In the struggle to eat right one of the biggest challenges is figuring out which diet to partake in. But before you dig into the world of diets, let me stop you–there’s an easier route.
You’re closer than you think to the perfect diet; the one that will help you reach your health goals, manage your concerns, and run smoothly alongside your lifestyle.
What’s the missing key, then, to unlock this mystery diet? Your body! And by body, I also mean what’s in it: your mind and your emotions. Yes, one of the best ways to arrive at the perfect diet is by listening to our bodies. I call this the Foundational Diet.
But it’s not always clear on where to start, or how to facilitate such communication. And what do our emotions have to do with any of it?
Here are three tips to help you connect with your body in order to unlock your perfect diet:
Pay attention to how you feel with each meal
How did you feel after that Chicken Caesar Salad? Any better or worse than after that grilled veggie sandwich? By sensing negative reactions (bloating, sluggishness, heartburn) or positive ones (stable energy, improved clarity, satiated for hours), we begin to understand which foods work best for our body. From there it’s simple: add in more of those foods that make you feel good.
And here’s an extra tip: the simpler the meal, the easier it is to understand how various ingredients make you feel. This is especially helpful if you suspect an allergy. You may want to be tested for if you find that you consistently feel bad with a particular food or meal.
Write it down
Keep a journal handy–digitally or traditionally–and write down every meal, snack and beverage you consume. And don’t stop at the food: be sure to include how those foods (or beverages) made you feel, as I describe above. It might sound tedious, but this practice helps you hone your ability to read your body’s cues; to know which foods in your diet contribute to your health goals, and those that don’t. Writing it down provides reinforcement!
Confirm the consequences
Once you establish connections between certain foods and the way you feel, you’ll begin to see the value of your choices. Every little decision leads you closer to a diet that helps you reach your health goals. Like realizing your body feels better with whole milk in your morning latte rather than skim. That’s encouraging; it builds confidence! You’ll also be able to discern which foods are worth your while; no one will have to tell you “don’t eat x” when you know for yourself “x” makes you feel crummy with a headache.
It is so empowering to know every choice we make–however small or large–has a consequence. That our body can and will react to what we eat! This connection is the foundation of every healthy, personalized diet. Which is why I call it the Foundational Diet! And over time that connection will become stronger and clearer.
And me? My Foundational Diet provides freedom. It also ensures I pay attention to every meal. For example, I find that I have steadier energy, brighter skin and better sleep when I really limit my sugar intake. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy sweets, but I know not to overdo it because I don’t like to experience those reactions. (This is me weighing the consequences! Chocolate tastes great and enhances serotonin, but at the same time it does add caffeine, sugar and most likely weight!) What else? My body loves quinoa. It gives me energy, helps with digestion and keeps me satiated after every meal – it just works well with me! This is helpful to know so that I can be sure to keep it a constant in my diet.
And what was that about emotions?
A healthy diet is optimized when we’re in a happy state; when we’re encouraged and confident our choices are leading us down the right path. Stress hormones, like cortisol, force your body to store energy, which can lead to weight-gain, bloat and digestive discomfort.
So along with dietary choices, emotions matter! Surround yourself with individuals who will encourage and support you in your health endeavours. Lyfebulb sees great value in having such a community, which is why we love to connect people through our Lyfebulb Connect initiative. Join us!
Please note: these tips are geared for individuals who are without medical conditions; for those interested in making dietary changes with a medical condition please consult your doctor first.