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Greggs under the guise of an artisan delicatessen

Source: Joe Pepler/PinPep/WENN.com / WENN

We’ve all done it….The yo-yo diet. The elimination diet. The fad diet. The meals in boxes. The points. Most of the time, we’re doing it because a friend told us to do it. We have no idea what diet we’re even following, but so-and-so had success with it so, why not?

What works for one person, might not work for another. No extreme diet should be done without talking to your doctor about what your body might or might not need. Hopefully, you find someone with some nutrition knowledge because most medical doctors aren’t required to even study nutrition.

Holly Haze says “The word diet actually does not sit well with me. The first three letters are D. I. E. What needs to happen for anyone to have success, not just losing weight but maintaining a healthy weight, is a lifestyle change. If it’s not attainable AND sustainable, you are simply setting yourself up for failure.”

Going back-and-forth with gaining weight and losing weight is really hard on the organs and the joints. So it is important to get to a good, healthy weight and find what works for you. Simple grievances such as joint pain, bloating, cramping, gout, acid reflux, type 2 diabetes, lack of good sleep, headaches all can be relieved with losing weight. There is no magic pill and oftentimes surgery backfires since it is not always about caloric intake, but content of calories. Elimination and/or fad diets don’t work for long term. There are so many programs and meal plans, apps and buzz words and half the time people don’t even know why they even chose that plan.

There are so many weight-loss diets, low-carbohydrate, high-protein eating plans. The Paleo, South Beach, and Atkins diets all fit into that category. They are sometimes referred to as ketogenic or “keto” diets.

A true ketogenic diet is different. Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. It is not the type of diet to try as an experiment. Holly says “I have been eating a ketogenic plan since 2009 after following a doctor supervised plan, but today that word is thrown around and most people have NO clue what it even means. I became a health coach to then help people learn to LIVE and eat healthier.” If you TRULY want to learn how to follow a ketogenic plan, then you should look in to finding a keto coach. You can do some serious damage to your kidneys if you aren’t following a certain ratio. Holly says, “just because a label says keto friendly or gluten-free, doesn’t mean you are suddenly ‘keto’.”

Paleo diets resemble what human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago. Holly says “Just think back to cavemen days. It is believed, because of lack of tools and such, that they lived off the land. There were no ovens…they didn’t bake breads and make pasta. Our ancestors ate WHOLE foods. We could learn a lot from them.”

Plant-based/vegan/vegetarian, pescatarian, etc. There are so many elimination diets, it is hard to keep up. Just plants, plants AND dairy, plants, dairy and fish..etc. The list goes on. Holly adds, “I can tell you, I have tried them all. I firmly believe you do what is best for your body and your health. All I can tell you is what worked for me. Veganism didn’t work for me. I was actually at my heaviest weight when I was vegan. The more I researched the brain and need for animal fat, the more I incorporated what worked for my lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I eat A LOT of dark greens. I eat about 20% animal protein in my diet. I get locally sourced meats as often as I can. It makes a difference. I heard a doctor speak once and he addressed the topic of sustainable farming. He said to imagine if everyone stopped eating meat…what that would do to the land. The circle of life is there for a reason. We would have an overpopulation of animals and no greens left since the animals need to eat them! That stuck with me.”

Intermittent fasting is a new fad, but also an ancient eating method for many and has proven medical benefits. Hippocrates even recommended fasting as a way to cleanse and recover. Holly started incorporating this in to her life over a year ago and it has been life changing. “The idea behind intermittent fasting is quite easy. The body does so much repair work when given the opportunity. Think back to our ancestors…when the sun went down, they were done for the day. Each meal had to be hunted or caught. They didn’t leave the tent at night to go snack! They didn’t re-heat stuff or go to the cupboard. When we stop eating, after about 14 hours the body goes in to autophagy. Broken down, that literally means ‘self eat’.” Fasting regulates the blood sugars and energy levels, burns fat, decreases bloating and inflammation, and helps prevent diseases. The fact that we can eat whenever we want has made us a society that eats too much and too often, all to the point of illness.

So as you can see, there are so many “diets”, but unless you find something that will work for you that you can make a daily habit, then it doesn’t matter what cream you slather on, what app you install, what pill you take, or what body part you get nipped and tucked, it starts IN the kitchen. Check with your health coach or naturopath for a plan that you can try, and as always, if you have a question for Holly, ask away!!!