Here we are, at the beginning of yet another year. Does it feel like a fresh start for you? It does for me! A new year is a clean slate as we put behind all that happened in 2018. Well, that which you’d rather leave in the past, that is! Forgive all wrongdoings and look towards a more positive future.
Do you make resolutions still? How’s that working for you? I think it’s likely not. A better way to move into 2019 is to disrupt the habits that aren’t serving you. Late night snacking, rolling through the drive-thru window every day for breaky, and eating out most nights. It’s time to inject something new.
First, you have to know what you want. What you’re working for and towards. Maybe it’s brighter, vibrant skin, or many nights of sound and deep sleep, better stamina for the gym or love-making, ridding yourself of your IBS constipation or diarrhea, finally losing the 10 or 20 pounds and getting into the ‘slimmer’ clothes that you have saved, and feeling as energetic as a 20-year-old. It’s all possible.
If your goal, intention or resolution is to work on a “new you” through diet, here is a breakdown of some of the diets that I think are worth your attention and ones to bypass.
1. Mediterranean Diet – overall this is the simplest, most researched and easiest diet in which to base your daily diet on. This diet is often thought of as a European way, and if that helps you to feel the warmth of the sun and sea on your skin while eating lots of plants (fruits and veggies, along with whole grains) and healthy fats like olive oil and lean proteins, while really cutting back on processed foods, red meat and refined sugars, go for it!
Health benefits include lower risks of cancer and heart disease, better kidney health and a healthier gut. That pretty much touches on the most important aspects of health!
2. Intermittent Fasting – while it’s not a diet per se, with specific foods that are eaten or avoided, Intermittent Fasting changes when you eat, not what you eat. Fasting for 16 of 24 hours leaves you with 8 hours of eating time known as 16:8. You can also follow the 5 and 2 which is fasting with very-low-calorie intake for 2 out of 7 days a week. The other 5 days, you eat as you normally do.
For many, the health benefits include improved mental clarity and concentration, weight and body fat loss, lower blood insulin and sugar levels, reversal of type 2 diabetes, increased energy, improved fat burning, increased growth hormone and lower blood cholesterol.
3. Keto Diet – a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet. Eating this way changes the source of energy your body uses from glucose to fat, which the body actually likes. The diet differs from person to person a bit, but generally, for someone on a 2000 calorie a day diet, you’d eat 5% carbs (about 100 calories), 15% protein (300 calories), and 80% fat (1600 calories). For most, that would be the opposite to what they normally eat. It’s certainly the opposite from carb-heavy eating, and fat is satisfying and keeps you feeling full for longer.
I’m finding that Keto really isn’t working for everyone. It’s a diet that I think needs to be balanced with far more plants, antioxidants and fibre. It can lessen cravings, balance energy and mood ups and downs, improve brain function, hormone balance, sleep and more. Keto benefits include decreased LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and increased good cholesterol (HDL), lowered blood pressure, blood sugar and levels of insulin.
4. Intuitive Diet – this is the anti-diet way of eating. Not depriving yourself of anything but instead listening to your body about what to eat and how it makes you feel, then eating when you’re hungry and eating only until you’re full. Most of us likely think we do this already. And for some who don’t have a switch off or have a hard time listening to the whispers of your intuition, you’d likely find yourself enjoying an all-night buffet far too often. I love the concept of this and know it would work far better for some than following the Whole30 where it’s a very strict diet for 30 days, but this one won’t be for everyone, that’s for sure.
5. WW – the newly re-branded Weight Watchers still has millions of followers who have learned to count their way to daily meals within their budget of SmartPoints. The SmartPoint system keeps many in check with their ‘free-foods’, foods of moderate points and those that blast through the upper limit. This is a successful diet for most if you want to count your way throughout the day. The accountability of the program certainly is enticing for those that need to be kept on track with the help of others.
There are also diets like the DASH and Nordic Diet floating around, but they are all variations on the above. Don’t stress yourself out with yet another to figure out.
6. And to top off the list, my Do This diet – includes less processed, sugary and foods that don’t provide valuable nutrients for your body (as in a burger without sauce, bun, and side of fries) and a LOT more of what does; fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meat and lots of fish. Along with the accountability of a tribe of others who generally know where their diet is sabotaging their goals (eating too much, eating chocolate to get out of the afternoon slump, relying on coffee for energy, not drinking enough water, living on takeout or fast food). It’s great if you need some easy tweaking and guidance to your daily intake but don’t want an overhaul. I also suggest that you follow a 12 hour daily fast, so that means that if you eat breakfast at 7 am, you stop eating at 7 pm. That way you’re allowing your liver and kidneys to do their job of detoxifying overnight before having to deal with another meal. Add in 2L of filtered water and, while it’s not fancy, it works – just as simple usually does.
No matter what ‘diet’ you follow, eating a largely plant-based diet will always be a massive win. Include a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, water and herbal teas, and if you don’t feel and see the benefit, you need to dig deeper.
Seven famous words were spoken by Michael Pollan that sum it all up:
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
And he’s talking about eating real food. Not packaged, processed or fried.
For more on diets for 2019, listen to my chat with Jerry Agar on NewsTalk1010 radio below.
Come join Lianne for an evening of goal-setting, belief-busting and plan-making for yourself, along with some wisdom from Mel Robbins’s 5 Second Rule book on Tuesday January 29th. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.