Diets are a funny thing. More and more people are coming to realise that you are always on some kind of diet, the question is whether or not your diet is supporting the way you want to live. There are still plenty of people out there who think of the word diet, and think of “going on a diet”, that is to say, somehow drastically changing the way they eat for a certain period of time for the purposes of losing weight.
This definition of diet is pretty unhelpful really, since it encourages people to see-saw from one weight to another, to spend a month or two miserable and wracked with cravings, and then a week blowing out and putting all the weight right back on again.
So, a new way of looking at it, is that a diet is just what you eat as a general rule. If you are smart, then you will tailor the way you eat to suit yourself at any given period. The question is, what is the best diet for you right now?
Here are a few questions that might help you find the best diet for you right now.
1. Are you happy?
This is perhaps the most important question you can ask yourself. Now, the answer is rarely a straightforward yes or no. There are often things that we are happy about, and things that we are not so happy about.
There can be emotional events or turmoil in our lives that makes us unhappy, thoughts of things left undone, or even worse, unstarted.
There can be physical issues like skin problems or feeling like you are over or under-weight.
Ask yourself how your mood has been of late. Have you had arguments with those close to you? Have you felt good one minute and terrible the next. Have you had a black cloud over you or are you a sparkling ray of sunshine?
It may come as a surprise, but all of these things can be affected by our diets. Of course, our diets cannot change unpleasant things on the outside, they can help us feel good in ourselves, and that means we are better able to deal with life’s turmoils when they turn up.
2. Do you still feel young?
Numerous studies have shown that people who still feel young at heart live longer. Stands to reason really. Again, it may come as some surprise to find that your diet can help with even this. In fact, one of the hallmarks of getting your diet and lifestyle right is that you feel as young and enthusiastic about things as you ever did.
3. Do you enjoy your food?
This question is central to any consideration of diet and what diet might be right for you. No diet or lifestyle is going to work if you don’t enjoy your food. One of the whole points of eating, as any Chef will tell you, is to have the joyful experience of eating something truly delicious when you are rightly hungry.
The experience is often ten million times better when you have made the food yourself, and even better when you have cobbled something new together using only the things you have in at the time.
Getting your diet right is all about finding out how to truly enjoy your food – not with a guilty feeling because you “shouldn’t”, and not with an unsatisfied feeling like “you want to but you can’t”.
Keep in mind that a good diet that is right for you will result in you answering each of these questions in a very satisfying way.
Obviously, we can’t be happy all the time about everything, that would be daft. Also, there will be times and days where we all feel our age, and certainly there are times when we have to make do with some crappy food that we don’t much like and isn’t really the kind of thing we would normally eat, but you’re in a service station so what’re you gonna do?
However, the wonderful truth is that it is possible to find a diet that is right for you, one that is easy for you to follow, most of the time. One that is flexible enough that you can have the odd blip or blowout, but it doesn’t really matter. But you have to start looking, and trying a few things out. No one apart from you can find this out – we are all too different.
It doesn’t matter if you can’t buy a blender and a juicer and overhaul your whole lifestyle right now, you can take small steps. We can all afford a new herb or spice pot once a week, or a different veg choice or two.
Get stuck in! You’ve got a whole lifetime to work it out, but the sooner you do, the better and longer that life will be, guaranteed!