From Atkins to raw-foodism, the Paleo Diet to veganism, there are a million and one diets out there for you to try. Chances are you’ll probably fail at least once. The reason? These popular fad diets weren’t written for YOU. Your neighbor Sally Jo lost 36 pounds in 2 weeks following diet XYZ, so why are you curled up in a ball of defeat, surrounded by piles of rejected clothing that you swear fit last week? Because you and Sally Jo, sweet as she may be, aren’t the same person. You have different metabolisms, different genes, and different lifestyles. You actually like vegetables; she abhors anything that isn’t in the meat group. You prefer the silence and meditation of a humid Bikram yoga class; she prefers to hit the pavement in neon colored shoes that wrap around her toes like a glove for the foot.
When nothing about you is the same, you can’t expect the same results with the same program. That’s what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) is emphasizing this March during the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month. The Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day’ theme of this year’s celebration of healthy eating aims to remind people to make good diet choices based not only on what works for them, but what foods they like.
A press release from the founding organization states Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day’ means finding a healthy diet that incorporates an individual’s lifestyle, health concerns, traditions, and food preferences. The emphasis on the big picture of an overall healthy diet versus a specific number of calories or fat grams fits seamlessly with the government’s MyPlate recommendations, the 2011 replacement to the outdated food pyramid most of us learned about in middle school health class.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans outlines some easy-to-follow tips to get your health on the right track:
- Make half your plate fruit or veggies
- Eat foods you enjoy, but not as much
- Watch your portion sizes
- Skip sugar-laden drinks and opt for water
- Choose low-sodium foods
Get more tips at ChooseMyPlate.gov
So for the rest of National Nutrition Month, how about ditching the diets and pledge to start figuring out what works for you (and only you)?