You’ve likely heard of your friends or family detailing a new diet that they’re trying and it’s working great… only to hear about someone else explaining a completely different diet that is also working great!
How can this be?
How is it possible that completely contradictory diets still seem to work for some people?
Let’s assume a typical diet – milk, bread, processed foods, cereals, high sugar loads, combined with some meats, fruits and vegetables. Now, introduce a “new diet” of only vegetables.
Removing milk, breads, and sugar and replacing them with more vegetables is a huge step in the right direction.
The result, for at least the short term, would be feeling better, possibly having more energy and even less inflammation.
The obvious conclusion of course – vegetarianism is the best diet. Any claim that it’s not, is echoed with the sentiment “it worked for me!”
The same is true for exercise. If you haven’t moved in decades and you start walking backwards up the stairs with a blindfold on – you will absolutely improve your health.
In fact, any movement would be an upgrade from what you were considering your current health regime.
We agree, taking an action step that is better than what you are doing now is a start but the improvements will eventually fade away. There’s a massive difference between better and optimal.
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How do we define an optimal diet?
It’s not by the conventional standard of “what makes you feel better”; it must be based on what is required for the body to function in its healthiest state and the application of the actions that will meet those needs.
For example, the nutrient requirements of the body are protein, fat and micronutrients (carbohydrate is technically not required but still recommended in appropriate doses and quality).
The more closely your diet approximates these needs, with as low levels of toxicity as possible, the healthier you get.
Eating an all-vegetable diet is better than an all Big Mac diet but it is far from an optimal one.
Walking on a treadmill or running 5k’s is better than lying on the couch but it won’t work as well as strength training and conditioning to improve your health.
So, when someone claims their new diet is amazing! Take that claim with a grain of salt and ask yourself… is it optimal or is it just better than nothing?
To learn more about consuming an optimal diet, join us at our next Eat By Design Workshop by clicking this link.
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