Your diet is your business. This is because you are individual – a way of eating which is beneficial for you won’t necessarily be beneficial for your friend; explaining why diets don’t work. A specific way of eating designed for everyone is unrealistic since our bodies and how we react to certain foods is so different.
Dietary needs differ daily depending on age, sex, weight, activity levels, hormones and many other lifestyle factors. So, rather than setting a specific diet and sticking to it no matter what, why not try to live more intuitively with your body, listen to your own individual needs and eat in a way which truly fulfils these. I know, it’s easier said than done!
One common theme that comes with making a dietary change is restriction; working to remove certain foods or food groups from our diet that we feel we ‘shouldn’t’ eat.
I invite you to change your mindset and begin to take on a different, more enjoyable and more sustainable journey – to ditch the restrictive approach and focus on what you can add into your diet, not on what you feel like you need to take out. This will encourage well balanced choices, which include key food groups and their benefits.
Remember, you could be less likely to overeat if you satisfy your body’s needs by eating real, whole balanced meals. No restriction, just nourishment!
Where to start?
When approaching our dietary choices, it’s important to be mindful of the impact they will have on your overall health long term, both physically and mentally, rather than the short term effect they may have on your physical appearance.
There is more to a nutritious, balanced diet than focussing solely on macro nutrients, however being sure to include each of these food groups is definitely a good place to start. When possible, working to balance your plate with good quality fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates could be a beneficial step.
Carbohydrates (for example fruits, vegetables and whole grains) are our body and brains preferred source of fuel. They provide us with the energy needed to tackle the day ahead, support healthy brain function and are filled with all important fibre. Fibre (found in many complex carbohydrates) helps to leave us feeling fuller for longer and is gut nourishing. Eating gut nourishing foods can help to support digestion and promote overall health both physically and mentally. Perfect proof to keep carbs on the menu!
Proteins, whether it be animal proteins (meat, fish, eggs and dairy) or plant based proteins (beans, legumes, pulses, soy products and nuts/seeds) are key in a healthy balanced diet. Regular consumption helps to keep our bodies and cells functioning, works to build our muscles, organs, skin and bones! Protein also plays a role in the structure and function of our hormones! For these reasons please, prioritise protein!
Healthy fats (such as olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocadoes and oily fish) are needed to help us function! Regular and healthy consumption works to support brain development and helps us to absorb key nutrients. They allow us to concentrate, are beneficial toward our overall mood and could help to protect our cells from damage. Remember, fat doesn’t make you fat, those healthy, mono and poly unsaturated fats make you full!
Of course, we cannot always create a perfectly balanced plate, and that’s okay! Sometimes life gets in the way.
However, restricting a specific food group from our diet could not only cause us to miss out on key nutrients needed for our body and mind to function at its best, but could also cause cravings or the potential to over eat as we are not fully satisfied from our meals. These cravings are often for the more refined, processed snacks rather than the more nutrient dense whole foods. Work to move away from the fear of a particular food group and begin to understand its benefits, or what you may end up lacking if you consistently go without.
Taking a balanced approach to our diet
Feel content in the knowledge that balancing your plate with nutritious foods most of the time should help you to feel good, compared to if you consistently eat highly processed, fast food. However that isn’t to say we shouldn’t enjoy these foods occasionally, as it is a lot of fun, and all part of a healthy balanced lifestyle!
When we focus on consuming healthy, nutritious meals which leave our bodies feeling satisfied and fulfilled, our mindset towards dieting can begin to change, seeing our food choices as a part of our lifestyle rather than a restrictive diet with a start and end date.
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet means no restrictions or rules – but nutrients, variety and more time to truly listen to our body and understanding that it’s individual needs will change each day!
Here at the Garden we take pride offering the most nutritious, seasonal produce all year round. We focus on creating balanced and colourful meals that will leave you feeling satisfied and fulfilled.
Holistic Health Coach - Anna Whyte
'The 'Wellness with Anna' philosophy focuses on taking a more balanced and holistic approach to health, providing clients with the tools they need to make sustainable changes and the motivation to start their new health journey.
We discuss how you can eat real, nourishing food, exercise mindfully and prioritise time to relax. What I provide isn't a diet; it's a holistic approach to a healthier life.'