Updated: Dec 8, 2020
I don’t believe in diets because they are restrictive, not sustainable, and they provide a short-term solution to a much deeper-rooted problem or relationship with food. Diets such as Ketogenic or Keto, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Zone Diet, Low Fat Diet, and numerous others all share a common weakness, the “one size fits all” approach.
If weight loss is your goal, the word diet should be removed from your vocabulary. I recommend that you replace “diet” with a “personal plan to eat healthy foods in moderation, exercise regularly, and reduce stress.”
There are very well researched diets like the Mediterranean, vegetarian, and DASH diets that provide significant nutritional research demonstrating a reduced risk of many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, inflammatory bowel disease, and some cancers.
An individualized nutrition plan, that is specific for your body will help you achieve healthy eating for life. Clearly, this type of plan is not a “one-size-fits-all”.
An effective individualized nutrition plan should focus on 5 practices:
Eating or drinking in moderation. This means decreasing portion sizes to smaller nutrient rich amounts. Eat and drink exactly how much you need and no more.
Eating a variety of simple foods at every meal. Simple foods are those in their whole and natural state, like vegetables and fruits, and quality foods that are organic, non-GMO, wild-caught or grass-fed, contains no preservatives, are not grown with antibiotics and/or hormones. Fast foods and ultra-processed foods, like frozen dinners are not simple foods.
Not skipping meals. Consuming 5 meals - 3 small meals and 2 snacks eaten within a specific eating window, also known as intermittent fasting.
Mindful eating – Getting in tune with your body eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full and knowing the difference between true hunger and cravings.
Cooking food properly - Learning to sautés, steam or grill veggies and meat, instead of frying them to get the most nutrient benefits from the foods you eat.
Focusing on these five practices can help you achieve healthier eating for life. Additionally, making healthier lifestyle choices such as incorporating cardiovascular exercises into your daily routines, and reducing stress will improve your overall health.
Most importantly, listen to your body to figure out what works best for you. Be cognizant of what foods make you feel energized and full, and what foods make you feel sluggish.