The Perfect Diet For Everyone

Did I catch you attention with that title? Notice that’s what most magazines, articles, programs, and book titles use to suck us into their material. If there was a perfect diet, I’m pretty sure everyone would know by now. Besides, how fun is it to follow rules someone else set of rules for you the rest of your life?

We can all probably agree that society has placed an odd value on the importance of weight loss and weight in general. You can hardly go a day by without the constant nagging of “lose the last five pounds” or “flat abs in just two days”. These claims are both unrealistic and a bit excessive, in my opinion.

It’s safe to say there will never be a shortage of information regarding weight loss and the “next best thing”. Of course, I see the importance in these messages because of the obesity epidemic, and wanting to live a healthy lifestyle in general, but do we really need all this constant pushing, and confusion from different sources on how you need to eat to look a certain why.

If only these messages could be kept straight to the point: Eat real foods, not too much or too little, exercise moderately and limit processed foods. There’s no need to remove entire food groups from your diet. Simple, but people like to make things more complicated and have “rules” to follow.

As someone who has suffered from eating disorders, obsessions, and body image issues; I can certainly see the appeal in these magazines and new books. Weight loss and dieting is such a hot topic. Even though these topics are trending, it seems all this information is borderline obsessive.

There’s so much conflict with how and what to eat. Just because two people eat differently doesn’t mean one lifestyle choice is wrong. Health is personal, everyone is different and has different needs. Sometimes, I struggle between what I want to do and what society wants me to do. It almost feels wrong to live a balanced life with wine and kale, when others tell you the opposite is true.

Although I don’t want to hear all these “new” weight loss tips, they will always be there. I’ve suffered enough time and energy being completely consumed with these tips and tricks, and they did nothing, but make me feel bad about myself in the end. Is there really a perfect diet for everyone?

The perfect diet is the one you feel happiest and healthiest doing. We’re all individuals with different needs. Break the mould on the ideal perfect diet. Find your own perspectives and inspire others with your recipe for healthy living.

I also feel a little sad that there is such focus on outer appearance, instead of who we are on the inside. Real beauty starts on the inside. Having positive energy, compassion, generosity, kindness, and a loving heart is way more important than having a “perfect body or diet” – whatever that may be. Be more positive, generous, respectful, and loving. These are all goals we can achieve.

Always remember your weight and size is not a measure of your self-worth.

I’m one for the importance of a healthy lifestyle overall, but do you ever think society goes overboard?

Does it bug you when you get tips thrown your way? Or that there seems to be an obsession with weight?

Why do you think food and diets are such a controversial and hot topic these days?

About Lisa

Comments

  1. sadly i think it will always be a hot topic. people will always try to better themselves and unfortunately most take it too far. especially with social media growing more and more popular with ALL people regardless of class, gender, etc. it will continue to be a problem.

    • Totally agree, oh well! Guess it’s just one of those life things to deal with. And hopefully people can be more aware without taking it too far.

  2. I couldn’t agree more that the perfect diet is the one that makes you feel happiest and healthiest… and one that includes coffee and ice cream, of course ;) It’s hard to ignore society’s obsession with weight and numbers, but at the same time, I’m finding that they have less and less of an effect on me. After following countless diet rules and suffering through an eating disorder, I think I’ve finally figured out what works for me and what doesn’t, and that makes it a lot easier to ignore all the claims being thrown at me. I think it’s important to try new things so that you can figure out what works, but I think it’s equally as important to be able to admit when something DOESN’T work, and not try to stick to it just because it seems to be the popular thing to do.

    • Obviously those are included ;)
      It can be really tough to avoid…especially when blogs change their stance on the way they eat I sometimes get a bit wrapped up in that thinking, but then I just realize I need to step back and reevaluate why I’m judging my own eating habits based on someone else.
      I think I’m pretty much in the same boat as you now – after all the years suffering, I just can’t be bothered to get too involved with the trends.

  3. Yes!!!! I love this post Lisa. It’s scary how many new diets come out every year. It’s sad that we have become so reliant on others to tell us what works best for our own bodies. I have to agree that it is most important that your body feels amazing. Our bodies know exactly what they need, we just have to have the patience to listen to them!

  4. Great post as usual!! I do think society tends to go overboard with everything. When they say eat less, move more, people usually take that to the extreme and move TOO much and eat TOO little. I think balance and moderation is the key to EVERYTHING. Yes, eat your veggies and clean foods, but you also need carbs and there is absolutely no harm in treating yourself to things that you enjoy. Such a simple way of life, but it seems to get very over-complicated for some reason! I also think that society is really just trying to help, especially since there is an obesity epidemic, however diet is very personalized and people don’t realize that everyone is so different. They should really be more broad and teach people the power of balance and moderation :) Totally agree with postivity and beauty from the inside! SO important! <3

    • Ah exactly. I see some people doing SO much exercise and eating SO little, and it’s frightening because it’s such a slippery slope and that can lead to eating disorders or that dreaded restrict and binge cycle.
      Great response!

  5. This was a really great post Lisa and I would definitely have to agree with all your points! I do think society goes way overboard and places a great deal of emphasis on body image and weight loss. Quite frankly, I don’t think any of those fad diets are even healthy. To me it’s just a matter of eating lots of fresh foods, limiting processed foods and sugar and doing some type of physical activity. My philosophy is that moderation is key, but I certainly don’t deny myself the foods I love every once in a while (e.g. donut, reese’s PB cups, oh yes…I’m totally with you on the coconut ice cream). You just have to find the right balance between those things.

    • Most of the fad diets are definitely not the healthiest. Totally agree. I think they’re fine short term, but long term they just aren’t realistic. And they will probably end up learning moderation is key instead of going to extremes.

  6. I cannot agree with you more on this topic. I hate when I see the “Atkins diet” and “Weight Watchers” plastered over magazine articles. One of my student teachers was OBSESSED with counting points were weight watchers. You no longer see the beauty in the food but now you’re associating a food with a number. It’s just ridiculous. And falling into the trap of disordered eating, I definitely have an eye out for people who start fad diets and just continue to lose weight. The WORST is when people say something like, “I wish I had an eating disorder”. This one REALLY gets under my skin. People don’t understand just listening to your body and eating foods which make you feel energized and happy are the best foods to incorporate. It’s like when someone says nut butters are key to a diet and then people with nut allergies think, “Oh, so I guess I’m screwed”. It’s just all stupid.

    • I love what you said about no longer seeing the beauty of food but the number instead. That is so true!!! And something I struggled with for SO long even in recovery. I was still so obsessed with numbers, calories, macros. Thank gosh that is over. Oh man, yes, biggest pet peeve is people wishing they had an eating disorder. I’ve had friends even tell me I’m lucky I had one…ummm. No. If they knew the hell it really was, I don’t think they’d ever say that.

  7. I just tried chocolate coconut ice cream… to die for!

  8. Great post love! Of course, North American society goes overboard with diet and body obsessions. Instead of seeing food and exercise as fuel and pleasure, it becomes a battle. I also think it’s interesting that in societies where they don’t generally diet or worry about how much formal exercise they’re getting, they don’t actually have an obesity problem – I mean, look at the french and their butter, wine and white bread – as a country, their rates of obesity and heart disease are so low compared to Canada or the States!

    So really, with our diet obsessions…we’re doing it wrong. I think you sum it up perfectly – the best diet is the one that makes you feel your best! And fad diets definitely do not fall into that category.

    • So true with the French and their food. When I went to France it was quite eye opening in that department. They definitely aren’t as obsessive over their food as we are.
      I think there is just so much controversy between this and that diet and people get so confused and just end up lost because they don’t know how to eat, when really they should be listening to their bodies.

  9. Totally agree with you here. I hate how health magazines have such a focus on weight loss and fast fixes. Why can’t they focus on just living healthily without obsessing over the numbers? I actually think if we stopped focusing on the numbers, the obesity epidemic wouldn’t be such a problem because people wouldn’t be intimidated by the idea of weight loss. It’s a lot easier to set a goal to just live healthily rather than lose x number of pounds. I hope one day society will realize this and start making a change!

    PS. I bought a ticket to HLS… are you going?!

    • So agree! It must be frustrating as an RD too!! Especially if people come to you with beliefs stuck in their minds.
      YES! I bought a ticket!! I’m SO excited!! We need to chat asap!

  10. Sometimes I get annoyed when I see those magazine promotions… but mostly I just laught and think “who believes this crap?!” Sadly, people do still buy into i t though. I guess they wouldn’t make money telling people they have to find their own path. :(

    • That’s actually true – sometimes I just think who would even go for this but I know tons of people who do! And it always shocks me.

  11. I’m not to the point to where I think society/media goes overboard but I do think – like you said – that they could be more accurate and realistic in their approach. A good portion of our country does not know HOW or WHAT to eat and might only have access to processed foods. This is extremely discouraging and I think this type of education needs to be added to curriculum starting in Pre-K. If our future generations don’t know how to eat, how are they going to teach the next? I have so much to say on this but I don’t want to write a novel on your blog ;)

    • Yes, I agree with what you’re saying. I guess a lot of it is people trying to sell their businesses as well. People can make great money by claiming “such diet” is perfect for you to lose weight and people totally buy it. But, I think a lot of it comes down to being educated on proper food choices. It shouldn’t be so complicated but we definitely make it. Haha, not a novel at all! I wrote one back ;)

  12. Great post! While I think health and wellness are important topics I agree that there is no one size fits all approach and that beauty comes in many forms. The trick is balance and moderation.

    I also think there is too much emphasis on physical beauty and not enough on the importance of inner peace. What good is a skinny body if you’re miserable right?

    • Exactly! If you’re miserable on the inside, then what’s the point of being skinny. I’ve been there, and I was miserable at that point in my life. Not just miserable, but depressed and anxious and just unwell in general. I love putting focus on inner peace more than being “fit”.

  13. I don’t even know where to begin!! Oh how I hate all the diet stuff out there. I am still very early in my ED recovery and working on gaining weight. It is so hard to be trying to do the opposite of what society says! No one gets excited about gainin weight. All the media really messes with my head… My nutritionist says to eat more carbs and fat while all the magazines say no fat no carbs! Ugh how do I just ignore it all and do what is right for me?? Thanks for this wonderful post!

    • I definitely feel you on gaining weight when society is completely in the wrong direction of that thinking. The best thing to focus on is that it’s detrimental for your health to gain weight and recover and some people just don’t understand it unfortunately.
      It can be hard to ignore, but I suggest just avoiding the triggers – don’t read those magazines or blogs that promote it because they’re wrong. Who are the people writing these magazines? Not nutritionists who know the right food for our bodies, they are most likely just writers who went to college for an english degree and are trying to put out an article people will buy.
      You know what’s right for you in your recovery! Definitely listen to your nutritionist – mine was SO helpful and I’m so thankful I listened to her guidance now.

  14. I think it’s only controversial when there’s money to be made – packaged foods/products that promise “instant weight loss” etc. I think we all agree that the best thing for our bodies and the planet are whole/ethically produced foods and anything else is bullshit. But, I understand the fascination of wanting to experiment with different eating styles – esp as we continue to learn more about nutrition and how our bodies function. And what works best for each individual. I love the idea of being a vegan, or being able to fuel myself with cupcakes and rainbows but that doesn’t work for me. :)

    • Oh yes, I have to agree with you on that. And in a lot of cases – I suppose it does stem from the fact that there is money to be made and that’s how most diets start out.
      And I definitely understand the fascination too, obviously. Hence the mostly food blog ;)
      To each their own, right!

  15. AMEN.
    Unfortunately, I don’t see this topic fading any time soon. If anything, I’m afraid it will continue to grow. But hopefully people will begin to understand that there’s no magic “recipe” for health. It’s a matter of finding balance and filling your life with the things that make you happy. (:

    • Agree, I think there’s maybe more of people trying to promote do what works for you, which is always a good thing.

  16. I think this is such a hard topic. I LOVE the idea of eating happy foods and trying to be comfortable with who you are. I enjoy healthy foods in general but I also enjoy pizza and ice cream. I think there is a lot about special diets right now. It makes it hard to know what really is the best way for our bodies to eat.

    • Definitely a tough subject to address! A lot of people can’t do the moderation thing, which I understand. And some people just don’t know what healthy foods are so I can definitely see both sides.

  17. I think this comes out in many ways in society even more than just around food. it stinks that it is hard to embrace who you are and what your body likes, I mean I know I fell into that trap in high school and college. it takes a while to fight that societal pressure

  18. Omg, I love that you are addressing this! It totally pisses me off when people start talking about “said diet” is the PERFECT one for everyone and how our bodies were MEANT to eat this way. Some people like to eat vegetarian, some like meat. Palio is great for some people and not for others (like me). It’s fine to give us the info, but don’t try to convince us that we HAVE to eat this way if we want to be thin, healthy, etc. Magazines are dumb…

    • Exactly. There’s a lot of debate on this diet being “perfect” for everyone, but that’s just not true. Sometimes I just want to plug my ears and close my eyes to all the overload on this subject!

  19. Love this. And you! Unfortunately, the diet industry in America is almost as booming as the processed food industry. Both are here to stay. But its so important for each of us to define exactly what makes us feel our best, and follow that! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Yum I love COCONUT ice cream! I think its crazy how obsessed we all are with food + dieting, it really is a simple equation and one that keeps us happy overall. I think its sad how marketers have attacked us so we believe that there is some magical formula for weight loss when there really is no MAGIC potion its all in our heads because of what we are told. All I have to say is its just fine to indulge and not think twice, isn’t life all about being happy and LIVING anyways! Thanks for sharing this lovely post :) Love + Shine CourtStar

    • Isn’t it a little crazy how obsessed we all are with dieting and food. It’s really funny actually how people can get about their food choices. It’s like religion and politics. People can get heavily debated about it. Love what you said!

  21. I think health and nutrition is so controversial because people are in DENIAL!!! They don’t want to admit that the foods they love could potentially be HARMING THEM!!!

  22. I personally think people go to diets as a cop out. For an easy fix. Changing your lifestyle isn’t an easy fix, it takes work! I agree with you, eat what makes you happy. However, it is important to realize your down falls and learn from them. I know eating ice cream makes me happy but a gallon? No way. Focus on smaller treats!

    • That’s a great point! People definitely want to use diets as quick fixes and a short term thing!
      And I’m all about focusing on the small treats – no need to go overboard!

  23. I loved this post, especially since the title made me immediately nervous even though I’ve been reading your blog for months and should have known you’d have something positive to say about such loaded terms. I love eating healthy foods and looking after myself, but after working through an ED (like so many others here and everywhere) I get so frustrated when I have to explain to people that I’m not eating healthily to lose weight, and that I try not to let my diet define my life. I think so many people, at least in my social circles, find healthy eating to be a chore and kind of inexplicable, so when they find out I actually prefer healthy food they ask questions as though there’s some sort of secret they’re missing which would make them like it, too. It’s all with good intentions but sometimes I get so impatient answering questions about salad while trying not to sound like I encourage “dieting”.

    The thing that’s been bugging me most lately is the facebook ads! I spend a lot of time reading healthy living blogs so I guess the diabolical advertising algorithm has decided that I need a thousand ads a day about weight loss programs. No wonder so many people have dreadful self esteem, even the internet is insisting that they need to get “bikini ready”! Ugh, it just makes me so mad. I wish I could just ignore all that information but it’s absolutely everywhere.

    I love the way you encourage balance and focusing on the inner self – it’s a good reminder to wake up to. And never apologize for loving oatmeal, just as one should never apologize for loving chocolate! If it makes you happy, it’s exactly what you should be eating/doing! I think oatmeal is so damn popular on healthy living blogs because it’s so freakin’ delicious. No shame there.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post this morning. I needed to read it.

    • Haha, no worries. I wont’ be promoting any perfect diets around here ;)
      Ah yes! I get those questions all the time of why I’m eating healthy and it can be frustrating because people think you only eat healthy to lose weight or only exercise to lose weight when that’s not true at all!
      It’s part of a balanced everyday lifestyle.
      Thank you for the sweet words about my blog! You’re amazing!

  24. Great post! Society absolutely goes overboard and it’s sad the importance that is put on being super skinny when really it should be on eating to be super healthy. I think it’s just important to stay true to myself because really I just want to healthy and happy. Everyone has an opinion (myself included) but I try to just tell people what works for me rather than telling them what is best for them – make sense? I’m vegan, but my husband is not because he doesn’t feel that it makes him feel best – to each his own :)

  25. What a great post. There is definitely a bombardment of ads and propaganda for weight loss right now. I often watch 80s movies and actually love seeing how ‘normal’ people looked. No chiseled abs, puffy lips, chicklet teeth, or fake tans. It makes you wonder how we’d be without TV, internet, phones, etc.
    I too suffered from an eating disorder, so these things all get to me as well, but I just keep trying to do what’s best for myself. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders now about it all too. :-D

  26. Great post girl! There is no one size fits all diet. Each of us are so different and unique. Sadly though everyone wants a quick fix or the recipe for the perfect diet, so I have a feeling this will always be a hot topic.

  27. I definitely agree on this, there’s no one-size-fits-all, end all be all diet. However, I think you are “lucky” that you enjoy eating healthier foods. There are many people, myself included, who don’t take a lot of joy in eating coconut ice cream…or oats…for me, I know that I need structure, rules, a regimen to keep me on track. The rigidity helps me to stay accountable to myself. That being said, I do allow “cheat” meals, as many call them…more like sanity-saver meals, if you ask me. I think this is where some people can be TOO rigid, is not allowing any room to enjoy food, because it is enjoyable! It sure brings me a lot of pleasure. The media and abs though, that’s a totally different story…they are not made in the gym (not completely, anyway), they are definitely made in the kitchen!

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