“finish our plate” or that we “can’t have dessert until dinner is gone” that this inner voice gets hushed. We learn to listen to the (usually well-meaning) older people around us to figure out how to eat instead of listening to our bodies.
From a young age, we are also taught certain foods are good or bad. Broccoli is good and cookies are bad. We learn that food has an emotional component as well. Ice cream is used to celebrate a baseball game or to soothe a scraped knee.
Then we grow up and download Instagram and make a Facebook and mindlessly scroll all day while thousands of messages from the media continue to infiltrate our subconscious. Eggs are bad and keto is life and vegan will help you live to 100.
So now you have your family’s beliefs deeply ingrained, and you’ve got societies messages poured onto you. It’s no wonder you feel confused……you’ve got years of diet culture conditioning you under your belt.
What are you supposed to do?
The first step is to let go of the idea that a “diet” is going to work for you. Calorie restriction leads to weight gain. It doubles the enzymes that stores fat. Is erodes self-trust and takes you further away from the innate wisdom we all have.
Stop trying to fit into a mold and apply what you’ve learned from all of that diet experience. Did you learn that you have more energy when you eat less carbs? Cool! Do that. Are you a complete grouch if you skip breakfast! Cool! Eat breakfast then!
Listen to how food feels in your body.
Does it make your stomach feel weird?
Does it make you tired?
Does it give you gas?
Does it cause you to break out?
Does it give you diarrhea
Does it taste like garbage to you?
TRY TO EAT LESS OF THOSE THINGS
Do you feel full when you eat more fiber and protein?
Do your joints feel better when you eat more “whole” food?
Do you enjoy the taste of that food?
Does that food help you stay “regular”
TRY TO DO MORE OF THOSE THINGS.
Don’t over-complicate it people. The things from the top list aren’t bad; the foods from the bottom aren’t good. Different foods feel different in all of our bodies. Again, what works for one person, might not work for another.
To simplify it into one sentence: