Stop dieting, start eating

I’m on a diet… always

How many times someone told you ‘I need to go on a diet’?
The probability that it was more than once in your lifetime it huge, am I right? And you’ve been there too? That’s great! Why? The reason why it’s great is not the fact that you’ve gotten to this point of neglecting your health, but the point that you’ve realized the need for change. It’s all start with a thought after all.

Diana Polekhina | Unsplash

Paying attention to what we put on our plates is a first step to healthier life. Even small changes in our eating habits could result in reducing risk of catching infections and diseases, strengthening gut health and immune system which is now, more than ever, number one concern. Immunity is in a high demand in the era of the worldwide pandemic.

Let’s look into the word DIET a bit closer. What’s the first thing coming to your mind when you hear it? Weight loss? Restrictions? Negative connotations? Probably yes, and that’s very 20th century meaning. But there’s more to it. The overall way of eating, the food choices and habits. In conclusion we’re all dieting and we’re doing it constantly. All. The. Time. Some of us not even knowing about it. The key to success is to find the way we are doing it, that will suits us best and be maintanable for the whole lifetime.

Eat or pass

Searching for the one and only should be taken more serious than just swiping left and right on the Internet, picking the most promising picture painted out there. They say the best diet for us is the one that we’re able to maintain. No matter how cliché it sounds it just makes sense.

Losing weight and reaching your goals in a short span of time might be very tempting solution, but what happens next? Jo-jo effect? We gain weight again; most of people go back to the beginning still searching for a quick fix, others drop their towels and embrace the failure. That brings nothing but the harm – bad relationship with food, eating disorders, not mention other side effects like social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, even depression.

What’s the best choice then?
Let’s reach to the wisdom of others. U.S. News & World Report just released its top diets for 2022. The winner? (Drumroll, please.) Out of 40 diets, the Mediterranean diet is No. 1 for the fourth year in a row. Meanwhile, other popular diets, including the ketogenic diet (“keto”), modified keto, and the Dukan diet, landed toward the bottom of the Best Diets Overall list, at Nos. 37 (a tie), and 39, respectively.

By any means that shouldn’t make you go buy the lifetime supply of feta cheese, olive oil or chickpeas but it might be a good indicator of what to pay attention to.

Study shows that Mediterranean diet is winning in many categories namely Best Plant-Based Diets, Best Diabetes Diets, Best Heart-Healthy Diets (tied with the Ornish diet), Best Diets for Healthy Eating, and Easiest Diets to Follow. All above mentioned shows that there’s something that works about this particular diet. So what’s the solution then?

Food for thoughts

My solution might disappoint you but there’s no one solution for all. I can only highlight things that are worth to try.
Educating yourself in the subject would be one of the most important things that you can do. Completely free options out there are listening to podcasts about nutrition, healthy lifestyle or fitness, following specialist on social media or reading articles on the subject.
Remeber to take all the information you are getting with a pinch of salt. There will be plenty of confusing things, but give yourself time and don’t panic.

Eiliv Sonas Aceron | Unsplash

If you really want to expand your knowledge about diets and have some spare cash hire a nutritionist or sign up for courses and seminars. These options are a bit more expensive but the right investment pays off in a long run. Working with dietitian helps you to understand how your body works, balance your meals, understand calories, your energy needs and the basics of nutrition, therefore equips you with tools useful after your contact or plan expires.

Try out things that you think will work for you. As with everything be mindful and don’t go all in. You’ve heard that intermittent fasting is amazing and you want to try it? Great! Start with short fasting period. Does it feel good? Keep going. If not then don’t starve yourself for sake of completing the 16hrs window. Do what serves you. Think about adding foods to your diet. Maybe instead of telling yourself that you won’t eat chocolate any more in your life say: ” I’ll eat one new fruit a day”. You may discover your new favorite snack. By that you might decrease the amount of chocolate you’d normally eat.

Forget about labels

Don’t demonize foods! Forget about good or bad, healthy and unhealthy, cheat meal and clean eating. All of these labels have very harmful to our psychology. Things that are forbidden makes them more wanted. Eating things that are ‘bad’ or not sticking to the ‘healthy’ diet feels like a failure and creates a feeling of guilt.
The truth is that eating is the one thing that we all do, we cannot go without it. The rules about it shouldn’t be too strict. We need to enjoy it as well. Finding the perfect balance isn’t easy, I’m afraid probably impossible, so we should quit the pursuit of perfection, stop dieting and start eating.

Camila Novak

Everyday Health | U.S. News & World Report Reveals Best and Worst Diets of 2022

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