Rules, Rules, Rules

Don’t eat after 7 pm, space out your eating with 5 or 6 meals through out the day, don’t skip breakfast, wait maybe skip breakfast, eat egg yolks, nope don’t eat egg yolks, wait, take that back, you can eat the egg yolks.

Does it ever seem like there is a never ending list of rules and studies when it comes to eating?  That’s because there is a never ending list of rules and studies all about eating.  All of the information that is out there is  overwhelming and often times contradicting.  This confusion can really put a damper on your good effort to eat the best way possible.  First, you’re presented with all of these diets from low-carb to no-fat to all-fat to everything in between.  How do you know which one to choose?  Then, there are what seems like daily nutritional studies released telling you the rules on how to eat.  It’s enough to make your head spin and give up all of your good intentions about eating better.

How are you supposed to navigate through the plethora of information out there?  You won’t like my answer because it isn’t an easy solution. You’ve heard me say it before, but you will have to spend time learning how different foods and eating techniques (not the fine art of chewing. Think more along the lines of what time of day to eat).  Because I can’t tell you exactly what you need to do for your body, I’ll give you a general outline of how to figure out what you need.

Define your nutritional goals. Decide what it is exactly that you want to fix/work on.  Make it a very clear goal such as: “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to have more energy.”  If you know exactly what you want from your daily diet, you can eliminate anything that does not pertain to your specific goal

Research what diets that will help accomplish your goal. There are so many resources out today that can really help you find exactly what you need for better nutrition.  Books, blogs, articles, doctors, dieticians.  The list goes on and on.  Even starting with a quick google search can get you started.  Just make sure you are only looking at things that will help you further your goal.  If you want to have more energy, but are researching the diets of super bodybuilders, you will probably NOT meet your goal and get really discouraged or confused.

Dive in and experiment. Once you find one or two methods that will help you meet your goals and are realistic (and not dangerous, like eating only through a feeding tube once a day), start experimenting and see how your body reacts.  Do certain foods effect you negatively? Or do they give you the exact result you want? Does eating at a certain time in the day or in a specific way hurt or help your goal?  As you go along you will be able to really fine tune what and the way you eat to maximize your personal goal.

Don’t get worried or sidetracked by new studies. When a new study comes out that says it has been shown that you will lose more weight if you eat while walking in concentric circles, don’t get flustered because you have been eating while walking in an oval.  If what you are doing is working for you, i.e. you are achieving your goal, then don’t worry so much about every single little study that is released.  I’m not bashing the scientific process here, I know that research studies are an important part of life and they do help us discover new and better things.  BUT, you will drive yourself crazy if you try to adhere to every single “rule” or diet that comes out, and stress isn’t good for anyone.

All in all, the most important thing is that you do what is best for YOU.  There is no one perfect way to eat for every human being.  Some people will have different dietary needs than others and that is OK!  We are all unique and we shouldn’t expect one quick fix for every person.  I used to think that I had to follow every single piece of diet advice out there or that if I wasn’t following the newest diet people were judging me.  Now that I have grown up and matured a little (not much, but a little), I have stopped worrying so much about following the crowds and care more about what works best for me.  I’m the one who has to live with this body, and I should treat it the way it needs to be treated! With all the love and care I can!

Hopefully I was able to sort a few things out for you and give you some helpful tips on how to navigate through the nutrition jungle! I hope that you all have the best week and if you’re here in the Midwest, I hope you stay warm!