What’s the best diet to follow?

May 21st, 2017

There are many “diets” and eating plans recommended for good health these days.  Almost everyone has heard about Atkins, Weight Watchers, Zone, South Beach, and many others.  I always get asked, “which diet is the best for me?”  Here is the simple answer:  the best diet for you is one that you will be able to stick with for the rest of your life and fits in with your needs.  I often call this diet with a lowercase “d” and not a capital “D”, because it should be unique and specific to you.

Most fad diets are very restrictive and tell you “eat this, and none of that”, imposed over a short period of time.  We are all creatures of habit.  If you are used to eating a donut every morning, Atkins (which strictly prohibits complex carbs), would probably make you miserable.  Sure, you could probably replace that donut with eggs every morning, but how would your body and mind react?  Instead, I recommend slow, gradual changes (SMART goals) that would allow you to adapt to a healthier way of eating over a long period of time.  How about for the first few weeks, you change the donut to a plain cake donut without icing.  The following weeks, you could change the donut for white toast with jelly.  Maybe the next it could be whole wheat toast with jelly.  See where I’m going with this?

In my own life, it’s taken a few years but I’ve adopted many features of eating in the Mediterranean diet.  I’ve reduced my intake of red meat and replaced it with fish and vegetarian protein (such as beans).  It hasn’t been an easy process, but I’ve noticed many positive changes in my mood, energy level, and overall health.