Paleo, vegan, macrobiotic, traditional foods, The Zone, Atkins, raw food.. the list goes on and on and on. It seems everyone today is labeling themselves by the type of diet they are currently on.
Being a health coach I fully believe in bioindividuality and that no one diet is right for everyone. So I totally get why there are so many diet theories out there. But is it a good idea to label yourself according to a specific dietary theory?
I was a vegan once. I have also been a vegetarian, raw vegan, macrobiotic and more. As a nutritional expert I believe it is important to experiment with certain ways of eating. During my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition it seemed like I was changing my diet every week according to the dietary theory we were studying.
So what’s wrong with labeling yourself, you ask. I’ll tell ya why.
1. The guilt.
When you have a craving for something not on your diet and you eat it you’re filled with guilt. Guilt is never good. I believe in a healthy dose of moderation – otherwise, you will feel deprived. If you’re not allergic to the banned food and you truly have a craving for it – enjoy a small amount of it. It’s ok. You’ll live.
2. Social Situations.
If you are in a situation where there is absolutely nothing to eat according to your diet – what do you do? Starve and let your blood sugar crash? No bueno. Of course, in certain situations it is better to be hungry than to eat what’s available if you know you’re going to leave soon.
3. It can alienate you from family and friends.
People begin to get all weird when you come over for dinner or have them to your house. Believe me – been there, done that. I’m not saying to give in to peer pressure. I’m just saying if you don’t bombard everyone with your strict dietary guidelines it could make things go a little smoother. If you’re going to a dinner where you know there won’t be anything you can eat then take a dish or two that you can enjoy and everyone else will, too.
4. You could possibly deny a healthy craving your body is having.
Maybe you would actually do better with a little meat in your diet but your a vegan and that would be blasphemy. My blood type does better with animal protein and once I began eating meat, eggs, chicken and fish again I felt better.
5. As you age your body’s needs change and maybe your diet should, too.
Maybe you once thrived on an Atkins-type diet but now that you’re getting older the inflammation from the acidic diet you once had is reeking havoc on your body and more of a plant based diet is the ticket.
I know people identify with others that have the same diet. My point is more about taking it easy on yourself. Don’t get so caught up in it. It’s great that you’ve found something that works for you. Try not to focus on being perfect all the time. Don’t feel guilty if you had a piece of sugary, white flour cake on your pure, raw food diet – it happens. Move on and do your best at the next meal.
Next time, when someone asks what diet your follow just say “I eat good food and do the best I can for the health of my body.” No restrictions. No guilt.
Do you label yourself according to your diet? What has been your experience -good or bad?
Tell me in the comments below.