There is no "perfect" way of eating. It doesn't exist. There are no special macro ratios that works for everyone. There is no magic wand. No magic pill. No magic formula. There is not even one proven, science driven, "perfect" diet that everyone should follow.
Do you know why?
Because we are all different. We are all unique. My needs are different from your needs. My desires are different from your desires. What works for me, might not work for you.
Most people I know see health as something that is black and white. They are either all in or all out. A goal to reach - a finish line...not a lifestyle. They like to have fast results, restrictions and specific rules all laid out for them. They are always trying the newest fad diet - Keto Diet, Paleo Diet, Military Diet, Whole30, Cabbage Soup Diet, Juice Cleanse Diet, Grapefruit Diet, HCG Diet, Very Low Calorie Diets, Intermittent Fasting, no meat, all the meat, absolutely no sugar, etc. (unfortunately the list goes on and on).
I'm not saying all of these diets are horrible or anything (some might be more than others though), but when considering doing any of these, I want you to put a lot of thought and research into them first. While these diets might sound promising, the first thing you need to ask yourself is - is this too good to be true? If the answer is yes, it probably is. The second question should be - can I eat this way for the rest of my life? If the answer is no, move on. (The more food groups or types of foods you have to cut, the less healthy or sustainable the diet probably is). There might be times when diets are medically necessary, so again, I am not saying to never diet, I am just saying for the average person - there is a better way.
Have you ever: said you will never touch bread again, no sugar, absolutely no processed foods, cut food groups, no eating between these hours, I can't eat this, can't eat that, etc.? If these aren't things you can maintain for the rest of your life, you might see some results in the beginning, break because you can't keep these ways of eating up for life, binge on the foods you "couldn't" have, feel bad about yourself and then start the process all over again. This yo-yo dieting leads you to where you started off at or even worse.
Now, I am not saying that you shouldn't ever follow any direction. If you want to live healthier, lose some weight, improve your blood work, etc., you do need a plan. And to follow a plan there generally are some guidelines to follow to get there. BUT the main difference is that these are guidelines, not hard-set rules that will make you feel guilty if you don't follow them exactly as they are laid out.
Most people would agree that eating whole foods is healthier than processed foods and that you should include plenty of fresh produce in your diet and stay away from consuming too much salt and sugar. Other than that, it is mainly up to your preferences and what works best for you - mentally, physically and socially/culturally. The goal is to do your best each day, knowing that there is not one perfect answer and to make sure you are creating well-balanced and sustainable behaviors - not a "quick fix".
It's a process that takes time. You might find that you need more fat and protein to stay full and satisfied for longer, or maybe you are a runner and require more carbs to keep you going, you might like getting your lean protein from healthy meat and fish options or maybe it is from vegan sources. Follow the guidelines that work for you in your life to help you reach your goals that will last a lifetime.
If you are tired of dieting and following strict rules, here are some general guidelines to start with. Play around with what works for you by starting with one small change, not a huge overhaul.
Healthy Eating Guidelines
These are just some guidelines you can start with. Find what works best for you to help you thrive. Stop letting food control your life with rigid diet rules and restrictions and start listening to your body. If you have been dieting for years, you might have ignored your hunger cues for so long that you will need a little help in the beginning sorting everything out, figuring out when you need to (or should) eat, and how much. It is okay to like food and actually enjoy eating.
If you need a little help with your own guidelines and finding your balance, please contact me today!
Interested in this topic? You might enjoy these posts:
5 Reasons Why Diets Don't Work - Lose the diet mindset and focus on a healthy lifestyle
No Time For Your Health? - Make your health a priority
Living Life Balanced - Learn about the 9 dimensions of wellness and that living a balanced life doesn't mean you have to be perfect
Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life - How do you become the person you believe that you can be?
Stop Your War with Food - Stop letting food control you; eat good foods to fuel and nourish your body and enjoy life
Why You Should Focus on Behavior Change vs. Weight Loss - Consistency is key
I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
Looking for something specific? Everything can be found by category under the "Life" and "Recipes" sections on my website or you can search below.