January is the time of year when the mighty masses, from lithe yoga instructors to heavy-set sallow-faced pre- and post- heart surgery patients make a beeline for the diet section of the bookstore. Fresh from college or retirement party, they gingerly pick at the vast selection of diet titles, or go straight for the latest fad-diet best-seller. Some leave empty-handed in frustration.
Am I a vegan or a Paleo? Do I want to get healthy or skinny? Will healthy food make me thin? Will diet smoothies make me healthy? Will my kids eat this stuff??
Can we go home now?
Of course you can. It's a new year; time to ask the real experts, and get some coaching. If your doctor says you’re pretty healthy, come join a wellness workshop or combine a cooking class with a nutrition app to help you get started (again). If your doctor says you have metabolic syndrome, or “pre-diabetes” go immediately to a dietitian! This is no time to see what Her Royal Princess did, or trust the word of some website called “lose 100 pounds in 15 days”. Her Royal Princess doesn’t have a 4 to midnight schedule waiting tables, isn’t raising three rambunctious boys, dealing with family medical issues, or flying to sales conferences every week. And the site that claims you can lose 100 pounds in 15 days isn’t the Mayo Clinic. They ain’t objective.
Speaking of objective, nutrition science has been making huge advances lately in our knowledge base, but meanwhile everyone with a program or wellness product is cherry-picking “news” that makes them look like they have the secret to your weight loss and health. The true secret is, when it comes to your body, don't rely on something that sounds way too damn simple to be true. Your beautiful body is one complex organism. Your adult intestines are about 26 feet long!
Talk to someone who can put themselves in your shoes, or join a group of people IN your shoes, because what you put on your lunch plate has everything to do with where you are in life and where you’re trying to go. After that, you’ll know which book to buy. Do you need to eat on the go? Perhaps you should avoid the slow-cooker health plan in favor of an app that helps you find nourishing restaurants in any city. While the 25 healthiest foods may be the same for nearly everyone, your method of getting them is yours only.