Atkins, Whole 30, Paleo, Intermittent Fasting... what is the real deal? Who’s expert is right and who's wrong on telling us what and how to eat?
As someone who has (proudly) tried pretty much all the strategies to lose weight for quite sometime, I know for a fact that they are all wrong. And they are all right as well. Let me explain.
A diet is an eating pattern. And the body reacts when you move from one eating pattern to the other. So if you have been eating a Mediterranean Diet for a while and losing weight, but then you reach a plateau, trying a new eating pattern maybe a good strategy. Maybe.
But, what if I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight? I just want to eat 'right'. Eat 'healthy'. Fell 'good'... I want a diet that gives me energy to go through the day with joy, accomplish the things that I aim without having to avoid social situations where 'bad' food is at reach…
I struggled with this dilema during my whole adult life and let me tell you: I'VE FOUND THE ANSWER!!! I check on most theories on what's out there to guide you on what and how to eat and the best expert I've found, that understood my deepest desires and figured out a liberating yet results oriented strategy for me was: ME
YOU ARE YOUR BEST EXPERT!
And this is not a devaluating comment to health professionals. There are many, very capable and talented professionals out there and at some point in your life you might need their professional guidance. But I'm talking about something deeper. I'm talking about LISTENING TO YOUR SYMPTOMS, the signs that your body sends you that something may not be OK, and taking full accountability for the solution (instead of immediately delegating it to a Nutricionist, Endocrinologist or any other 'ist')
Let me illustrate: I was in a session with one of my clients, a high profile executive from a multinational company, explaining about the science behind appetite, the importance of learning to interpret it - instead of suppressing it - to be able to give your body what it really needs. At some point she stopped me and said: I wish I've learnt this at school. Why we don't learn things like this at school? She was appalled! And 100% right!
The problem is we are not empowered during your upbringing through education, family examples or even the media to TRUST OUR BODIES! TO LISTEN AND INTERPRET IT'S SIGNS! It's quite the opposite: there's a lot of misinformation that gets us all confused and insecure, then ready to start delegating the power of 'managing' what happens in your body to someone (or something) else.
As bosses, we actively listen to our collaborators. We know what they say has a lot of value, so we make an effort to be present and connect with them because we know for a fact they can give us UNIQUE INFORMATION that reports data and spreadsheets just can't. That connection gives you an edge to perform better than simply looking at numbers. CONNECTION IS POWER.
When we get used to listen and embrace our symptoms instead of suppressing and ignoring, we get right into the path to run our bodies better. That's the kind of control that no prescription drug or supplement can give you.
Looking back I know the best moment in my journey to a better Mind & Body Health was when I experienced that connection. It's so empowering. I’ve never felt lost again in the recommendations of this or that 'celebrity professional' or got caught in the feeling of failure for eating something out of 'miraculous' diet menu, simply because I realized that kind of behavior takes my power away.
So my suggestion for you is this:
- Listen to your body, trust it's signals. There's more behind a symptom than you can imagine
- If you want a diet that works perfectly to your lifestyle, get help that will lead you into that direction. Look for professionals that will act like thinking partners instead of bodyguards or disciplinarian parents armed with a list of do's and don’ts. You are an adult now
- Get help to educate yourself and learn to navigate through all the excess of information and 'expert' opinions without getting overwhelmed
- Build a strategy that works for your current moment in life. There's nothing more impairing for the body (and the mind) than for example, starting a juice fasting at the beginning of a busy week, full of meetings and negotiations.
- Surround yourself with professionals that will bring you up, really listen to what you want and help you get there, sustainably. It's cheaper, more effective and the results will last much longer.
It's the most liberating, empowering feeling to realize the answer is inside you. Enjoy!
Ana Ceneviva. Eating Psychology and Mind and Body Nutrition Coach. CEO and Founder of Mind & Body Boss, a Coaching and Consulting Company that helps Executives and Entrepreneurs to empower themselves around food to get a better performance in life.
If you wanna know more about this cutting edge, results oriented approach, please click on the link and ask for more information.