Don’t eat dairy! Milk is good for you. Don’t eat carbs! Your body needs carbohydrates. Don’t eat fat! A high-fat diet is the new health trend… So much nutrition advice is a total contradiction. Which one is right?
Article by Bella Trost
There are healthy and not-so-healthy vegans. There are vegetarians in top shape and there are overweight ones. There are people who say a keto diet has changed their lives for good and there are those who tried the high fat – low carb diet and they hated it.
Whatever direction you’re considering, do your research on the topic before you jump in and think about why you want to try a certain diet! Read articles, books from different authors and try not to get caught up on one person’s opinion. Then mindfully experience the diet and its effects on your own body.
Let’s say you’re debating going vegetarian. Some people say you shouldn’t eat meat, some support the benefits of consuming meat with scientific research. If you want to cut meat from your diet, try it to see if it works for you but build your experiment up gradually. If your meals contain meat 3 times a day, suddenly switching to a vegetarian diet might be way too challenging. If the change is too drastic you might not be able to stick to the new regimen. Instead of putting yourself in a situation where it’s easy to fail (your body needs time to adopt new nutrition), schedule a couple of meat-free days and see how you like it. If you’re good, schedule more days like that. And if you’re still happy then cut meat completely. If it’s not for you, at least you tried and you know. Just experience what makes you feel good: what helps you feel less bloated, what makes you sleep well, what makes your stomach less acidic, what promotes weight loss, muscle gain or whatever your physical goal is, what makes your skin glow, etc.
If you cut certain foods from your diet by will (not for health reasons as suggested by a doctor), you set your own rules. Don’t forget there are many ways to achieve health and well-being and you have to find your own way.
And think about one more thing:
Vegans tend to be healthier than others. But why? Just because they don’t eat animal sourced foods or because of their overall lifestyle? Usually vegans pay great attention to their health in general – they exercise regularly, they avoid poor quality and processed foods, sugars, they don’t smoke, they try to create a less stressful life. Meanwhile those who eat everything in many cases they do many unhealthy things too – they drink, they don’t exercise, they smoke… health is not a priority in their lives. So simply cutting eggs from your diet, for example, is not necessarily the key to your health.
Regardless of the diet you choose, you will get healthier if you improve your lifestyle in general. You can try a low carb diet (because you read somewhere that that is the solution for looking good) but if you smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, you don’t exercise, and you eat poor quality food, you won’t get that beautiful, healthy, lean body that you see on Instagram.
Consider the full picture and analyze yourself – how much do you drink, do you smoke, do you sleep enough, do you exercise regularly, are you stressed? Also, it might be helpful to put into words exactly what you want to change in your life and why. Improving your diet is an important and great step to feeling better but diet alone cannot fix it all. It is a complex matter of working on your whole lifestyle.