Who knew a basic human need, like eating, could be so controversial and subjective? With the media circus of headlines flooding us on what diet is the BEST thing EVER this year and next, it’s easy to get confused.
This article won’t cover all the low-carb diets, low-fat diets, low-calorie diets, detox diets and diets for healing that exist. I’m also not going to get into the government recommendations on the food pyramid or newer plate concept, which are clearly dead as a doornail. All of that is more like a book topic! This is merely a brief list of eating styles from the conversations I find myself having regularly with my health coaching clients.
What I will say about “diet’s” is that as an NTP, I’m all about using a whole food, nutrient dense, properly prepared diet. The term ‘diet’ to me just means, what foods you eat or your “eating style.” So, here are the eating styles I find myself talking about most, their benefits and drawbacks as well as resources on where to start.
DIETS a.k.a. EATING STYLES
1. The Paleo Diet is sometimes affectionately referred to as the caveman diet because in short, it’s kind of like how our ancestors ate. Basically, that means animal protein and vegetables. However, the meat and vegetables we have access to today does vary from what our ancestors ate. Foods avoided on Paleo include legumes (beans), refined sugar, and poor-quality dairy. Some mistakes people make when adopting Paleo include feasting on bacon or indulging in Paleo desserts because they are supposedly “healthy.” People like to tell me I’m Paleo, but I disagree. Yes, I eat veggies and meat but I am also scanning ingredients to be sure they agree with my body. As a resource, here’s a good place to start for Paleo info: https://balancedbites.com/practicalpaleo/
2. The Ketogenic Diet is when your body makes the switch from sugar burning to fat burning for energy. This process is known as ketosis. The Ketogenic Diet is also known as the low carb keto diet or the very low carb keto diet (LCKD or VLCKD for short). The foods you eat when going Keto are: high in healthy fats like MCT oil, lots of green vegetables and moderate amounts of high-quality meats. Foods avoided include all processed foods. Keto is often an eating style chosen to lose weight when all else has failed. Using ketones for energy has been said to starve off cancer cells. There are things to know however, before diving into keto (or any new eating style, really). As a resource, here’s a good place to start: https://articles.mercola.com/ketogenic-diet.aspx
3. Intermittent Fasting is when you don’t eat anything except water for 12-16 hours. Some people are doing that without even knowing it! You know, those days when you’re extra busy at work and skip a meal? Viola! You’re doing intermittent fasting. There are some benefits to fasting, including clarity of thinking, increasing insulin sensitivity or even weight loss. But, it really does depend on the individual and as Dr. Amy Shah points out, “if you’re a woman, fasting could lead to hormonal imbalance.” After her experience with intermittent fasting, for women she suggests crescendo fasting instead. Check our her experience in this article as a starting point: https://draxe.com/intermittent-fasting-women/
4. Vegetarian OR Vegan. If your reason to eat a vegetarian diet are moral (animal rights) I fully respect that choice. Feel free to skip this section. If you are choosing vegetarianism or veganism because you’ve just watched a documentary or your friend is doing it or you’ve lost your taste for meat, then it may be worth reconsidering. Again I must say, I fully respect your right to choose what you eat but it’s not easy to take on these eating styles and get the nutrients you need as a human being. Most people end up relying on soy (full of pesticides and GMOs) or pasta and cheese (quality in the modern day stuff isn’t what it used to be). Doing so can pretty much guarantee nutrient deficiencies and that could spell real health problems down the road. Don’t believe me? Check out The Weston Price Foundation here or this book: https://amzn.to/2vHeEoZ
5. Whole30 or The RESTART® Program. These two could be considered a detox. They both help you eliminate foods for a limited time to jump start you on a path to clean eating. Of course, I’m partial to The RESTART® Program because I teach it and I believe it’s uniquely delivered due to the group support and specifically trained teachers who are able to teach it. But both programs are great ways to get off junk, reset your metabolism and get incredible results. I’m always looking for places to schedule The RESTART® Program. I’m even open to doing it at someone’s home (if you have a group of 7-10 who would like to participate let me know!) If you’d like to discuss it or have any questions, please give me a call: 561-342-1331.
IS MODERATION the KEY?
Some will say, they follow the 80/20 rule and that everything in moderation is fine. But if someone gave you a brand new Lamborghini that was meant to run on gasoline, would you give it diesel on the weekends? You wouldn’t do that if you wanted it to last a lifetime. Your body is that Lambo. It’s not about “treating” yourself to a Big Mac or a Snickers, it’s about caring for the only vehicle you have and the one you have for a limited time. I say enjoy life and enjoy good, quality food! Just find the best ways to support your body that are in alignment with your health goals. That might include starting a new habit or redefining what “treat time” really means. Happy eating!