How do we know what type of diet is right for our body?
Choosing what is right for your own body can be confusing especially when we see many different diets and fads in the media. It seems like there is a new diet going streamline every week. From the Paleo diet, Weight Watchers, Keto, vegan, vegetarian, South Beach, fasting, detox drinks, intermittent fasting, etc. There are so many to choose from and this can be overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be about choosing a specific diet plan like this. We need to be eating for our body and what makes us feel the best and that is different for every person. Joining a diet plan can definitely be useful when you are needing more of a push to stay on track or get back to a weight goal. In my opinion though, once that is achieved we should get back to a more consistent lifestyle that meets our needs and keeps us balanced. Everyone is different based on BMI, preexisting health conditions and overall health goals. Talking with your physician or health coach about your overall health goals is a good way to prepare for a balanced lifestyle. Having said that, I do believe we have forgotten about our instincts when it comes to being healthy. We know what it is our body truly needs and what our body rejects. It is a forgotten sixth sense to remember how to listen to our bodies and what they crave. Our bodies crave whole foods that give us lasting energy and plenty of water. When we pay attention to our body we can notice how these sensations change. When we consume too much processed foods and sugars like sodas, processed meats and carbohydrates, we feel sluggish and weak. We loose stamina and the drive to move our body. When we eat whole, fresh vegetables, fruits, and protein we have energy to get moving and be productive! Try tuning in more to your body's innate ability to know what to eat. You may be surprised at how much its actually talking to you. My favorite food quote is "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants"-Michael Pollan.
Many people tend to use fad dieting as a quick weight loss body management but often they find that they do not last or are difficult to keep up with. Finding your optimal food intake and balance is what will keep your body happiest and healthy. The food pyramid has also changed throughout the years with recommendations for dairy, protein, grains, and dessert fluctuating. The current food pyramid is from Choose My Plate and now has a small space for dairy while grains and fruits take the remaining spaces with no room for desserts and sweets. This current pyramid is definitely a healthy version and a good starting point for everyone but again this is all subjective to each person. In my opinion the perfect diet is actually an imperfect one. We all should focus on putting foods into our body that make us feel the best while also remembering to give our body a break every once in a while, and nourish it with a sweet or two. In my opinion, the perfect pyramid has a balanced diet of mostly vegetables, grains, fruit, some protein and dairy, and a donut here and there. ;) We must also remember that the amount of food we put in is best balanced with how much we move and burn out some of those useful calories to help fuel the body' processes. Calories in/calories out stands to continue to be one of the more important aspects to our diet; remembering to find a healthy balance without overdoing one or the other.
There is also an aspect of diet with supplementation. Usually, as long as our bodies have proper nutrients through our diet we don’t have to also supplement vitamins, however, there are of course those with deficiencies are other conditions that have a hard time processing certain nutrients. They should always consult with a doctor to maintain those healthy levels. probiotics are a great supplement most of us should add to our diets. These help balance the gut bacteria and subsequently the rest of the body's health. Probiotics are found in supplements but also in foods like yogurt, kimchi, and other fermented foods like kombucha.
There are a few products out there that are a great option for supplementation and what is called “activation”. Supplementation refers to adding additional vitamins and minerals we already have in our body and that we eat in our diets while activation refers to activating cells in our body DNA and enzyme stimulation. There is solid research showing how we can activate these cells to their full potential with these activators and allow the body to live optimally. One of the greatest causes of disease is chronic inflammation from free radical damage. Free radicals are constantly being created by the body from exposure to intrinsic and extrinsic elements. Our bodies fight these off when we consume antioxidants. Reducing the amount of inflammation in our body can help to keep us at our optimal health level. I have recently been introduced to a supplement called -Protandim- for “cell biohacking” as they call it, and I am intrigued in its ability to reduce inflammation and support antioxidant enzyme production to keep our bodies capable of doing their innate job of nutrient intake and energy absorption. It stimulates the NRF2 activator which works directly on the mitochondria in our cells which controls energy levels and the overall cell ability to work. I have attached some of the materials for their research to learn more about this. I found this very interesting and I may consider looking into incorporating activation into my cell lifestyle! I also attached the Choose My Plate food pyramid link and the Cooking Matters website that shares healthy affordable recipes for the family.
Gazaryan, Irina G, and Bobby Thomas. “The status of Nrf2-based therapeutics: current perspectives and future prospects.” Neural regeneration research vol. 11,11 (2016): 1708-1711. doi:10.4103/1673-5374.194706
Yoga 2 Barre Instructor at Light On Yoga Fitness