The "Best" Diet
By, Brian Tully of Better Together Fitness
The weather is finally turning, the COVID vaccine is rolling out and numbers are declining. We are all longing for those days of being able to get out to enjoy the weather and socialize with friends again. But as we start thinking about those trips to the beach or the pool, we are reminded of our pandemic gluttony we have become accustomed to in these past months. Our next thought is, “YIKES, I don’t want everyone to see all this hibernation weight I put on. I need a diet that will get me results fast.” We head to Google to find the latest and greatest diet. Unfortunately, your search returns numerous options. Where do you begin? Which is the best?
Maybe you ask a friend or family member who has recently lost weight. You will certainly hear responses like, “You should try Keto, my husband and I both lost so much weight doing it.” Or “Cut out all sugars, that’s the key.” Or “Plant-based has made me feel amazing, and think of all the animals you will save.”
Most likely their suggestion is based on personal experience. Which is great for them, but probably not great for you. The problem is this approach doesn’t take into account the differences in peoples’ goals, lifestyle, preferences, body type, etc. Honestly, with so many differences, how can anyone expect there to be a one best diet?
Personally, I don’t believe in a one best diet, and I would encourage you to do the same. The best approach is a combination of many theoretical diets out there. It is better to focus on fundamental dietary principles that can be universally applied. Focusing on food quality, personal nutritional deficiencies and needs, and controlling quantity of food intake, will provide a better long-term approach.
So where to start then? Most people focus on what to eat when trying to get in better shape; but research shows that this is less important than paying attention to how you eat. Before changing the menu, focus on eating slowly and mindfully.
Eating Slowly and Mindfully helps to:
-Eat less without feeling deprived
-Look and feel better (due to improved digestion)
-Learn the feeling of actually being Hungry or Full
-Stop the binge eating
Want to give this Slow and Mindful way of eating a try? Follow these steps:
1. Sit at a table, with no other distractions. Just you and the food. 2. Look at what you’re about to eat. Notice what you’ve chosen. 3. Take a bite of food. Chew slowly. Notice the scent, taste, texture, and temperature. 4. Put your utensils down. Pause. 5. Take a few deep, slow breaths. Consciously relax your body. 6. Check in: What, if anything, do you sense physically or emotionally? What are you thinking? 7. Take another bite of food. Again, notice the food’s characteristics. 8. Put your utensils down again. Again, take a few deep, slow breaths and relax. 9. Check in again. Notice any physical sensations, emotions, or thoughts that come up. Repeat steps 7 to 9 until your body tells you it’s time to stop.
Once you feel like you have nailed this eating habit, you can then focus on what to eat and find the best eating style for you. Notice I didn’t use the word “diet” there.
At the end of the day, your best approach will be to look at your goals, needs, and preferences; not some random set of rules from the latest diet craze. The Best Diet for you is the one that meets your nutritional needs, doesn’t leave you feeling deprived, and you can actually stick to long term.
If you have any questions or other thoughts to share, I would love to hear from you!