A Perfect Diet?

I started the day browsing a few blogs this morning, when I came across a few articles attempting to put a label on the “perfect diet”. It got me thinking to my past and how I was on a true quest to find that “perfect diet” that would automatically make me into a happy person (false, a diet will not help you become happy).

There is a certain trap many of us fall into when eating healthy. No, I’m not talking about the dreaded comparison trap. I’m talking about a different trap, the diet trap. It’s when we start to label our food as “good or bad”.

There are so many different “rules” for the healthiest way to eat that we see everywhere. We hear them from all different resources as well, and when there is “scientific evidence” to back it up, it’s easy to fall into that trap.

I’m pretty sure we could all name many of the different “diet traps” out there. low carb diets, don’t eat after 7 PM, high protein diets, no carbs after noon, low fat diets, food combining diets. I could go on and on about the different diet types, and the pros and cons of each one.

There are numerous varieties of food I have neglected because of beliefs I adopted into my lifestyle. While recovering from my eating disorder, I developed these beliefs about certain food items and would insist there is not way in hell I will ever eat x food. There are certain diets that eliminate an entire food group because they “make you gain weight or are unhealthy”.

It scares me how many young woman and men fall across these diet types and become consumed by them, follow their rules and never deviate from them. In return they feel guilt, frustration, depression, and negative thoughts. Restriction becomes the norm and it is so easy to develop an unhealthy relationship with your food. This is certainly true for me and what I have experienced. Even now I still struggle with the “diet trap”.

When we get involved in such restrictive behaviour with our eating habits, it may start out with us thinking we have control over what we are eating; it turns out that eating now controls us. It controls the way we behave, our thoughts, and even our self talk.

When we restrict our diet and eliminate an entire food group, it is obvious our bodies will lose weight simply because we have removed a food group from our diet. If we begin to eat this again, our bodies will gain the weight back and that can cause a lot of stress within people.

Eating should be the most natural thing to us, but instead it becomes quite complicated.we make it quite complicated. There is so much conflict over what is “right and wrong” in what we “should” consume. However, we are all different. We all vary in our lifestyles. We differ in genetics, size, fitness, food likes and dislikes and that’s the way it is meant to be. Doesn’t it then make sense that we all require a different diet?

Restricting calories seems like an easy way to lose weight, but its not that healthiest. When we under nourish our bodies too much our bodies will fight back and leave us feeling stress, anxiety, fatigue, muscle weakness, and other negative consequences.

So, what can we do to undo this unhealthy “diet trap” mindset? Start developing new beliefs. Change your mindset. Give into the control and start to unlock negative beliefs by digging into them, understanding where they came from.

Some people thrive off lots of carbs, while others feel that protein works what is best for them. Its astonishing how many people are searching for that “perfect” diet and can’t accept the fact that no one can answer this question for them. No trainer, nutritionist, or therapist. Its your body that will tell you what is right. You may need to go through many trial and error periods, but if you rely on your body you will find the answer.

Start respecting your body. Enjoy the food you consume, it is nourishing your every cell, providing you energy for the day. Feel beautiful and fit. No matter what size you are. No matter what your fitness goals are, or how far you have to go in your journey. Be present, and realize you are a great person as you are now without “needing” to lose or gain weight”.

Let go and live a balanced lifestyle. Listen to your body and not what other people tell you to eat or not eat. Does your body need more rest, carbs, protein, etc? Once we start listening to our bodies and turn around the negative beliefs we have about certain foods, our minset will change with it and getting past the diet trap will follow. You won’t need to compare your food choices with others because you will know what works for you.

Now that I’ve been listening more to my body, instead of feeding it with minimal calories, intense exercise every day, and never giving it rest days, I’m finally starting to realize what worls for me! I’m clearly not there yet, but it is becoming more apparent each day. Whatever your lifestyle choices are, just make sure you are doing what is right for your body and not what is right for someone else’s. There is a correct way for you to eat…it’s just a matter of you finding it.

Have you been able to find what lifestyle choices best suit your body?

Do you believe that there is one diet for everyone or that we are all different?

About Lisa

Comments

  1. Great post! So true there is no perfect diet and the quest to find one will fail. I have found different things have worked for me at different times. And I still go through phases where I struggle with it all. There are so many people with food issues and disordered eating. And companies ready to exploit that and market their fad.

  2. Awesome post as usual, Lisa! :D I personally don’t think eliminating ANY food group is necessary. I know there are tons of different diets out there and hey, some work for some people. However, I like variety in my food and believe in everything. I also believe in some good wine and chocolate ;)

    • Yah, I hate the though of eliminating any food group. It just seems unnecessary, and unbalanced I guess. I’m a big believer in wine:)

  3. “Let go of control and begin to trust your body. You may need to go through many trials and errors, but if you learn to listen to your body it will tell you what you need. Start to respect the body for the amazing machine it is. Enjoy the food you consume; it is nourishing every cell and providing you with energy for the day, no matter what your fitness goals are or how far you have to go in your journey.” <–That paragraph, right there, says it ALL. You hit the nail on the ehad girl– life is a journey and it's all about balance and finding what works for YOU! :D

  4. Great post Lisa!!! This is something I struggle with so much because after years upon years of trying every diet out there I often find myself stuck searching for the next great diet! And truth be told none of them actually work! It is frustrating and challenging to put good and bad labels on food when in fact eating is not as black and white as having good and bad foods! I am slowly trying to get better about this!

    • I definitely find myself sometimes wondering if I should do certain diet trends because others are, but I just need to refocus and remind myself that those are trends and I probably won’t thrive long term with those things. They are just not what work for me. I’m glad you are getting better about it!

  5. Great post hunnie! I honestly don’t believe in the “perfect diet”. I think what works for you, may not for work another.. and that’s okay. When I was younger I would try n follow whatever diet my friends would follow, and couldn’t ever see why it didn’t work for me. Our bodies are different, and until I realized that.. i was going no where.

    • Exactly. I don’t believe a perfect diet exists. Just do what works for you and no one else. I’m glad you realized what works for you!

  6. My down fall was def falling into other people’s idea of healthy rather than what my body needed. We all need to learn what our body needs!

  7. We’re all different when it comes to food. Instead of eating to be thin, I eat to feel good. I notice if I eat certain foods I might get a bad pimple, a stomach ache or a headache. Then I notice maybe I should avoid that. And I might crave it one day and try it again and notice I can eat it once in a while and feel fine. Other times If I am lacking nutrients I’ll feel tired or my skin will get dry so I add more carbs or fat or whatever back in. It’s good to base food on how your body reacts to it.

    • Definitely! Its important to eat for health and not to be thin.
      I have a hard time realizing what my body is asking for, but I’m sure it comes in time!

  8. Well said, Lisa! You completely hit the nail on the head. I definitely don’t think that there’s one perfect diet for everyone. We’re all so different, so we really can’t expect the same thing to work for everyone. I spent years trying out different diets, hoping to find the “perfect” one, and the only thing I’ve found after all this time is that one perfect diet doesn’t exist… A perfect diet is the kind that makes you feel your healthiest, and that’s different for everyone.

    • So true. I too spent so much time trying other peoples diets, trying to make them work for me when I would just feel completely awful from them. I’m still figuring out what works best, but I’ve learnt its a long process.

  9. Awesome post Lisa!

    I definitely think that different diet work for different people. Some people feel best on a vegan diet, I’ve been finding that my body reacts well to (animal) protein. It depends on your activity levels too – runners need more carbs than a lifter does, and lifters need more protein. We can’t expect that what works for one person will work just as well for the other!

    • Its crazy how we can totally differ from diets effecting us! A lot of my friends are vegan, but my body just doesn’t thrive well that way. We just need to try and listen to our bodies to the best we can.

  10. *amazing* post, Lisa! I have spent far too much time worrying about what is the ‘right’ diet – loading up on superfoods, avoiding this, eating a ton of that, etc. There is no way that there is one diet that works for everyone, because no two people have the same body chemistry and habits! That is one downside to all this media coverage about eating and diet is that so many articles are presented as absolute truth for every person ever, which is just plain misleading.
    Good luck in working out what works for you – it takes times, but when you do, it’s so worth it – you’ll feel amazing <3.

    • Thanks so much Rachel! Glad you enjoyed it!
      I don’t even want to know the hours/days I’ve spent out there searching for the “perfect” diet. And with all this focus on paleo I found myself trying to convince myself I needed to do that. But in all honesty, it made me miserable and craving carbs like crazy. Which just shows we are all different people and its definitely misleading!
      Your comment is spot on!

  11. Lisa! I miss your face : )

    I’ve been absolutely bonkers with work lately.

    I think that everyone is different and each person needs to find out what works for their lifestyle and individual bodies

    xoxo

    Jocelyn

  12. Great points Lisa! I think it’s really important not to label or demonize foods. It seems to be a bit of an obsession in North America to blame certain foods for all of our problems. Really, it can be an overall lifestyle that causes health problems, especially mental/physical problems which aren’t really addressed. Needless to say I feel healthiest when I embrace all food, my body and my cravings. I still find it strange to be able to indulge in anything I want with little guilt, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come! Life is delicious and we must enjoy it :)

    • Oh yes, I like what you said about it being important to not demonize or label foods! So true. And definitely an obsession in North America! I hope to one day have the same appreciation for food and my body as you do. Your journey is amazing!

  13. AMEN SISTA! I could not agree more with everything you wrote. As I sit here and try to increase my calories and it’s hard, and I see myself eating so much more than others, it’s hard not to compare. But I constantly remind myself that EVERYONE is different.. half the people I work with are not teaching 4-5 zumba classes per week. You totally just inspried me to write a post about this this week! Keep workin at it it girl! spot on.

    • Ah thank you Eva! I know we’re going through the same thing right now!
      Its totally hard, especially seeing other peoples tiny meals, but hey we’re increasing our metabolisms so we can eat more. That should be a blessing in itself:)
      xox

  14. You never fail to get my thinking cap on:), you beautifully , articulate many profound a topic.
    I totally think everyone should follow their OWN dietary path. Everyone is far too different to approach a one-diet-fits-all attitude.
    Same goes for exercise. It is blatently obvious( especcially in blogworld), that some people can handle A LOT more exercise than others. It can be difficult & confusing finding out what works best ourselves( annoyingly).

    I’m sure if we were all able to truly listen to our bodies, as well as embracing our individuality, we’d be all set:).
    Xxx

    • Oh yes, I agree we all need to follow our OWN diet paths! We all differ from everything happening inside our bodies, intolerances, and all that stuff!
      And definitely with exercise as well. I grew up being able to exercise for up to 3 or 4 hours a day, but right now I can’t do that…at all ha ha. So our bodies can also change in time too.

  15. YES! Thank you! you’re absolutely right that our bodies will tell us what they need. Its so hard to believe that, or to accept that the point at which your body functions best may be bigger or require more calories than you think it should. This is something I struggle with all the time, as I’m sure soooo many others do as well. But again, you said it perfectly when you said “change your mindset. Change your beliefs”. That’s really all it comes down to. Ahh I’m so glad you’re starting to learn this! We can work on it together, gorgeous :) xoxo

  16. AMEN! There is no ‘perfect’, one-size-fits-all diet. People have different tastes, beliefs and requirements for that to exist. I know what you mean about food beliefs. I sometimes still feel weird about having carbs at night even thought I KNOW there is no reason to!

    • I feel that too with carbs, but ever since reintroducing them I’m starting to feel less “foggy” in the brain, so it must work for me! And they ARE healthy, so its so silly to avoid them!

  17. I do believe that every person’s diet will vary and there is no “perfect diet”, since everyone has different needs. I do not think that anyone needs to eliminate certain food groups, unless they have some kind of medical condition, allergy, intolerance etc. I also believe that a lot of the diets that are out in the media, although well researched, are not always attainable to the average person. Eating clean does not necessarily mean that you have to only consume foods with less than three ingredients; if you eat normal cereal or a poptart one day for breakfast, this does not make you unhealthy! It is all about balancing your food groups and doing what makes YOU feel good!

    • I agree. I don’t feel its necessary to eliminate a food group, because most times you’ll have to add it back in for other health reasons. At least that has always been the case for me.
      Yes, and balance is healthy! Clean eating should be about moderation and balance, not extremes of eating.

  18. Amazing post!!! I don’t think there is a diet that fits everyone. Everyone’s body is different. However, I never agree with cutting any food group out completely!

  19. SOOO PROUD OF YOU! You’re amazingg!

  20. I’m glad you’re finding a good direction for you! Keep exploring :)

  21. Im a HUGE believer that we’re all different – and that’s a good thing! Based on the mere fact that we all have different likes and dislikes should be reason enough that we should all eat and require different nutrients for our bodies!

  22. I definitely feel we are all different and every person requires a different balance. At the same time, there are a few basic rules that everyone can base their personal diets off of. For example, reducing sugar, fried foods, and white carbs is probably good practice for EVERYONE but to what extent will vary depending on the person. I’m severely hypoglycemic and eating a piece of pizza literally makes me shake – my boyfriend, not so much. Learning to know your own body is so important but I guess this is easier said than done.

    • Definitely! You said it great.
      I’m hypoglycemic as well! And I definitely know I can’t handle food other people can!
      Its definitely a process to find what works for our bodies, I know its still taking time for me.

  23. I agree with you, but I also think there is a perfect diet for every individual. Not one diet will work for everyone.Its about finding what works with you.
    great post.

  24. Stephanie says:

    Love this post, sweetie. Hope you are doing well. Thinking of you!!

  25. LOVED THIS!!!!!!!!

  26. How are those pumpkin teas? I’ve seen them but haven’t tried it.

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