Intermittent fasting, carnivore, keto, Mediterranean, paleo, Atkins, blood type, and the list goes on. How will you ever choose? My suggestion: don’t. There’s no single best way to eat. Any professional who states or suggests there is is full of shit, and I wouldn’t advise working with them. Nuance matters.
Numerous factors impact what we eat. Genetics, location, economic status, culture, preferences, and health conditions are just a few. Our culture does a terrible job of acknowledging (aka ignoring) this reality.
So, what’s the best way to eat? It depends on you! It’s completely individualized, but here are a few things to consider.
1 - Food you can access and afford
Access to adequate food is a human right. If this is true, why isn’t there equal access to nourishing foods for everyone in the United States? Because racist people, systems, and capitalism intentionally set things up this way. Instead of tearing down and recreating health-promoting systems, we shame individuals and promote personal responsibility in order to keep power and wealth with the historical majority - white men and women.
2 - Food you enjoy
Do you know what foods you like? Many struggle to answer this question because they spend decades focusing on what they “should” eat. What they like hasn’t been a factor in the decision-making process. If this is you, going forward, try to spend some time thinking about and trying foods you might enjoy.
3 - Food that make you feel good
I mean this both physically, mentally, and emotionally. What foods make you feel satisfied and energized to do things you enjoy? I want to acknowledge that it’s okay for there to be emotions around food. Diet culture tries to eliminate emotions and puts the focus on food as a weight loss strategy, but emotions and food are normal. We may feel joy when we share a meal with people we love. We may celebrate with food. We may grieve with food. That’s beautiful, and we shouldn’t get rid of that.
4 - Food that meets your needs
Individual needs you might consider are chronic health conditions, allergies, preferences, amount of time you have in a day, health goals, etc.
5 - A pattern you can sustain
Most popular diets are not sustainable and it’s not due to lack of willpower. It’s because they usually involve restricting calories, foods, or entire food groups. Restriction may lead to feelings of deprivation, then obsession, then on to giving up and/or binging, ending in shame, and then the cycle repeats itself. That’s why completely overhauling how you eat starting some random Monday morning is not your best move.
Ideally, you’re looking to create an eating pattern that does not require extreme measures or willpower on your part and works for YOU.
I’m not suggesting this is easy. It’s difficult as we live in the shitstorm of diet and wellness culture. Generally, the first step towards finding something sustainable is to explore how diet culture impacts your relationship with food and your body. That’s why I’m here.
I provide virtual nutrition coaching to help women develop a better relationship with food and their body. If you're wanting to improve this relationship in your life, take a look at my website here. You can also book at 15-minute discovery call to see if we're a good fit together.
Photo by Brooke Lark from Unsplash.com
This blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of health conditions, or a client/provider relationship. Always consult with your healthcare provider.