Our culture focuses so much attention on food, health, and appearance, which makes it pretty common for us to consider new ways, better ways, or more effective ways to turn ourselves around.
We are constantly analyzing how we fall short, thinking there is one perfect regimen to follow, but the truth is, there is more to your diet than assigning yourself a set of restrictions for a few months.
What is a Diet?
Let’s start with the very basics. When we hear the word ‘diet’, we interpret it as a restrictive list of foods or as a way to prepare foods that will give me an exact set of results. But in reality, it’s much simpler than that. Diet refers to the nourishment you take in, which is usually (but not necessarily) habitual.
Think about the diet of a household pet or a wild animal; they don’t think about food the same way that we do. An animal’s diet is simply the foods it consumes to maintain life each day. It’s time to change our perspective to one that looks on our diet as a form of self-care. Rather than being restrictive so you can fit someone else’s mold, we should be eating foods that will make us feel strong and capable.
What Does Your Body Really Want?
Everyone is unique right down to the hormone and nutrient levels within our bodies, so it makes sense that each new sensational diet won’t be a cure-all for the world’s health woes.
What’s right for one person will seldom be right for another, and our bodies won’t respond to those foods in the same way.
For this reason, it’s important to listen to your body. When you eat, don’t focus on the taste of your meal alone but recognize how it makes your body feel short-term and long-term. You may find that some of your favorite tasting meals may leave you feeling sluggish or queasy the next day, or a healthy recipe that gives you a boost of energy might not pack enough for someone else.
Your Relationship with Food
While you’re doing that, you’ll be able to start figuring out which foods your body needs most, which ones you should have sparingly, and which ones will fill in the middle ground, but it doesn’t all have to be guesswork. Get in some research where you learn how foods are meant to interact with your body.
This is the bit where you start making those healthy, helpful habits for your true diet. Look at what nutrients those foods contain and find similar foods you can try or use interchangeably. You can also loop in your primary physician. He will be able to offer recommendations based on your health down to the point of looking at your blood levels to see which nutrients you are consistently low on.
Be Smart with Balance
As you become more familiar with listening to your body, you’ll begin to recognize and seek out foods that give you energy and improve your strength, mental clarity, and longevity–but remember that your body still needs balance.
Pay attention to what you’re taking in and how much. You should also avoid food and drink that are manufactured to pack too much punch. Rather than keeping your health up, these things can start to wear on your body, ultimately having the opposite effect.
It’s also important to remember that your diet impacts your entire body, from your dental health and hair growth to your organs and extremities. So having a good balance in your diet will help each of these areas function better.
The more you pay attention and the more you try to put into practice, the better you will be able to manage a diet that’s healthy and appropriate with the body that is uniquely yours.