Sunday Q&A

Q: Some people label the way they eat, like keto or intermittent fasting. What are your thoughts?

A: This is a biggie and there’s NO WAY I could answer it all in this little post. But this got me really excited about the idea of creating a diet educational series. I plan to put together 1 page handouts (myself or find some good ones online) for most diets. If people have a specific diet that I don’t address, they can let me know and I’ll make or create one! So handouts and information on the ins and outs of dozens of diets will be coming over the next few months!

But to speak to your question in general –

Here’s the deal, there is no one perfect diet. I believe that the best diet is the following – eating a wide variety of WHOLESOME foods that provides a BALANCE of nutrients and allows you to eat INTUITIVELY. You should feel SATISFIED in fullness (so no under or overeating) and flavor when you’re done eating.

There are dozens of diets out there and every 5-10 years there is a new trend that claims to save the world. The reality of it is that we are obsessed with food in America and we are also obsessed with losing weight – two things that are very difficult to pair together. Don’t believe me – how many people spend hours watching food network a week? I bet half the patients’ rooms I go into who are not allowed to eat for a medical reason will be watching food network. Talk about torture!!

When we restrict we become overly focused on what we have restricted and we begin to develop a lack mindset and tunnel vision. This is an adaptive behavior our brains have done for thousands of years to help with our survival. So when a new diet comes along, we are very excited to try this new thing out since it might allow us to eat some previously forbidden food and also lose weight. These claims often fall short.

When I speak about diets, I mean the way someone eats. There are LOTS of ways you can eat and you need to find one that fits the description above. If someone wants to follow a special diet that restricts, it’s important to ask WHY – what do you think this diet will do for you? And then ask why 4 more times. There is something called “The 5 Whys” that gets to the bottom of what the real intentions are.

With that, people will still try new diets and it’s important to have realistic information about the diet. I think it’s helpful to categorize diets.

 

Here are the 6 main categories I created to better group them with a few examples –

1. Inflammatory Elimination Diets – FODMAPs, gluten-free, paleo, non-GMO

2. Macro Elimination Diets – keto, south beath, atkins, whole30

3. Medical diets – diabetic diet, liquid diet, low-fat diet, GERD diet, diverticulosis diet

4. Weight loss diets – any of the above plus calorie restriction

5. Philosophical diets – vegan, kosher, various forms of vegetarianism

6. Time-based dieting – intermittent fasting, 80/20 dieting, day-off diet

I’m sure there are many more but I think most all could fit into these groups. I will work on some handouts over the upcoming months to better explain these diets!

In addition, I’ll do another post about diets – why we diet, what this does to our weight and health and what it means to be on a diet.

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