Skip The Diet

One of the things I really feel strongly about is the word “diet.” I don’t ever consider myself to be on a diet in the traditional sense. Of course, I have a diet… and it consists mainly of meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, dark chocolate, and other things that generally make me feel good. We all have diets. If we didn’t, we’d die. That’s how it works. Some of us have diets that are healthier than others, but even if you’re eating McDonald’s cheeseburgers every day, then to me, that’s your diet.  I’ve talked before about how even though my diet (choice of foods) falls pretty closely in line with the Paleo diet and I look to that community for recipe ideas, I still don’t classify myself as being on a Paleo diet.

In the Hungry for Change documentary I talked about last week, they were very clear: Diets don’t work.

Their reasoning, which I completely agree with and encourage you to go listen to for yourself, is that diets don’t work because they are inherently flawed. They violate natural laws, and most importantly, they are temporary.

Diets are often built around cutting out foods that some scientist or celebrity or author or health professional decided make people fat. Most often, diets cut out whole food groups that we need in order to survive, like carbohydrates or fats. People want to look good, so they follow the diet guidelines, but fad diets are rarely the right approach. They only lead people to starve themselves or deprive themselves of certain foods, instead of figuring out what it is that actually works for them.

The only reason I cut ever out whole food groups is because:

  1. They’re proven to be bad for us (like highly processed food-like chemicals) or
  2. They do (or I think they might) give me stomach aches.

The thing is: just because certain foods give me stomach aches doesn’t mean there’s a reason you necessarily have to cut them out.  And just because eating/not eating certain foods might give me more energy/make me lose weight/help me feel better/etc. doesn’t mean they will necessarily do the same thing for you.  So creating a cookie cutter diet and suggesting we would all be better off if we followed it is, in my opinion, ludicrous. 

The best diet is the one that works for you; the one that makes you feel your healthiest and will allow you to live the longest.  And even though some of us need more fats or less carbs or can tolerate dairy better than others, the thing that has been consistently proven time and time again is that a healthy diet is the best diet, so start there. 

Eat clean, whole, fresh foods.  Avoid processed crap.  The rest will work itself out as you figure out what your body needs. 

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Questions:

What are your thoughts on diets?

What generally makes up your own personal diet?

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