There are dozens of ways to eat. Dozens of ways to label how you choose to nourish your body. Dozens of ways for people to try to be healthier and/or lose weight. Prepackaged food plans, counting points, counting calories, raw foods, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low carb, low-fat, low sugar, juicing, intermittent fasting. The list goes on!
It is too easy for people to get caught up in the hype of one diet or another. Remember Atkins? Or South Beach? The press these diets and their success stories got caused 1,000s of people to jump on the bandwagon. Some had success, some didn’t. Some enjoyed that way of eating and some were miserable.
I’ve found that in the blogging world it can be even easier. We read in depth about people who live one way or another. We admire these people. And they are amazing, smart, funny people sharing their story in an attempt to inspire and help others. But if you look you will find bloggers who support every possible style of eating out there. This is because no single way of eating works for everyone.
Trying different things can be the only way to figure out what is best for you. Just pay attention to how they affect you as a whole and make sure you are asking the right questions.
- How does it make you feel physically?
- Does it increase or decrease bloat and other digestive issues?
- Does it affect your bowel movements?
- How does it affect you mentally or emotionally?
- Does it stress you out or cause you to obsess about what you are eating?
- Does it interfere with your life or relationships in a negative way?
- Is it improving or hindering your sleep, energy levels, and athletic performance?
These questions and others can help you determine if a way of eating is right for you and your body. If you listen, your body will tell you what it wants and needs. The trick is that what your body needs may be different at different times.
Last year alone I tried vegetarianism, veganism, and paleo. Before that I had done calorie counting and Weight Watchers. Here is what I’ve found works for me.
I am happiest when I am not restricting food groups. I don’t want to count calories long term but doing it from time to time to gauge my intake compared to activity is a good touchstone for me. I want to eat more whole fresh foods, support local farms, eat grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat, and cook at home often. Most of all, I want to adjust as needed for my body and my life. I don’t want any labels right now.
I’m not telling you this to convince you to drop all the labels or to not try out different ways of eating. I’m simply telling you how I came to determine what works for me. All I urge you to do is listen to your body. There is no magic diet for health or weight loss, just like there is no magic pill or powder. You can lose weight with every method I mentioned above and more. Just make sure you aren’t following a crowd. Do what really works for YOU.
How many ways of eating have you tried? What have you learned? Share in the comments!