There are so many options out there for the newest greatest way to eat. The most popular options at this very moment in time are Vegan, Keto, Paleo, HFLC, Raw Food, South Beach, Whole30 – what do we follow ? Which one will work for us? – how exhausting…. even for myself, a nutritionist.
What I can tell you for sure is that each very healthy nutritional plan will include whole, live, natural, good quality food. They will include lots of fresh fruit and veg and they will have many options that will not raise our blood sugar levels. They will also have an assortment of healthy fats, and healthy proteins and no garbage.
There are plenty of reasons why some of the nutritional plans out there will fail us but the number one reason you are unable to stick with your plan or your plan is just not working is because that plan is not the correct plan for you. Would you expect the Williams sisters and the Olsen twins to eat the same meal plan ? Then why do you think that a specific diet is right for you just because it worked for somebody who has a life that is very different from yours ?
I don’t believe that there is one perfect, without a doubt, single best diet for each and every person to follow now and forever. Some people are tall and thin and others are short and stocky. Some people eat meat every day and others don’t eat any meat at all. Some people have a never ending flow of money for food while others are on an extremely tight budget. There are people who eat only processed foods while others eat only natural, whole foods. Some people are devout followers of a specific type of diet while others have very little knowledge of dietary practices. Some people have loads of free time and others have no time at all.
Here’s a perfect example – Imagine if I said to a client… “look, I know the you have a very small amount of money to spend on food each month but I want you to sell you car or maybe one of your kids. Then you will be able to purchase 100% organic, natural, whole foods that you need to eat with my program – because that’s what you need to do to get healthy”.
Another example goes like this – Imagine if I told you … “animal foods? Sure, I get that you have ethical obligations but this is what you need to eat. It is how the cavemen ate and so you need to suck it up and eat a steak”.
Wouldn’t that be just a tad extreme and wouldn’t it be unfair to the people who need help with their nutrition goals but do not fit into my narrow plan for them ? If a specific dietary plans works for you personally, that’s just super and I am pleased that you have found something to reach your goals but for me to suggest that because it worked for you (and at one point in your life) that it will also work for the masses ? That’s not right.
So how is it that more than one diet can actually work if they are so different ? My answer is going to be: They are just not as different as you think that they are. They are actually more similar than they are different. When these nutritional plans are done correctly, they all are going to accomplish the exact same thing. They promote a more active lifestyle, they assist in eliminating nutrient deficiencies, they assist in controlling food intake and appetite, they focus on good quality food and they raise the nutrition awareness.
What all of this means is that the best nutritional plan to do is the one that works best for you. It is a plan that you can follow not only on your best day but also on your worst day. It needs to take into account your time availability, income level, food availability, stress level, work situation, life demands and family. This sort of nutrimental plan is not as clear cut as “eat like a caveman” or “don’t eat meat”. It is always going to be the approach that works for YOU in the long run.
About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.
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