By Cynthia Stadd, HHC, EPC
Most people find themselves identifying with one of the following two categories when it comes to food and nutrition:
I am a little mouse in the nutrition maze and it is Mad Science out there.
I have no idea what to eat because of too many conflicting studies and too many diet books. I am overwhelmed and at a loss for how to TRULY lose weight, or maintain my health, without being deprived. Ah, how bad is a Cliff Bar anyway?
I am a nutrition expert.
I know it all, have read every diet and nutrition book and can easily put myself on the best diet for everything from weight loss to clearing out my sinuses. The problem is that it isn’t really working because I am either a slave to food (thereby reducing my quality of life), I am not losing weight permanently, or I am concerned I may actually be harming myself unknowingly.
Both scenarios, unfortunately, are causing many people unnecessary stress and potential health problems!
So What Should I Eat?
The first step is to ask yourself, “What is the primary benefit I’m looking to get out of this thing called my diet?”
At any given time, you are probably eating in one of the three levels of diet:
The every day flow. The series of meals and snacks that keep your clear, your energy strong, your weight stable, and also includes the occasional party and no holds barred night out.
An eating plan designed for a specific therapeutic goal – to lose weight, clear up an infection, reduce inflammation. It has a start, and a clear end date.
Choosing your foods to enhance a certain outcome you are prioritizing right now. This could be eating in a way that promotes the deepest sleep, following sports nutrition guidelines to fuel your athletic training or eating to keep your skin as healthy as possible.
So whether you are the mouse in the maze, or the bonified nutrition expert, you have to know what level of diet you are in before you try to ask the eternal question, “What should I eat?” That question, in it’s true form, really translates to, “What should I eat to be thin, healthy, energetic and balanced?” The foods you choose and the rhythm of your diet getting you to that desired state will then match the level of diet you consciously choose to engage with in that moment.
And whatever you do choose to eat, remember it must be delicious.