Why No Diet is One-Size-Fits-All
One Size – Your Size!
There are so many reasons as to why no “diet” is one-size-fits-all. Let me walk you through not just the reasons behind this truth, but also the inner-workings of such a concept as “diet.” For starters, let’s take a look at you!
What if, when you looked in the mirror, you decided to gauge how broad your smile is, how relaxed your shoulders look or how confident your stance is? These are huge indicators of the type of first impression you give to others (and to yourself)! Now imagine if your shoulders were slouched forwards, and mine were pinched up near my ears. Me telling you to ease your shoulders down would not fix your posture problem! Instead, you’d need to pull your shoulders back! The same idea holds true for “diet.”
But, before I continue, let’s get clear on the concept of diet. Diet is the food that somebody eats, but the word “diet” has also come to mean a specific set of rules when referencing what food a person should or should not eat. So maybe take a minute, right now, to ask yourself the following two questions: am I on a “diet”? Or do I want to change my diet? Your answers to these questions will determine how you read the rest of this blog.
So, what are the reasons behind why no “diet” is one-size-fits-all? And…how are the “rules” to a “diet” established?
My Food but Your Poison
Food can either be medicine…or poison. This is the most logical and down-to-earth reason as to why no one diet could possibly work for everyone. In my own experience of monitoring my body as if I’m a scientist and my body is an experiment, I drew the conclusion that dairy, gluten, and sugar are all like poison, or like a drug, for my body. On the other hand, my sister recently came to realize that she cannot eat onions or tomatoes. Amazing how different we are!
I find that when I eat dairy, I get acne and my stomach hurts. When I eat gluten, my stomach hurts and I feel like I am out of control when it comes to consuming more food. When I eat sugar, I find myself craving more food than my body can safely handle. So for me, my diet consists of gluten-free and dairy-free foods (with naturally occurring sugar) as well as honey as that does not trigger my body the way regular sugar does. I’m not on a “diet” because adjusting my diet to cater to the needs of my body got rid of the need for me to be on a “diet.”
I now feel happy, healthy, fit, and energized without depriving myself of the foods that my body truly wants.
Looking very closely at my diet helped me learn how to take care of my body, but chances are good that my diet will not work equally as well for you. So how does one go about cultivating a diet that works?
NEWSFLASH: Your Diet is ALREADY Working
One of the most valuable things I did in taking my first steps toward experiencing a diet that works for me was recognizing that I’m alive and well with the food that I am eating today. Then, I decided that I wanted to feel…better. From that moment on, I did my best to make an effort to take care of myself by standing up for the changes I wanted to see. The hardest part was trusting myself more than trusting those around me—after all, how are THEY supposed to know what’s best for MY body?
Going back to the concept of one person’s food is another person’s poison, take an inventory of what you regularly put into your body and how this makes you feel. Then, make one change and see what happens. A process like this works really well for how you go about adjusting and personalizing your diet to your own unique needs. And…THAT is what it means for no one diet to work for everyone.
Science and Diets
There are a lot of science-backed diets out there, and it can definitely be overwhelming to know about all of them, or to hope that the “diet” you’re on is the best one for you. But behind all that science is a person who realizes that the diet worked best for him, he was so excited to share this finding with others, and it helped a majority of those who also tried it. Just because a pre-set “diet” is stressful and not working the way you’d like it to does not mean there isn’t a diet out there that won’t. Chances are, you need to create that “diet” for yourself, and have it become your DIET.
As you go through the process of figuring out what foods are medicine to your body, I congratulate you on your strength as you navigate your journey. Here’s to your food!
Nicole Edwards did her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She enjoys helping women harness their own energy, thereby growing the collective effort to inspire women to make the world more connected, healthier, and happier.
Nicole grew up on a sailboat in the Bahamas with her family. When they came ashore to NC, she was eight years old. The next fifteen years consisted of traditional schooling, which she feels squashed her creative potential. She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University with a degree in Russian Regional Studies, but her own journey surrounding her relationship with food and love, and a tour of Chornobyl caused her to switch gears.