Fad diets come and go (hints the word “fad” right?).
From the Grapefruit diet and Slim-Fast, to the P90X protocol, Jenny Craig, South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, the Whole 30, 21 Day Sugar Detox, the Bulletproof Diet, low-carb, low-fat, portion control, various juice cleanses and everything in between, it’s no wonder that our society (and world) is obsessed with weight, weight loss and the ‘next big thing.’
In fact, according to a Time Magazine Health report earlier this year, almost half of the world thinks they’re overweight (statistics from an online survey by the consumer research group Nielsen of 30,000 people in 60 countries).
How to combat that?
Nutrition of course!
After all nutrition is approximately 80% of all your body composition results and health (the rest attributed to genetics, lifestyle and activity).
It’s a tale as old as time—dating back to even the 1800’s.
The thing is…if diets actually worked, then diets wouldn’t exist (there would be no need!).
Unfortunately, 30, 60, 90 days later, after cutting out grains…or denying the sugar…or subsisting off of chicken and broccoli…or trying to make frozen meals more appealing…the short-term diet is more or less forgtotten, and it’s only a matter of time before old habits creep back in, and we go back to looking for the next best thing (diet) when January 1st, 2017, 2018, 2019 rolls back around, OR bikini season arrives OR our 10-year high-school reunion sneaks up on us (and so on and so forth).
As we prepare to enter another hyper-focused dieting season (i.e. January), check out some of the most popular diets over the past two centuries (source: CNN).
1820: Lord Byron’s Vinegar & Water Diet (Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in water)
1925: Lucky Strike Cigarette’s campaign “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet” (this was obviously BEFORE we knew tobacco was harmful to our health)
1950’s: Opera singer Maria Callas’ 65 lbs. dramatic weight loss was attributed to the Tapeworm Diet (swallowing a parasite packed pill)
1963: Weight Watchers was founded by Jean Nidetch (an “overweight housewife obsessed with cookies”)
1970s: The Sleeping Beauty Diet involved sedation (rumored to have been tried by Elvis himself)
1977: Slim Fast hit shelves to replace breakfast and lunch
1978: A doctor (Herman Tarnower) published the “Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet.” Two years later, his girlfriend killed him (I wonder if she went crazy on the diet like many do?!)
1982: The birth of the fitness icon Jane Fonda in videos. Her motto? “No pain, no gain.”
1983: Jazzercise sparks the group fitness and aerobics movement—as more Americans sought to move it and lose it (the calories in, calories out approach).
1992: Dr. Atkin’s hit book shelves with his high-protein, low-carb diet plan (Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution)
1999: Victoria Beckham stunned fans and followers with her dramatic (overnight) weight loss (the “blink-it’s-gone” baby weight trend). Healthy? Maybe not…
2004: The “Biggest Loser” launched its first episode to curing and offering hope to an ever-growing obese and overweight world.
2006: Beyonce touts the “Master Cleanse” (hot water + lemon juice + maple syrup and cayenne pepper) for helping her drop 20+ pounds for “Dream Girls”
2012: Jessica Simpson sheds 60 pounds of baby-weight on Weight Watchers
…Just to name a few diet trends.
What about you? Ever tried any diet of any sort? Or adhered to a particular nutrition philosophy?
Trends aside, there’s hundreds, if not thousands, of varying food philosophies, rules, regimes, routines and programs out there to follow: often claiming, “This is the way to eat.”
From standard classics like Vegetarian, Vegan/Raw Foods, Paleo, Clean Eating, Diabetes and Heart Healthy to more fine-tuned specific protocols, such as: Autoimmune protocol; gluten-free; elimination-diet; GAPS diet; ketogenic; intermittent fasting; sugar-detox; SCD; Candida; Whole 30; higher-fat/lower carb; moderate carb, fat and protein; high protein diet; and more, choosing the nutrition protocol for YOU is more overwhelming than a trip down the paper goods aisle at Target (so many choices)!
Which diet is the “best” to follow—the one that works?
The answer: Not black and white. And, completely personalized.
The bigger question is: How does your food make you feel?
The thing about diets is that, with most, there is NOT a one-size-fits-all approach.
While each and every one of these diet and nutrition protocols listed have varying track records of “success” or favorable outcomes for many, the rules of feeding and nourishing your body are not as “by the book.”
For instance, a Paleo diet prescribes no grains, dairy, sugar, or beans. However, you may very well be an individual who can tolerate some foods in these families—beans in your chili (gasp!), some goat cheese in your omelet, or a sushi roll WITH rice (God forbid). BUT if you were to do such a thing…the horror! The guilt! The shame! (Are you really Paleo? Or a poser?).
Or, following an autoimmune protocol—perhaps you notice eggs prepared over easy really upset your stomach, but you can get away with the scrambled varieties no problems…or almonds are hands down, a no-go, but actually you do just fine with eating walnuts. Could you really do that though—eat such foods? I mean you need to stick to autoimmune protocol right?
Or one more: On a gluten-free diet, you assert anything that reads “gluten-free” on the label MUST be healthy, and get a bulk of your daily nutrition from foods in packages and boxes—touting the label ‘gluten-free’, while neglecting many foods with no packaging at all (read: greens and veggies).
“But it IS gluten-free”…sort of. Real food is really the most nutritious gluten-free food out there (and you may be missing out on some key nutrients).
As you can see, if and when we make following a certain diet our personal gospel, we can become a complete mess!—allowing rules to dictate our freedom with food (rather than our bodies, our guts, our intuition).
So, I ask you one more time: How does your food make you feel?
- Healthy and nourished?
REGARDLESS of what a label says, or a particular diet prescribes is the RIGHT way to eat, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
There can be a time and place to follow specific guidelines or protocols to establish a baseline of wellness or experiment with some elimination of some sort of common gut-irritants (grains, eggs, beans, nuts, nightshades) and no-duh-it’s-not-healthy-for-you foods (like sugar, alcohol and packaged/processed foods)…but when it comes to the ongoing, daily, nitty-gritty nutrition philosophy you follow…
Why not make your own diet based on your body? (instead of a rule book).
Take a good long, hard look at your own nutrition philosophy and reflect on what it is you want for 2016…to be stuck in the 1800’s with Lord Byron’s Vinegar and Water Diet (In other words: a part of this year’s fad, and another silly historical diet addition).
To break free from the diet mentality and eat in such a way that is sustainable for your own LIFE—and life abundantly?
I like the latter. (Find out how below)
If you do too, Thrive Life is for you: A customized process and experience to finding the nutrition, fitness and lifestyle blueprint that works best for your body and your goals today.
After an in-depth initial assessment and functional evaluation, you will receive a custom-designed Thrive Life Blueprint to meet you where you are at, and help you get to where you want to be—mind, body and soul.
Your blueprint may include a custom-designed nutrition therapy plan, remote coaching and fitness program, and/or ongoing lifestyle re-design sessions, addressing the needs and wants—be it recovery from an eating disorder, improving digestion, shedding the stubborn weight you’ve been holding onto, balancing hormones, figuring out your adrenals, conquering cravings, and more.
Connect with me to find out more.