Here’s why you shouldn’t diet this year.
Guest post contributed by Companion Health, where you’ll find functional medicine combined with traditional medicine to help you heal your body from the inside out.
You’ve already tried Whole30. You’ve dabbled with keto, and you even went vegetarian for a year. But something is still not right. Maybe you’re still having a fight with the scale. Perhaps your clothes still aren’t feeling right. Or maybe you just don’t feel good.
Well guess what? I’m here to tell you that you’re right. You’re onto something! I’m going to debunk some of the myths that you’ve heard. But better yet, I want to send you on a path that’s realistic. Sustainable. One that can get you results. Let’s do it:
There is no one-size-fits-all
Yep, you read that right. But let that sink in for a minute. That means that just because you sign up and follow Whole30 it isn’t going to garner amazing results for you. It also means that following someone on Instagram and eating everything they make/tell you to eat is not a cure-all either.
We are all individuals. (Remember back in kindergarten when your teacher told you you are special? You are!!) No, all kidding aside – we are all wired our own unique way. So following a specific diet and expecting specific results may work for you – but it also may not. And it’s not your fault. It’s all about how our bodies are.
It’s not about calorie restriction
Been there, done that. And man, can I tell you it sucks. Seriously, calorie counting is for the birds. And trust me when I tell you that you’re gonna have to go with me on this – because honestly, eating real foods (ie no processed foods, no refined flours or sugars, and basically cooking as much as you can – boxed goods don’t count) is where the money’s at. Fill your plate with as many vegetables as you can. Eat food that’s straight from the earth and NOT from boxes or the frozen section, and you will be in a much better position than counting calories. And I’m pretty sure you’ll be happier, too.
It’s not about yes’s/no’s
Okay so before you think I’m contradicting myself, let me explain: yes, I’m saying that there shouldn’t be “yes foods” or “no foods” while I’m telling you no processed foods, etc. But what I mean is, don’t have 100% off limits foods. Deprivation is one of the biggest keys to failure. Sure we don’t want you eating cookies daily – but when Christmas rolled around this year, you’d better bet that I made cookies with my kiddos and I enjoyed them. Before, during and after making them, wink, wink. It’s about balance – it’s not about restriction.
The biggest takeaway I can give you is that it’s a lifestyle, it’s not a 1-month gig. If you want to diet 1-2 months before a trip, go for it. If you want to be your healthiest, you have to incorporate these things into your lifestyle. And you have to keep them up. Always.
- Focus on the foods on your plate
- Avoid processed foods, refined oils, sugars and flours
- Eat lots of plants
- Don’t overdo it, but remember: balance.
More than nutrition
ALL this said, sometimes it’s more than nutrition. You can be the cleanest eater but stress or lack of sleep will wreak havoc on your body. Hormone imbalance or an over- or underactive thyroid can make it difficult to get to where you want to be. And you may suffer from food sensitivities, too. If you have any of these issues, if you’ve tried sustainable lifestyle changes and you still struggle, perhaps it’s time to check in with a medical professional to see if there is an underlying cause.
Listen to your body. It will tell you exactly what is the right formula. Just for you. I’m rooting for you!
Oh, and before I leave you – whether you had a resolution, or are just ready to start eating and feeling better, you may want to check this out: Our 10 Days to Better Health will provide FREE daily emails with tips, information and support on improving your nutrition. You’ll receive daily emails starting on 2/1/21 and running through 2/10/21 – all you need to do is sign up!
Kiran Dodeja Smith is a local mom of 4 kids, food blogger, and a health coach. She works with clients at Companion Health, an Integrative Health Clinic that combines functional medicine with traditional medicine to help heal your body from the inside out.