Are you confused by the overwhelming volume of healthy eating trends out there? Would you like to find an eating plan that works for you, instead of against you? There are so many fad diets out there and each one is telling us something different; count your calories, don’t eat carbs, stay away from meat, eat pizza and lose weight. Who are we supposed to believe? Each trend claims that their diet is the best, but all the “research” is contradicting, leading us to always wonder, who really has the right answer?
When I eat meat it sits in my stomach like a rock and I am days away from healthy digestion. Pasta with tomato sauce? –forget about it because my heartburn rumbles to life. On the other hand, my husband can eat meat, pasta and tomato sauce with no problem. Sound familiar? In holistic nutrition we call this bio-individuality; the idea that in each person’s life, there is a different level of activity, stressors, and food intolerances that determine their specific dietary needs.
My husband lifts weights, does pushups and balances his food choices. I am on my way to becoming vegan; I practice yoga, meditation and go for walks in the country. Two people who care for their well-being are following two very different lifestyle plans. Here’s the magic answer I share with my clients: The best eating plan is the one that adjusts to your individual needs and lifestyle. Find the best food choices that work for your body and lifestyle.
How to Eat Right for You: Your Guide to Success
- Listen to your body. Do you suffer from acid reflex after a plate of pasta or stomach cramps and bloating after eating wheat? Your body is trying to tell you something, start by limiting the foods that trigger a reaction, rather than reaching for medicine to cover up the symptoms.
- Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your food choices in terms of color, variety and freshness. Your body knows how to use whole foods as fuel to balance blood sugar, energy levels and digestion. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and delicious.
- Start Slow. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t very realistic. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating, frustration, and abandoning your new eating plan. Instead, make small steps like adding a fresh salad (full of different colors and vegetables) to your daily diet or using coconut oil instead of butter when cooking. As these changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
- Don’t Stop Eating Dessert. When you ban certain foods from your diet, it’s natural to crave them more and that sets you up for unnecessary disappointment or feelings of failure when you give into temptation. If you crave salty or sweet food, begin by reducing the portion size and eating those foods less often. There is no need to eliminate completely. Eventually, your body will adjust, and cravings will decrease leaving the “treats” to still be enjoyed on occasion.
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect ( there’s no such thing♥ ) and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy lifestyle. Be kind to yourself and have fun experimenting with new food. The long-term goal is to reduce your risk of disease, increase your energy, and feel good while doing it!