Carbs versus no carbs. Vegan versus paleo. Protein versus not enough protein. Dairy versus soy. Our society is inundated with mixed messages around the right diet and how we need to eat. I am always hearing people say to me, “I should eat this way” or “I shouldn’t eat that way.” They want to follow a specific diet plan in order to improve their health/weight/energy, etc.
Did you know that definition of diet is a way of living or thinking, a day’s journey? WOW! I don’t see anything in that definition about the usual deprivation or “should” – words we usually equate with diets.
So many people go on a “should eat this way” diet and then
- They feel worse because their body isn’t getting what it specifically needs.
- They beat themselves up and feel like a failure because they can’t follow through.
- They fall off the bandwagon and resort to binging or eating in a worse way than before.
Through my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I have studied over 100 different “diets.” Each diet conflicts with the next and can create a lot of confusion. We students have bounced all over the place with how we have been eating this year! But, through that confusion, the idea is to begin to get out of the head and into the body. The goal is to get in tune with what OUR OWN body wants, not what diet we should be on. And that’s what we help our clients do.
So how can you get more in tune with what your body wants, but in a healthy and productive way?
- Check in
A food journal is a great way to begin to get in tune with how your body reacts to food. I’m not talking about the-counting-calories food journal here. I’m talking about, “Wow – that spinach salad I ate at lunch really gave me energy this afternoon” or “Ugh – I ate cheese pizza and I feel really bloated right now” type of journal. No judgement – just observation.
- Be the driver
One man’s food is another man’s poison. Only you can know your body well enough to know what foods work for you. Just like you are in control of your car as the sole driver, know that you are the sole driver of your body. Steer it towards a sunny beach and not the ghetto.
- Be mindful
While we all want a “party in our mouth” at mealtimes (or those cookies before bed!), we are also eating to fuel our bodies and our minds. When you shift towards the understanding of which foods can fill you with light and energy versus which foods leave you exhausted and gassy, you will be in more control of your own energy and your own life. Food fuels not only your body but your thoughts, and emotions, so choose wisely.
So, next time you hear the word “diet,” think of the definition – a way of living or thinking, a day’s journey. Think of what works for YOUR body and YOUR life and begin to empower yourself to make the right choices for YOU. You’ll then be free to create your own long-term, sustainable way of eating that will last a lifetime.
Do you need some help in exploring foods and finding what works for you? Contact me for a complementary Wanna Eat Well Discovery Session.
To the right diet for you,