You live in the time of the ‘fad diet’. It seems that everywhere you turn, there is one diet or lifestyle boasting that it is the best:
“You will lose weight fast!”
“You will live longer!”
“You will be the healthiest you’ve ever been!”
The problem with these diets is they’re full of empty promises. Often, people who follow fad diets will see progress short-term, either from medication, a very restrictive diet, or inadequate nutrients being provided. Once they stop the diet, the weight frequently comes back, possibly even more than the starting weight.
Popular diets that may be detrimental long-term are often ones that:
- Promise rapid weight loss
- Do not have long-term studies with consistent results
- Cut out entire food groups or macro-nutrients
- Do not promote physical activity
- Leave you constantly thinking about food
So, what is the healthiest lifestyle?
Here is where both the freedom and frustration can come in. Your healthiest diet will not look the same as the person standing next to you. There is no ‘one size fits all’ diet for weight loss, magic medication, or meal plan that will work for each individual.
Here’s the secret to the healthiest diet: Your healthiest diet is the diet that provides your body with the nutrients it needs, not significantly more or less, that you can joyfully stick to.
The key to hitting your weight loss goals is to pick an eating pattern and activity that you can be consistent in. For example, eliminating all added sugars is not a diet I can joyfully stick to long-term. However, I can stick to a diet where I don’t keep added-sugars in the house, but know that when I am out with friends, I can get something sweet without “breaking” or “cheating” the lifestyle I stick to. Having this freedom means I don’t binge on sugar, because I know I have the freedom to eat it later if I want, but I also don’t eat foods high in added sugar constantly because they’re not readily available, and I don’t feel my greatest when I do eat them.
The bottom line when figuring out what the healthiest lifestyle is to pick an eating pattern that provides you with the nutrients you need, activity that you enjoy doing, and consistency within it.
When it comes to your lifestyle, consistency is more important than perfection. Find the habits you can stick to, a community to support you, and the love for yourself to know that you deserve to feel your best.