In a world where we have become obsessed with the latest miracle diet it is easy to fall prey to the “what works for one will work for all” approach to eating and weight loss.
“Follow my new diet plan and learn how you too can finally get the body you dream of, just like me!”
Food trends have guided us from Low Fat/High Carb to now High Fat/Low Carb, and everywhere in-between, Paleo or Vegetarian, how do we discern what is right and wrong and where do we even start?
The FIRST important rule to remember is there is NO ONE DIET FITS ALL approach to eating, what works for me may not work for you as we are all unique and what fuels my body may harm yours.
The SECOND important rule to remember before you rush to follow the latest diet trend, or any diet, is to look beyond the hype and EXERCISE CAUTION. Become a “diet detective” and don’t be afraid to question the recommendations and “how to” of the program.
Let’s look at a recent example I found which included:
The goals of this program are weight loss which for some people would work as suggested.
Key points in this program which I would recommend questioning and deciding if they would be right for you include:
1. Weigh in daily – If only for 4 days what is the purpose of this? No matter where you are on the weight spectrum daily weight measures can be demoralizing. Our body weight naturally fluctuates, not only because of diet and exercise but also due to fluid intake and retention as well as hormone levels. You can read more about daily weighing here.
When targeting weight loss it is recommended to do weekly weight measures although I would encourage body measurements over weight, particularly if you are including physical training and weight sessions in your fitness plan.
2. Exercise intensely – Is this only for 4 days? What about the rest of the program?
Recommendations for exercise intensity and frequency vary greatly depending on goals, age, and even gender. Focus on what you enjoy and what is sustainable. What you really want is to establish a new habit that you can maintain over the long term, not just a quick fix.
3. Breakfast recommendation – A balanced breakfast which includes healthy fats and protein will help you feel full for longer and provide more sustained energy. Try this Easy Vegetable Frittata instead.
4. One Dried Apricot On The Hour – When considering any new meal plan it is good to “check-in” with our intuition. Be discerning and don’t be afraid to question what seems unusual. What effect would this have on your body? How would this affect your blood sugar? What do you think would be a better option?
5. Skip lunch – Skipping meals if not done properly can cause hormone imbalance and throw your body into starvation mode which will inhibit weight loss not accelerate it. When looking to reduce weight in a sustainable way that incorporates healthy eating patterns it would be better to introduce Intermittent Fasting or focus on meal quality to eliminate snacking and sugar cravings. Check out this article for the Low Down on Intermittent Fasting.
Healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated. It shouldn’t be weighed down by guilt for making “wrong choices” should we eat that cookie for an afternoon snack or ice cream for dessert.
The more we try to eliminate those foods labelled “bad” the more we crave them!
We have become consumed by trying to work out what we should and shouldn’t eat instead of enjoying the abundance of fresh wholesome food available to us.
Let’s restore our natural ability to listen to our body, to work out what works for us, what foods energize and strengthen us, and which foods create brain fog or troubled skin.
Let’s move away from counting calories and lists of do’s and don’ts, instead FOCUS ON THE QUALITY of our food, the closer it is to nature the better it is for us.
Does it include healthy fats to help us absorb fat-soluble vitamins, hormone regulation, satiety, and brain health? Protein for muscle tone and healing body tissue. Fibre and greens to feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut.
TIP NUMBER 1 - When looking to improve your diet CROWD OUT the bad by adding more fresh whole foods into your daily eating.
TIP NUMBER 2 - EAT UNTIL you are 80% FULL as it takes your brain up to 20 minutes to register when your stomach is full.
Have you been confused by all the trendy diets flooding the media? Have you lost your ability to listen to your own body to know what works for you?
Schedule a consultation today to learn how to feel empowered to find out what works for your body to reach your health goals sooner.