With so many diet variations bombarding us every day from Paleo, vegan, keto, plant based, Mediterranean, Intermittent fasting …. One thing seems to be on everyone’s menu – CONFUSION!
Let us be honest, we all want the magic pill and by the age of 35, most women have tried a range of diets in the quest for the ultimate outcomes.
In the quest for your ‘ultimate’ outcome, it is important to keep in mind that it is not just about weight management. As a Nutritional Medicine Practitioner, I can assure you that weight problems are merely one way our body tells us there is an underlying health problem.
Truth is, if we take a step back and break it down, we intuitively know which way of eating is best for us individually. Sure, it may need some fine-tuning and sometimes we want to ignore it (especially if it means giving up our favourite treats), but there are 5 simple steps to finding the ideal diet for YOU.
STEP 1 – Keep A Food, Symptom, Stress, Sleep Diary
Take 2 weeks to document honestly (Remember, no-one else is reading it). Write down all the following:
- what you eat and drink,
- when you consume it? (time of day?)
- what symptoms you have (bloating, sugar high, sluggish)
- what time they occur (pre/post-meal)
- how did you sleep
- how were your emotions/stress levels?
- if you had ‘naughty’ stuff. Do you know why? Stress, anger, frustration, boredom, comfort? Or just wanting to be a bit naughty?
STEP 2 – Understand What are your Health Outcomes Are?
Get really clear on why you want to be healthier.
- Is it weight loss or gain?
- Is it to reduce pain?
- Is it to eliminate fatigue?
- Is it to overcome chronic ill-health?
- Do you wake up ok, but have a “food baby” by 10 am?
- All the above?
STEP 3 – Understand Our Ancestry … we should eat according to our culture going back 3-4 generations
- Do you eat according to your cultural background?
- have you adapted to a diet from a different culture?
- did our ancestors really eat in this way and those proportions?
It is when we adopt the diet of a different culture that we often fall into ill-health. Whilst many claim that the Mediterranean diet is healthy, this does unfortunately not mean big serves of pasta with lashings of a rich meat sauce washed down with a large glass of good red, though that would be great at times.
STEP 4 – What are your inherited weaknesses
Is there a family history of certain diseases that you need to be mindful of? For example –
- Autoimmune, Coeliac, Thyroid problems
- Oestrogenic Cancers
- Mental health
Do you know what foods are contra-indicated for these conditions? Are they more than 10% of your intake?
STEP 5 – Understand What has Worked for YOU in the Past?
Answer the following: I felt great when “…………”, but I stopped because “………”.
Now listen to your body, it will tell you what it wants and needs to be happy and healthy.
If you adapt your diet to these 5 principles and you do not get the desired results within a few months, or at least be well on track, it’s time to consider professional nutritional medicine advice to fine-tune what you put into your body.
For most of us, if we do this 90% of the time and let loose in moderation 10% of the time, our body will reward us with health and vitality.
5 Steps to finding our ideal diet
- Food, Symptoms, Stress, Sleep Diary
- Our health outcomes
- Our ancestry
- Our genetic weaknesses
- What has worked in the past long term