When I was an undergraduate, I would occasionally go for a night out. Given my financial state in college, a night out meant going to Barnes and Noble, plopping down in a chair, and reading anything that had nothing to do with school.
I spent the most time in the diet section. I love reading about diets. There are so many. Some have a lot of value, and some are crazy. If you ever see something about a grapefruit diet, run away. Run fast.
You will never see me advocate any of these diets, awful or awesome, in this blog.
There are two reasons for this.
The first is that you are an adult, you are clearly capable of reading, you probably have used Google before, and so you can do your own research.
The second reason is that “going on a diet” is worthless, whereas finding a way of eating that works for your life and helps you achieve your goals is invaluable.
Everyone has a different body. Some people might benefit from cutting out dairy. Others will feel horrible without their glass of milk or cheese. To some folks, the only ethical and responsible choice is to be vegetarian or vegan. Other folks feel unbalanced without meat, and want to take a more paleo diet approach. Some people like the slow carb diet that Tim Ferrris writes about in “4 Hour Body,” others find that eating that many legumes leaves them with gas and stomachaches.
While how your body reacts to a diet is a really important first step in considering your choices, you also need to consider your social life- which I would argue is the biggest cause of diet failure. You also need to think about your budget. Beans are cheaper than meat, non-organic is cheaper than organic. How much do you want to spend on what you eat? Time is another issue. If you are used to microwaving tv dinners and ordering takeout, you aren’t going to magically start preparing three meals a day everyday.
While you’re perusing the library, the bookstore, and the internet for changes that work for you and help you achieve your goals, here’s something to keep in mind: There is no bad food.
I repeat: THERE IS NO BAD FOOD! There are foods that move you closer to your goals, and foods that move you farther away. Stop feeling guilty about your guilty pleasures- that’s what they are there for. Stop worrying that raw kale might kill you or that you are horrible, undisciplined slob because you ate seven cookies.
Food is a tool that you can use to achieve things you want to do (just like fitness!). Stop attaching moral judgments to what you eat, make a food plan that works with your life and that you can commit to fully, and live happily ever after. The end.