High-protein diets. Low-fat diets. All-vegetable diets. No-carb diets. With all the focus on dieting, how do you figure out what's healthy and what isn't?
Lots of people feel pressured to lose weight and try different types of diets. But if you really need to lose weight, improving your eating habits and exercising will help you more than any diet.
What is the deal with diets?
The word diet has turn into a bit of dirty word. It now means what fad you are on, which method you are using to restrict or torture yourself, short term fix or simply messing with your head. I use to be a very slim and went through a phase in my life where I was completely obsessed with food. I thought about it every second of the day. I would literally dream about my ‘cheat meals’. It made it incredibly hard to focus on anything else in my life. It was a pretty crappy spot to be in and negatively changed my relationship with food.
Women talk about it all the time. What about this diet, my friends lost 20lbs on this, how about shakes… paleo, vegan, juice diets, gluten free, fat free, sugar free?? The list goes on and on. No wonder people feel confused. It has completely over complicated food and left people completely guilty an unsure about their food choices. These are my Five Key Simplified Food Philosophy’s to take the overwhelm out of diet/food/nutrition. They are not hard and fast rules, but I always come back to these core points. I lost over seven stone doing this, no tricks or fads.
‘If not dieting, then what?’ by Rick Kausman is an excellent book to wrap your head around mindful eating. A simple questions to ask yourself when you are eating is. ‘I can have it if I want it, but do I really feel like it?’. There is actually no right or wrong answer!
Mindful eating really challenges to listen to your body. What does you body want, how does your body react (positive or negative) to certain foods. Choose to eat with the intention of caring for your body, with the attention to the affects on your body.
What are your beliefs?
It is totally a fair question to take your beliefs and values into account when choosing how you nourish your body. Do you care for sustainability, eating local, vegetarian, organic, cheapest/budget friendly, religious considerations? This may change for you several times over your life time and shouldn’t be something you feel guilty about.
There is always new research coming through, so be wary of jumping down the rabbit hole of the latest super food taking Hollywood by storm. Don’t be ignorant to what you are putting in your body. What is really in for your food? Get some basic understanding of how your body works, how food works so you know how to care for your body better.
Keep it simple
Think fresh, unprocessed, unrefined, few ingredients and ingredient labels you can read. All makes sense right! If it isn’t food – don’t eat it! You know all those logical things your grandmother and earlier generations would have been teaching us. Eat the ‘rainbow’ (colourful range of food) and eat in season.
Don’t restrict yourself.
Weather it be full food groups or avoiding social situations because of the ‘temptation’ you may be presented with. It’s ok to indulge (just listen to your body, have you had enough, how do you feel afterwards?). Food is fuel but it is also a wonderful cultural and social ritual that should be enjoyed.
How do you stay in shape?