I just did a search on Amazon.com for diet books.
There were 71,652 results.
What this means is there is no one “right” way for everyone on the planet to eat—or to lose weight.
Think about it. A piece of fruit may be the best food choice for you, but to a diabetic, it could be harmful. Thus the ancient saying, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”
To lose weight, it comes down to the simple formula of taking in fewer calories than you expend. And there are lots of ways to achieve that.
I know women who are slim and healthy who eat a low carb diet, as well as some who eat a high carb diet, who are vegetarians and vegans, who eat only raw foods, or whole foods, the French way, the Mediterranean way, or the paleo way, etc., etc.
So both the challenge and the opportunity is that you have to take responsibility to find the plan for healthy eating that works best for you, that you will enjoy enough to follow consistently, and that is flexible enough to allow you to not only live your life now, but to change, grow, and evolve.
Because what is a healthy step for you today, may be different tomorrow.
For instance, if all you eat is potato chips, a healthier step for you would be a chicken sandwich. Is a chicken sandwich the healthiest choice? No, but it is progress from where you are. And as you get used to making that better choice, it is an easier step to the next healthy level of grilled chicken over salad.
One of the things that trips so many women up is that they think they have to go from eating nothing but potato chips to only organic chicken and steamed vegetables. That’s awesome if you can maintain it, but it’s often just too big a leap. It leads to them feeling deprived.
This is because they haven’t taken the necessary steps to change their underlying thoughts and emotions about what they want, why they want to make healthier choices, and what making healthier choices means to their life.
If the dietary leap is too big, most often they aren’t able to sustain it. If they are able to reach their goal, as soon as they hit the mark they go right back to eating potato chips and regain the weight.
While improving your eating habits slowly and steadily may take a little longer to reach your goals, isn’t the end result the same? And isn’t pulling on your jeans a year later and still having them fit absolutely and totally worth it?
Still, with so many options, how do you know which plan is right for you?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is your definition of optimal wellness? (Truly, this looks different to each person and it’s helpful to get really clear about what this means for you.)
- What are your goals? (Both short-term and long-term)
- How well will the eating plan move you towards your goals and your vision of optimal wellness?
- How likely is it to be healthy long-term?
- How much will you enjoy the plan? (This is key!)
- How likely are you to be able to make it a lifestyle?
Ultimately, the best eating plan is the one that you will enjoy enough to do consistently and enables you to make a series of increasingly healthy choices long-term.
What choice can you make today that will be a small step towards your ultimate wellness goals?
Together we can do it!