Diets are Not A One Size Fits All
Still struggling to find a nutrition plan and lifestyle right for you. I am not surprised. Now is about the time when people start falling off track with their New Year’s resolutions.
All I hear from everyone in the month of January is diet, diet, diet…what should and shouldn’t I eat. Sadly, everyone is looking for that magic bullet, but it does not exist. If it did. I would have one, but I don’t so what I can offer you is some sage advice when it comes to eating right. What I am sharing with you comes from years of researching different diets and experimenting with many of them myself.
Keep in mind, you might have to experiment with a few “diets” till you find one that is right for you so don’t get discouraged. Our body chemistry is different from person to person so what’s right for me or your best friend, may not be right for you. When I recommend something to one of my clients, a lot goes into assessing their eating habits and lifestyle. If someone offers you diet tips without getting to know you, be weary. Put the time in for yourself to do it right; to make sure you are setting yourself up for success at the very beginning of your journey.
To get you started, here are a few diets that have huge health benefits and I often recommend to my clients:
Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) is a bit provocative, but for the person who does not like to diet, it’s a sound option. It involves eating what you want one day, then a very restricted diet (fewer than 600 calories for men 500 for women) the next, and most surprisingly, it does not seem to matter that much what you eat on non-fast days. You can learn more about it Authority Nutrition.
Whole 30 is about cutting out certain ingredients like sugar, dairy, grains, etc. of your diet. It makes sense because it improves your overall wellness while cleansing your body. It is only for 30 days, but it is recommended you do it more than once a year. You can learn more at Whole 30 and get some recipe ideas too.
Keto Diet is well known for being a low carb diet, where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. Your body is literally turned into a fat burning machine. This diet is high in protein and moderate fat. When you eat something high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin which stores the fat, but with Keto Diet, it’s easy to access fat stores to burn them off. You can read more about it Diet Doctor. Tim Tebow is a big fan too Tim Tebow Keto Diet.
Mediterranean Diet is a diet formulated based on the Mediterranean countries, characterized especially by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein, and thought to confer health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease. The Mayo Clinic has great information about the diet.
While you explore some of these diets, here are some tips about “cautionary foods” to eliminate from your diet or eat in moderation. I know it might be hard to completely eliminate something so I’d recommend having it, but being mindful of how much. Once or twice a week, but no more than that. It just won’t work long term.
Sugar is the single most harmful ingredient in today’s modern diet. It literally is the single-handed reason for obesity and other health issues. Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. It allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. However, when people eat a lot of sugar, it prevents insulin from working as it should, leading to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Wellness Mama shares some good tips in her blog.
Processed Foods means anything that has been altered from its natural state in some way. Not all processed foods are bad. You need to watch out for what else has been added to them that could wreak havoc on your health such as sugar, salt and fat. Make a habit of reading labels. The best way to avoid these issues is to cook your own meals so you know exactly what ingredients are going into it.
Juice can be worse than soda, but soda is the beverage that has taken the headlines in the media. I like to talk to clients about all liquids. They can add empty calories and unwanted sugar to your diet. The amount of fructose in one glass of OJ can equal four oranges. No one sits down to eat four oranges.
Smoothies and Starbucks drinks are meals themselves. The amount of calories in one of these drinks could exceed the amount you should be having per meal. For example, if you have a 1,500 calories diet, let’s say that is 500 calories per meal. There are smoothies and Starbucks drinks that are well over 400 calories. That said, add that drink to your day and you’ve added an entire meal.
Veggie Chips seem like a dieter’s dream, but they are hidden killers to a successful diet. The amount of sodium alone could send your healthy attempts into a downward spiral. Try Skinny Pop or try making your own veggie chips by cutting vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes, drizzle them with oil, herbs and spices and cook till crispy.
Life’s not all about eliminating, there are a lot of fun ingredients you can add to your diet like whole grains, avocado, nuts, peanut butter, salmon, dandelion greens, sauerkraut, squash and so many more. A place I like to go for healthy, creative and fun recipes is Skinny Taste.
Now that you have a bit of a foundation…go ahead and get started. If you still struggle and need some help with your diet, exercise, or overall health and wellness plan, hiring a coach (like me!) is a good way to get yourself on track with the support of an educated resource. Your health is well worth the investment.