Have you tried any diets this summer? Chances are you did considering this is the season for baring more skin than normal. I recently tried another round of whole 30 but failed miserably on many levels. I first attempted Whole 30 about 18 months ago with my sister-in-law. Of course it was in January when every other person in the world starts a diet, but my goal was to live and breathe whole 30 so I could better understand and help my patients who also wanted to give it a try. I read the book cover to cover about 2 weeks prior to starting and stayed on point for a whole 22 days. I ended up going to dinner with friends I hadn't seen in a while and pretty much broke every rule whole 30 lays out (meaning I had homemade pasta, homemade bread with real butter, a glass of wine and dessert split 3 ways). That night I had a lot of abdominal pain but because I had 4 violations in one meal, I was never certain of the culprit(s). So when a coworker stated she wanted to try whole 30 this summer, I thought, why not? Let's give it a go since I'll have an accountability partner and maybe this time I'll do the reintroduction phase the right way. Except I didn't because truth be told I didn't follow the rules again. I made up my own whole 30ish plan that I followed for about 2 weeks religiously and then things started falling apart. Because guess what? Diets are hard and not fun! And they don't work. So why do we keep trying them?
I get the privilege to work with people every day about this very topic. My most successful patients are not the ones that follow a strict diet with a lot of rules and regulations but those that figure out how to "have their cake and eat it too". What good is a diet if it only gets you short term success? Who wants to be bothered with restarting a diet every year, or every 6 months, or let's be honest here ... every week? It's both physically, mentally AND emotionally draining starting over all the time.
It may sound cliche' but honestly the best diet ever is the one you can maintain for the rest of your life. Not for 30 days, not for 3 months but for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. And guess what? It requires saying no sometimes, it requires choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and it requires CONSISTENCY. I tell all of my weight loss patients there are over one hundred different ways to lose weight ... we just have to find the way that works best for YOU. Not your neighbor down the street or your niece or your best friend from high school ... YOU.
So what does that look like? It could look like some of the commercial programs out there filled with easy simple meal replacements. It could also look like a vegetarian diet. Or it may look like eating all of your favorites but keeping portion control in check. There's no reason to slam what works well for others because we are all on our own journey. And our health is not a competition and most certainly not something we should judge others about. The word diet honestly makes me cringe because I know the inevitable outcome. So let's take a different approach. What one thing can you do differently right now when it comes to your health? Do you need to drink more water? Want to start adding a 20 minute walk after dinner? Looking to add an extra serving (or two) of vegetables to your diet? Do that. Do that today. And tomorrow do it again. And continue doing that each day after that. And then pick another thing to incorporate into your routine. That's the best diet ever.