After 20 plus years in the health and wellness field, one thing ive learnt is that there really is not one type of eating that suits us all. After 1000s of clients and case studies I can tell you this. People change. Yes we change in all aspects of life. And that means what we need as nourishment changes. Nutrition seems to be one of those taboo subjects. its as difficult to navigate as lets say religion or politics. People are passionate as hell. And people will fight to tell you what and how they eat is the right way.
Well I have a different approach. I agree with them all. Because if it works for you IT WORKS. I can tell you from my own experience I've tried them all. From vegetarian, to south beach, to the whole 30 to paleo and keto and carnivore. What I know is what I experienced. BUT what I can tell you is I'm in a field where I have very intelligent and healthy friends who have had the complete opposite experience and had little to no joy or vice versa.
What can you take from this. The sad thing is i'm not about to tell you of a miracle diet. I am not going to tell you that Keto or Vegetarianism is the only way. I am not dogmatic in my approach. I don't buy into the negativity of certain groups who want to attack you and tell you to eat how they eat. What I do promote is eating real food. Meaning eating food that you can grow, pick or kill.
What I do promote is to buy the best quality food that you can right now. Make the best choices you can. If that's organic great, if it's local amazing, if its small farm brilliant.
I am not writing this to bash any way of eating. I will tell you this, I am not a fan of current farming methods and I believe we are failing the planet on how we farm mass agriculture and live stock and also how we are destroying swaths of green space for palm oil and soy.
But back to food. Let me say this, If it works for you it works. Now a lot of people are eating poor food, lacking nourishment and have brain fog and don't really know how bad they are feeling. In 2021 61.3% of adults are classed as overweight or obese. Those statistics are quite shocking. This is not just a problem with food. It's a lack of exercise, poor sleep, poor hydration and many other factors. The 6 foundational principal's are a great place to start. Im going to outline here a few ways to eat and my own experience and the few little tips i can give. Keto diet - Short for “ketogenic diet,” this eating plan is all about minimizing your carbs and upping your fats to get your body to use fat as a form of energy. While everyone's body and needs are slightly different, that typically translates to:
60 to 75 percent of your calories from fat
15 to 30 percent of your calories from protein
5 to 10 percent of your calories from carbs
That usually means eating no more than 50 grams of carbs a day (some strict keto dieters even opt for just 20 grams a day). After about two to seven days of following the keto diet, you go into something called ketosis, or the state your body enters when it doesn't have enough carbs for your cells to use for energy. That's when you start making ketones, or organic compounds that your body then uses in place of those missing carbs. At this point, your body also starts burning fat for more energy. So how do you know you're in ketosis? There are a few side effects that can tip you off, like breath that smells a bit like nail polish remover (seriously), or you can use devices like keto testing strips (which you pee on) or this breath analyzer to tell you. Pros - pretty quick results and good energy levels. Cons not easy eating out, socializing and long term. A good way to cycle. Vegetarian diet - There are different types of vegetarian diets. What kind of vegetarian do you want to be? Most choose a lacto-ovo approach, turning their backs on meat, fish and poultry, but still eating dairy products and eggs. (Lacto-vegetarians, meanwhile, also nix eggs, whereas ovo-vegetarians also nix dairy; vegans exclude all animal products.). Now, vegetarian is not in my opinion the best way to eat, as chips and pizza are veggie but I down consider them to be great choices. But being a whole food veggie and eating real food is a good start. Now not getting into the ethical mix of farming I can argue on both sides of this. But what this is good for is, getting a great mix of good foods. You'll be guaranteed to get a great mix of fruits, vegetables and legumes and beans. The trick with this is finding the balance that you need. And making sure you get the right amount of protein for your body, Yes this can be done. Down side for me - I love meat and fish. Pro I love salads and some of the vegetarian curries are delicious and I love a good curry. Paleo diet - In its purest form, the paleo diet allows you to eat only those foods that humans ate when they first roamed the planet about 2.5 million years ago. The diet can improve your health by eliminating high-fat and processed foods that have little nutritional value and too many calories. This plan emphasizes loading up on fruits and vegetables that are bursting with healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which fills you up faster so you eat less, helping curb weight gain. The focus is on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables over calorie- and sodium-rich processed foods.
Note that though nuts and seeds are allowed on this diet, they can be high in calories, and people who want to lose weight will have to limit their nut consumption. This to me has lots of variants depending on how strict you follow. What I love about this its promoting eating real food. It reduces processed and un-natural foods. The cons - technically allows now treats or alcohol etc. I believe in a healthy balance. But this is how I eat most of the time and flip flop with the keto diet. Carnivore diet - T-bones for breakfast, ground round for lunch, rib eyes for dinner. Does this sound like your dream menu — or your worst nightmare? Is a diet consisting of only animal products a simple, healing way to eat or an overly-restrictive regimen. You’ve heard the stories of people finding significant improvements on a carnivore diet with everything from weight loss, depression and anxiety, to autoimmune disease, and many want to give it a try. Beginning with an appreciation of the fact that animal foods represent the most nutrient rich sources of bioavailable vitamins and minerals, these foods form the majority of such a diet, perhaps 80%-90%. These foods might include ruminant (beef, bison, lamb) meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy for those who tolerate. In addition to these foods, “low toxicity” plant foods may be included for flavor, preference or texture/colour. The overview is a lot of vegetables and fruits are very hard on the digestive tract, and are toxic for the human body. This is backed up by many doctors and studies. I see the science, the facts - its as hard or harder than the keto diet, it can be very expensive. I believe a healthy balance is good and its hard to stick to if lets say YOU LOVE FOOD. But the health improvements on this have been amazing. Whole30 Diet - The Whole30 is a 30-day fad diet that emphasizes whole foods and the elimination of sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy. The Whole30 is similar to but more restrictive than the paleo diet, as adherents may not eat natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. I like the reset and eliminating know inflammatory foods I think is great idea. But what you need to know is what creates a negative response for you. If you know this you can remove those known foods. In a healthy and realistic and achievable way. I love resets, we all yo yo with food and life, having a clean and healthy way of eating and a good reset is a great way to re establish your healthy start point. Atkins diet - The Atkins diet is a low-carb diet, usually recommended for weight loss. Proponents of this diet claim that you can lose weight while eating as much protein and fat as you want, as long as you avoid foods high in carbs. In the past 12 or so years, over 20 studies have shown that low-carb diets without the need for calorie counting are effective for weight loss and can lead to various health improvements. The Atkins diet was originally promoted by the physician Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who wrote a best-selling book about it in 1972. Since then, the Atkins diet has been popular all over the world with many more books having been written. The diet was originally considered unhealthy and demonized by the mainstream health authorities, mostly due to its high saturated fat content. However, new studies suggest that saturated fat is harmless. Since then, the diet has been studied thoroughly and shown to lead to more weight loss and greater improvements in blood sugar, “good” HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and other health markers than low-fat diets.
Despite being high in fat, it does not raise “bad” LDL cholesterol on average, though this does happen in a subset of individuals. The pros for this you'll feel well satiated the down side people still have an issue with eating so much fat. Ok, so I have just overviewed a few types of eating. What I can tell you is you are unique, what you need to eat is nothing like anyone else. You need to figure that out for yourself, or with the help of a coach like myself. What you need to do is measure how you feel.
You should not get any adverse reactions from the food you eat and by this I mean you should not have any of the following after eating a meal:
Hungry again within less than 4 hours
Having a healthy relationship with food is key. Lets not hate on any type of food, I do however have certain foods that I'm not a great fan of, and these are usually highly processed and containing lots of preservatives and chemicals. You need to work with what you can afford to eat and whats easily available. Seeking advice on eating habits and a healthy meal plan is a great start. Trying to avoid known inflammatory foods is great. Avoiding know bad foods for a while is a good place to start. To include processed foods, diary, gluten alcohol etc. Not for ever but to give your body a break and then see what your response is.
What you can do is try to eat real food, whole food, food that isn't packaged or containing things you cant pronounce. Try and eat local food, If you can afford to try and eat organic where you can. Doing what you can and what doesn't add stress. Also whats great is food prep. having food ready. working out your eating times.
BUT remember - You are unique, what you need is what works for you. Try and explore all types of eating habits or diets. what makes you feel good and gives you energy works. What doesn't have bad reactions and gives you energy without craving and energy slumps is a start.
For now. if you are unsure where to start do the CHEKS primal eating questionnaire or a metabolic typing questionnaire. These test help advise you on what ratios of food you need. From here you can start to manage what you need. It doesn't need to be a crazy hard science but seeking help is always a great place to start. Eat real food, Make the best choices. And give yourself a break. Eat those little things that make you happy everyone in a while.