How To Find The Right Diet For You
The world of nutrition is literally flooded with competing marketing that push contradictory information. If you were to google the words “best diet” and read through the top results, you would be gobsmacked at the inconsistent information (not to mention the marketing campaigns that try to pull you in their direction with promises of bikini bodies or a quick fix pill that offers overnight weight loss).
Eat dairy, don’t eat dairy.
Use butter. Don’t eat butter.
Don’t eat meat, don’t be a vegetarian.
Go low fat, eat fat.
So what information do you follow and where do you draw the line in the sand so you can finally find your path to good health?
Here’s my take on the world of nutrition and how to find true health…
Firstly if you are looking for a new diet or a new path to health, or a even new philosophy to healthy living, then its because you know that something isn’t working for you. Perhaps its your energy levels. Maybe its a recurring symptom such as headaches or a skin rash. Or maybe you aren’t a weight that you think is ideal for you.
Whatever the reason, you aren’t satisfied with where you are right NOW.
In my very first consult with clients as part of the 12 week online program, I ask them if they could change one thing right now about their health, their body or their entire life, what would it be?
And I know what you’re thinking… you think you know the answer.
But you’re wrong. Weight loss may be one of the reasons that people strive for better health and it can certainly make people unhappy, but it’s rarely the key driver in why someone wants more for themselves.
The top four responses I hear from clients…
I want to be happy.
I want more energy.
I want to be a good role model for my kids.
I want to get on top of my [stress / depression / autoimmune condition / IBS / enter condition here].
Now of course if you overhaul your health and you heal your gut, you gain a basic understanding of nutrition and address underlying conditions, you will shed weight. That much we know. So its a good priority list and generally shows that someone is slightly more advanced in their life in comparison to a teenager who simply wants to get a thigh gap.
So how do you find the best diet or the best path to health for you?
Here’s my 5 tips…
1. Ask Yourself What You Really Want
Ask yourself – what is it that you are really searching for? What you really want deep down. If you want to get a six pack, that might steer you in a different path than if you want to learn how to manage depression and reach true happiness for example. If you want to compete in a bikini modelling competition in 8 weeks, that will be a different program than if you want to lose weight for life.
Whatever you want, write it down. Write the the top three health concerns you have right now and what it would mean to you to no longer have that concern in your life.
What you really want, may steer you in a different direction than you first thought and the emotion you have behind it, the reason for your want to change will fuel your way forward.
2. Visualise Your Ideal
When we set out on a health journey, fitness program or diet, we often jump in with two feet and don’t really know where we are going. We know we want to improve but our end goal might be quite general or blurred.
Sit down, take a moment and visualise your future, your ideal you. What do you look like? What are you doing? What are you wearing? Are you happy? What’s different? Are you sleeping? Do you have energy? Are you fit? Is your hair shiny and your skin glowing?
Having a positive target in mind that you visualise every morning will help you to get through the times that test your willpower. The power of the mind and positive thinking should never be underestimated.
3. Set A Goal
How can you know if your program, diet or health journey is successful if you never had an end goal? That is, how do you know if you reach your destination if you never had a destination in mind? Its like driving Miss Daisy around in circles.
Have a goal in mind and be specific. Write at least three goals that you want to achieve and make them measurable. Such as ‘I want to reduce my bloating to a 2 out of 10 frequency/severity instead of 9 out of 10 in 12 weeks”. Or “I want to lose 2cm on my legs in 12 weeks”.
4. Shop Around & Try It On
Try out a health program or diet for 3 months and see how it makes you feel.
You shouldn’t read one article in WHO magazine and decide that this is your way of life and adopt it forever more. You should read, and read more. And then, experiment.
Try it on like you are shopping for a new pair of jeans. Shop around. Don’t buy the first pair. Ask for advice. And then keep trying pairs on until you find a pair that fit perfectly, that make you feel fantastic and that you know without a doubt is right for you.
And after a year, reassess. Your body and your health status can change so what worked for you a year ago, may not work now.
5. Don’t believe the hype
Sometimes we adopt a diet because a certain celebrity told us to, or because someone in a white coat with a stethoscope told us so. Unfortunately a white coat does not guarantee knowledge and it doesn’t mean they aren’t being misled themselves. Its important to remember that no one holds all of the answers.
Sadly, science can be blinded by greed and many scientific studies skewed by big companies, with big money. Remember, people and science and opinions can be bought.
Take all health advice with a pinch of salt until you have tried it out and the proof is in the pudding – how you feel, how you look and how radiate with energy.
6. No More Diets
I need to get something off my chest. I HATE the word diet. I think DIET is such a limiting and negative word and most people think of it as ‘starving oneself to lose weight’.
It also implies a program of food and a ‘fad’ or ‘phase’ of eating that has an end point.
The oxford dictionary’s definition is as follows: “A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reason”
Restriction. What a terrible word. Restriction makes me think of suffering. Who wants to follow a ‘diet’ and restrict themselves causing suffering? Not me!
These methods of getting healthy or reaching a goal always end. A good, solid health journey that will impact you for life, won’t end. It will inspire you, educate you and flip your entire world upside down so that you never have to diet again.
So What Is The GRL Way?
Firstly, let me make it very clear that I don’t diet and I don’t cling to labels.
I eat. I live. I thrive. I make choices in my life that ensure that I thrive. Its more a philosophy to life.
It’s actually quite simple. Get as close to eating REAL foods as possible.
Today our idea of what food is, has changed dramatically. If you are lucky enough to still have your Grandma in your life, then go and ask her what she ate across an average day when she was a kid. It certainly wasn’t a packet of 2 minute noodles cooked in the microwave along side a can of energy drink.
To me none of that is food. It’s just convenience.
I believe in making choices to ensure the body can thrive and that means moderate protein, a high intake of vegetables. eating full fat and by default, due to cutting out the processed foods – a diet low in carbohydrates but with great diversity. Most importantly, I ensure I eliminate all food sensitivities.
And it isn’t just about what you eat. It’s about how you live. Hence why we don’t use the “diet” word. It’s a philosophy, a framework, a guide and it extends beyond just food.
Most importantly, its about healing your body from the inside. This is crucial. Choosing foods and a lifestyle that will help you to dampen inflammation in the body, that helps your gut to heal whilst consuming foods that will provide you (and your gut bugs) with the nutrients you need to thrive.
Movement is a huge part of good health with 30 minutes a day at minimum vital for good heart health and detoxification. I am an advocate of yoga, Ido Portals movement ideals and CrossFit. But generally its just about movement. Less sitting, more movement.
And beyond that, its about happiness, self value and love. Spending time with loved ones, communicating openly and seeing the worth that you have as an individual. Seeing that you are worth the time to heal, the time to make a healthy meal and the time to have your own moment each day to just be present and breathe.
Do you make time for you? Whats your health philosophy? Do you have one?
If you want to know more about the GRL way of life, or you want a hand in tailoring your health goals, register your interest HERE for the next 12 week program (starts Sept 21st!)