I think deep down (beneath the erroneous misinformation being spread on the internet) we all sorta kinda know what a balanced diet is, right?
So, why do we insist on taking dietary advice to the extremes? And giving up glorious items such as the world’s greatest invention that are sammiches?
Not only that, but insisting on “cleaning” up our diet and giving up all processed and pre-packaged foods?
Or even more extreme. Follow a “lose 7 lbs in 7 days” food plan that does nothing in the long term. With us only ending up in a worse state than we began.
[Read more about what I think of detoxes here.]
Boy, do we lurve a good ole quick fix. So alluring and tempting. But ultimately, dangerous and unsustainable.
Most diets present you with a list of “haves” and “have nots”. They remove your ability to make smart food choices based on common sense.
They can drive you away from healthy behaviours and misguide you down the road to unhealthy obsession, ending up feeling broken, useless, and like a failure.
This constant perception of failure is a demeaning way to live. It encourages very low self-esteem, which in turn, can lead to diminished self-worth and psychological distress.
Alas! All is most certainly not lost.
Go back to basics, trust your gut, and start making smarter choices again. Trust that you do not need to take drastic dieting action. Perhaps all you need is to relearn how to eat again.
Start by getting familiar with the “whys” behind your eating behaviours. Are you eating for some other reason other than hunger? Perhaps boredom, upset, stress? It may just be the only real change you need for long lasting dietary success.
Then address your portions. How much are you eating? How often are you eating? Are you eating when you are not hungry? Are you eating past fullness a lot of the time?
Next have a look at the different types of foods that you are eating.
Are you including plenty of colourful fruits and veggies, for much needed micronutrient power, to help optimise your health so you can feel better?
Are you getting sufficient protein in? This allows your body to grow and repair, for glowing hair, nails, and skin, and ultimately to stay strong so you can grow old gracefully?
Are you varying your fat sources? They should include heart and brain healthy fats to ensure our brains tick over nicely and keep our hormones working properly?
Are you including some starchy carbs? These support your active lifestyle, as well as to provide essential fibre to keep the plumbing flowing?
And lastly, but probably the most important, outside of the physical nourishing foods, do you actually enjoy the way you eat? If not, then add some fun foods to your day pronto.
Sure, eat to nourish, but don’t forget to eat to enjoy.
Food is fun! If you don’t enjoy the way you eat, then chances are you won’t stick to your diet. If you don’t stick to your diet, then chances are it won’t work.
So considering all of the above...
Chances are you don’t need to diet. Chances are you simply need to relearn how to eat.
Thanks for reading,
PS If you enjoyed what you read and cherish the idea of more dietary freedom in your life then you will absolutely love my online nutrition program, Ignition Nutrition. A one of a kind, 12 week online nutrition program, with your own personal nutrition coach, to help you reach your health goals once and for all, so you can be a healthier and happier you!