That’s the million-dollar question! I will tell you that the diet industry does not know. There are over 100 dietary theories ranging from Paleo to Raw Vegan and everything you can think of in between. I have personally done MANY different diets looking for THE ONE that will help me lose weight and keep it off. The fact is, no one diet will work for every person. We are all different in a variety of ways. Some of us feel great after we eat (fill in the blank) meat, carbs, veggies, or dairy, while others may feel sick. Our body types, budgets, nutrition knowledge and time we can spend on dietary changes are all different. All of these factors need to be taken into account when choosing the right diet.
My personal journey began after I graduated college. I am a “Lifetime” Weight Watcher member, a former South Beach, Slim for Life, 21 Day-Fix and Paleo gal. I have most recently been on the Keto diet. While each of them worked for a time, I found it difficult to sustain many of these resulting in yo-yo dieting.
After completing my program through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and learning more about leaky gut, I realized I needed to figure out what foods were not contributing to my health.
Through the assistance of a Functional Medicine doctor, I completed a 21-day Elimination Diet. I eliminated: Beef, eggs, gluten, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar! What’s left, you might ask???? I ate lots of chicken, turkey, fish, veggies, fruits, including avocado, nuts, and seeds. It really wasn’t too difficult. I have slowly worked everything back into my life and realized that I have trouble with dairy products. Holy moly!!!! I never knew it but really noticed a difference in my digestion and elimination when I put dairy back into my diet. I’m sad….as I’m a cheese lover, but the destruction to my stomach is not worth it!
I also had some extensive blood work done and as I’ve always known, I have high cholesterol. My doctor tested more than the usual Total Cholesterol, HDH, LDL and Triglycerides. Sure enough, some of those other items were high as well. So, he has placed me on the Mediterranean Diet with a twist. I also need to try to go Gluten Free. I’ll have my blood retested in 3 months and see how this is working.
I am not looking at this as a “lose the weight diet”. I have evolved to look at it as an “I want to play with grandkids some day, diet”. It makes it easier to follow and I don’t feel as deprived when I skip the cheese, beef and gluten-laden foods.
One tip I can offer that all diets ascribe to is to ELIMINATE the sugar and processed foods. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for most of your items. If you want to try an elimination diet, let me know! It’s really not as hard as it sounds.