In my two most recent posts in the public policy series, I’ve addressed food and healthcare. Clearly, these are both very intricately connected to diet. The food one consumes is directly related to their diet and one’s healthcare is also affected (positively/negatively) as a result of their diet. Meaning, if I eat McDonald’s for the next 30 days like Morgan Spurlock, my health will seriously deteriorate. Today, I thought I’d talk about “the perfect diet.”
With quotations, did you know, that there are over 1,000,000 returns for “the perfect diet?” I think that’s incredible. For the phrase, “the best diet,” there are over 26,000,000 returns. Diet by itself will give you nearly 600,000,000 returns. From my estimation, it would seem that this is a pretty important issue to people and rightfully so. Did you know that most cells in the human body renew themselves? Meaning, the cells that make up the skin on your arm will not be the same cells that make up the skin on your arm in 2 or 3 months (give or take). So what does that mean? Where do we get more cells? Or more accurately, where do we get the means with which to make new cells?
Food is the “fuel” of the body. Some believe they don’t even need food, only sunlight, but I won’t go into detail about that. Again, food is the fuel of the body. However, this ‘energy source’ for the body isn’t always presented and consumed in its simplest form. Meaning, the body usually needs to break down the food into parts, such that the energy can be harvested from the food and directed to the appropriate cells. It’s said that there are three main groups of food: carbohydrates (starch or sugar), fat, and protein [of course we could quibble over just how many groups there are, but this is what was written in the previous reference, so I’m going with it.] It’s these different groups of food, (and the way our body processes food), where the discussion about diets usually diverges.
Some people think you should have a low-carbohydrate diet, while others think you should have a no-carbohydrate diet. Some advocate for veganism. Some advocate for what could be seen as a “less stringent” form of veganism — vegatarianism — which has many degrees to it. Some advocate a slow-carb diet. I could go on and on with the various types of diets that are out there. I’m sure you’ve probably tried or heard about a diet that I haven’t listed.
I’m here to tell you today that there is a perfect diet out there for you — I promise. You may be here in search of it. I’ve been blessed with “good genes” and the motivation to stay relatively fit, which has allowed me to eat pretty much whatever I’ve wanted with gaining weight. I don’t mean to sound boastful and at the same time, some may be jealous of this. I think there are a number of reasons as to why my level of health (as gauged through body fat % and weight) is as good as it is, but I’ll save that for another day.
Holding my physical health constant, I’ve been able to try a number of different diets. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have a mother who cooked a variety of cuisines (from Chinese to Indian to Mexican to Italian, etc.). As an adult, I’ve also had the good fortune of trying a couple of different diets. As you’ll note from our Sport & Performance Psychology Resources, we recommend Brendan Brazier’s books — The Thrive Diet being his book on diet, of course. For a time, I ate exclusively what was mandated through the The Thrive Diet. You’ll note that Brazier is a vegan, so all of his recipes are vegan. More recently, I experimented with Tim Ferriss’ diet from the 4-hour body. Ferriss advocates a slow-carb diet, which I mentioned in listing off diets earlier in this post.
In my experimenting with these diets, (and weighing it against how I felt when not on these diets), and then reading reports of how people (fared) with these diets, I came to realize that there’s something that I haven’t read with regard to diets (or maybe I have and just don’t remember seeing it) — it’s personal. Literally, it’s personal. One could read and try thousands of diets from Alicia Silverstone’s to Suzanne Somers’ and still never find the perfect diet. I think that this is the case because there is no perfect diet for everyone. I think Ayurveda is on the right track when they talk about one’s Dosha (or body type). Meaning, we can group certain body types together and give them a constitution for what people with these body types should typically eat (and not eat). Of course, there are blends of the doshas, and exceptions.
The main takeaway is that there are almost 7 billion people on the Earth. To my wisdom, I would argue that there are just as many “perfect” diets out there. No one can tell you what the perfect diet is for you — only you can assess that. I would encourage you to try things out. Try diet-x or diet-y, but if you don’t feel good after trying it (giving it the appropriate amount of time, of course), then maybe that diet’s not for you. And maybe you don’t find the “perfect” diet with regard to someone else’s plan. Maybe you blend diet-j and diet-w to your new diet — and you write a book about it. When it comes to your body, you are one of the most qualified.
*Disclaimer: Because America is known for being a society of litigation, I thought it necessary to say that I, and Genuine Thriving, cannot be held responsible for your decisions based on reading this post. I am not a physician, nor do I hold any degrees in nutrition, so before making any changes to your diet, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend you consult a physician or educated professional.