TIP OF THE WEEK-WHAT IS THE BEST DIET TO FOLLOW?

VeganWhile enjoying a conversation with my Vegan friend during a hike on the Kilkee cliffs last week she asked for my opinion on the Vegan lifestyle. She was prompted to seek my opinion having been berated by an ignorant and ill-informed meat eater. The carnivore in question told my Vegan friend, in no uncertain terms, that her lifestyle was selfish and that she was damaging her body by not eating meat, eggs, fish etc.

I should mention at this point that I am an enthusiastic meat eater, a lover of fish, and I eat eggs at least once a day. My Vegan friend is the pinup girl for the Vegan lifestyle. She has long, glossy hair, bright, sparkling eyes, perfect, white teeth and a lean, strong body. She hikes, runs, cycles distance and works out four or five times a week.

It’s unfortunate that people make comments and judgements without understanding the facts, but not unusual.

The word ‘Diet’ has almost become a taboo; it has been linked to so many negative connotations. In fact the definition of Diet is: the food or drink usually eaten by a person or a group of people. There is nothing taboo about that.

There are many diets to choose from: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Wheat free, Clean & Lean, Low fat, Low Carb, Vera’s 5 Food Plan, etc. Following a particular diet means we are putting thought and attention into our food choices. We are mindful of what we eat and when we eat. We find ourselves planning meals in advance, purchasing suitable ingredients, looking for recipes to suit our diet and choosing to eat out in restaurants that cater to our needs.

Vegans and Vegetarians will plan ways to include protein to their meals. People following a Gluten free diet will look for less obvious sources of carbohydrates and fiber.

Following a particular diet means that we are mindful of our food choices. We put thought, attention and consideration into everything we eat. Contrary to what the uneducated woman said to my Vegan friend following a diet is actually less damaging to our body than following no diet.

Don’t get me wrong, following unrealistic calorie cutting diets, liquid only diets and diets that involve starving for 6 days and binging on day 7 are incredibly damaging, to both our body and mind. I have spoken about this sort of dieting before and if you want to know more on this subject you can follow this link http://veras5.com/fat-loss-this-is-how-i-started-and-it-still-works/.

Just as damaging is the idea of following no diet. Mindless eating. Putting no thought or consideration into what we are eating and when we are eating. Having no preparation for meal times and instead grabbing processed, ready meals or takeaways rather than cooking fresh ingredients. Forgetting to eat all day, depending on caffeine to get us through the day, and then grazing all evening to make up for starving all day are common habits of people who do not follow a particular diet. I know, I followed no diet in between calorie cutting and food group cutting diets, for many years. I have experienced the damaging effects of both.

I now follow my own diet. I eat 5 times a day, make healthy food and drink choices, include all food groups, have cut out some Happyunnecessary, unhealthy foods, and enjoy a little chocolate every day. I satisfy my dietary requirements for health and energy and I indulge my dietary desires from time to time, but I don’t ever over indulge. Following Vera’s 5 food plan has enabled me to maintain my healthy body weight, and improve my fitness and strength.

To answer the original question ‘What is the best diet to follow’, the answer is simple, the best diet to follow is the diet that suits your dietary requirements, promotes permanent fat loss if that is your desire, or helps to maintain your healthy body weight. It’s the diet that suits your lifestyle, your cultural needs, your cooking ability and your tastes. If your diet ticks all of these boxes continue your diet. If not it may be time to make some changes.

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