Which Diet Is Right For You?
In today’s society, we are bombarded with the newest, quickest and ‘healthiest’ diet that claims to give us the body and the wellbeing that we desire. Unfortunately, the diet dogmas can leave you with a myriad of problems and actually cause you to be sick! Not the outcome you were hoping for I bet.
I have tried many diets in the past...You name it, I’ve most likely tried it for a short or long period of time. It was so easy to get caught up in the ‘new best thing’ when they claim to give results within 24 hours and give you the beautiful skinny body that you think you desire, but little did I know that I was doing my body more harm than good. I was so focussed on what I wanted to achieve, that I was essentially disconnected from my body. I purely fed my body what I was told I should eat by external sources, rather than listening to what I actually needed. Many years ago, this mindless eating was the reason I had excess kg’s to begin with, and not once was I taught while following these diets to listen to my body and fuel it according to my individual needs.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer that everything has it’s purpose and I have heard beautiful weight loss stories from following some diets. Some people have truly turned their lives around by following a strict set of guidelines and this can essentially save lives. However, these diets do not teach anyone how to connect with their inner voice for guidance on what they really need. We are brought up in a world where we are given food to eat but rarely (if ever) does anyone ask children, how did you feel after eating that? Do you feel like this or that?
I’m sure if you’re reading this, you have most likely tried a diet or many in the past and have probably experienced the fact that they are not a sustainable way of eating for the rest of your life. They either deprive you of foods and nutrients that you need or create more stress in your mind and consequently in your body, for the difficulty they entail. You may experience a quick drop on the scales and then once it all becomes too hard, the vicious yo-yo diet begins.
So what is the alternative to the next fad diet and which diet is right for me?
I choose the no-diet diet to ultimately nourish my mind and body.
There are many sensible and credible approaches to nourishing your mind and your body, however there is no one approach that ultimately trumps the rest. Every single person has a unique individual metabolic structure and health history, therefore we cannot truly say that one approach is best for someone, without first assessing their health history and current health status.
I hear you saying, so how do I know what I should eat if I want to lose weight? What do I need to eat to feel better and look my best?
The key is mindful and intuitive eating, acknowledging that you already have the answers deep inside of you. Mindful and intuitive eating is not about weight loss, however eating with this purpose and awareness can result in weight loss, rather than continuing the mindless eating pattern. The principal of this way of eating if what we have known for thousands of years and what our ancestors did every day. They would feel their food, smell it and prepare it with love. They would eat in peace and quiet and chew their food to support their digestive system and listen to when they were full.
Listen and learn what your body needs, sit quietly and feed it accordingly.
It is important to listen to the signals of your body. The hunger signals, satiety signals and have complete awareness of your inner guidance. Intuitive eating means listening to your gut instinct and choosing your meals accordingly. This will help you become aware of what food your body desires. What does it not need or need more of? Ask yourself do I really need this same meal again today? Will this food give me strength and clarity for the day? Is it giving me variety and fuelling my senses? Will I gain energy from this meal? Does this meal excite meal? Intuitive eating can help you identify is it food that I truly need or am I thirsty? Perhaps you are feeling stressed and are looking to food as a way of comfort. It is much easier to identify emotional eating when we are in tune with our body and ask it what it really needs.
Your body knows the answer, you just have to practice listening to, and trust what it is telling you.
Mindful eating is just as important as intuitive eating. In the rush of today, some eat on the run or while at the computer, rather than actually paying attention to what the food smells like, what it feels like in your mouth, the texture and the taste. Mindless eating is a monumental reason why so many people today suffer from digestive issues and weight gain. You must love yourself enough to eat consciously, to feed your body the life-giving nutrition that it ultimately desires for a long healthy and happy life.
Mindful eating can improve both physical and mental health. It requires you to eat slowly, to eat in a relaxed state and chew your food (27 times or more). The more aware you are of what you are putting in your mouth, the more gratitude you will develop for your food, and your body and mind will respond in a positive way. When you eat mindfully, you are less likely to over-eat, as you become aware of the satiety signal and feel in control of your choices.
Notice any signs of imbalance or stress after eating certain foods. How do you feel after eating each meal and which gives you a sense of clarity and vitality? Perhaps you feel really tired and need a sleep, or you may experience a clear mind. Being self-aware like this will help you to strengthen your mind-body connection, which in turn strengthens your intuition and your ability to be in the present moment – to be mindful.
So, I ask you to join me now on the no-diet diet!
Ultimately, the key to gaining optimal energy and vitality from nutrition is to:
- Unleash from the diet dogma
- Eat fresh wholefoods in every colour (local or organic if possible)
- Listen to how hungry you truly are
- Notice how much food your body needs
- What foods are you drawn to and which colours
- Smell, taste and touch your food
- Love yourself enough to eat consciously
- Eat slowly and chew
- Sit in a quiet environment while eating
- Be mindful of how your body responds to each meal
- Eat to nourish your body and mind, rather than eat to lose weight
- Develop a deep sense of gratitude for each meal
- Enjoy the process
- Love yourself and let go of any judgement
These will be the foundations for achieving sustainable healthy eating and to rid the diet dogma for life. Listen to your inner-guidance and remain present in the moment. It will truly transform your relationship with food and the relationship you have with yourself.
Yours in health,