What Is the Right Diet For Me?
As a health coach, it’s exciting to see our culture make a positive shift in health and wellness. While it’s exciting, it can be confusing, too.
Many different types of diets have their spokespeople who offer claims about how the diet was “a miracle in their life,” or that it helped them lose the weight when other programs were unsuccessful. Confusion sets in when another person makes the exact opposite claims!
So which diet is right for you? It’s true that one person’s prescription could be another person’s poison. So finding the right diet is crucial, and with so many diets out there, these five tips can help:
- Examine different types of diets, and then try one. The most common diets focus on balanced nutrient intake, often referred to as the “standard American diet.” These offer meals and snacks with moderate carbs, protein and lower quantities of fat. You could try a diet higher in fats, where you eat fewer carbs and a moderate amount of proteins, these are often called “Paleo” or Mediterranean diets. There are also the vegetarian or vegan diets, which usually are higher in carbs, but low-fat with moderate protein included. Learn about them, then give it a test-run.
- Try more than one, and journal while you experiment. Use tools, like the great app, Myfitnesspal, that help you state your daily and weekly goals for carbs/fat/protein intake. Use the app to record the food you eat each day, so you can review your goals. This app is free, and it can really show you whether you’re eating the way you should, based on your diet and your goals.
- Journal about feelings. After you get hang of a new diet, start writing about how you feel. Focus on things you can measure, like your energy levels, your sleep quality and whether you feel full and satisfied. Track your cravings and write when you’re hungry. Tracking the days when you’re feeling vibrant along with the days you feel in a “brain fog” can help you make changes as you continue on the healthy weight journey.
- Try different approaches. Writing about your feelings will help you to see if you’re on the right trail. If you’re not, after honest effort, it may be time to make a change.
- Eat more nutrient-dense foods. No matter what diet you try, if you add plenty of dark colored vegetables, lots of fruit and plenty of filtered water, you’ll have more success. Make sure you focus on quality within the diet, too, such as high-quality fats and proteins in a Paleo diet. They are important. If you are following a higher carb approach, get plenty of complex carbohydrates, which can be difficult. We’re surrounded by processed carbohydrates, and those complex carbs are crucial, so do some research and practice honestly.
Regardless of your experiments, the most important part of any new food approach is the quality of the nutrients you put in your mouth. We know that food can be medicine, so consider not just the carbs, proteins and fats – those important macronutrients – but also the quality of each choice. It’s vital.
Remember, what works great for one person may not work for you, and when in doubt, ask your health care team or seek out a health coach to help you on your journey toward achieving your best self.