How to Eat with Confidence in 2017

How many times have you thought about food since waking up this morning? Not just about what you want to eat, but about what would actually be good for you?

Maybe you thought about cooking with egg whites, or drinking coffee with low-fat milk, or skipping that second slice of leftover pumpkin pie.

If you’re committed to building better food habits, chances are you spend some time thinking about your food choices. But how often do you feel fully confident in your food choices?

Eating on a Hunch

If you’re confused by all the food advice pouring in from every direction, you’re not alone. There’s a lot to digest and sometimes the information is contradictory. While this flood of food advice has encouraged more food awareness, it has also resulted in people making dietary decisions that simply don’t work for them. For example, how often have you or someone you know committed to religiously avoiding “carbs” or “fat” because it seemed like the right thing to do? Or cutting all gluten, or dairy, because a news source talked about it?

The problem is that we are bombarded with so much nutritional advice that we end up crossing our fingers in hopes that a new diet is the one. But do the facts support that this diet is right for you? Is it sustainable? What many popular “fad” diets have in common is a focus on one superfood ingredient or one “culprit” (food group). Sometimes it’s fat. Sometimes it’s carbs. Sometimes it’s gluten. All you have to do is cut out that one food culprit for guaranteed results or add in that one “superfood” and you’ll look and feel great, just like magic!

If only our bodies, and science, were that simple. In practice, for most people, these kinds of approaches rarely result in long-term success.

Anytime you completely cut out a major macronutrient, be it carbs, fats, or protein, you’re left with a nutritional gap. On the flip side, just adding one or two nutrient-rich foods won’t counteract other unhealthy habits. Such self-imposed nutritional deficits are unlikely to produce lasting results, and may even be harmful to your health.

Despite our best efforts, many of the dietary solutions out there simply cannot deliver the results we crave.

It’s Not You, it’s the Diet

The good news is that this is most likely not about our effort, it’s more likely a problem with the diet itself. Many fad-based diets and food trends assume we all metabolize food the same way — this cannot be further from the truth. The diet that works for your best friend, your spouse or your favorite celebrity is not guaranteed to work for you, because your nutritional needs and metabolism are unique to you.

The journey towards nutritional health and wellbeing has many different beginnings. Sometimes it comes after a serious health scare. Other times, it’s the pressure to get in shape for a beach vacation or gain more energy to do things you want to do. Of course, around this time of the year, many of us feel a little guilty about the many holiday indulgences we’ve partaken in. Regardless of the exact trigger, we all deserve to feel good in our bodies and get lasting results.

If you want to enjoy food and see real change, then maybe diets that put everyone into one bucket aren’t for you. Your body functions as a complex system to metabolize the fats, carbs, and proteins in your daily diet. The overall efficiency of this process depends on your food choices, lifestyle, and genetics. Healthy eating starts with being mindful of your unique story and tailoring your diet to support it.

So how do you figure out what your unique story is? Many people who have been let down by the one-size-fits-all diets are turning to personalized approaches and seeing better results. The latest published studies agree; multiple independent cohort studies looking at dietary patterns show that personalized recommendations lead to more lasting dietary changes, compared to general recommendations.

A Plate Full of Confidence

The first step towards eating without doubt is being confident in our food choices. Confident that the food we choose everyday is providing us with the right nourishment for our bodies and the energy to take on the day.

The path towards building this confidence starts with understanding what our bodies crave at the cellular level. We’ve all asked ourselves questions like “is this no-dairy thing right for me? These kinds of questions can be answered by taking a look at how our bodies respond to food. With science-based recommendations based on your unique biology, you can start to take the guesswork out of your everyday food choices.

Armed with this knowledge about your unique biology, the next time you think about what to eat, the choice will be clear and you can make it with confidence.

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