This makes for a great magazine headline on your nearest news stand but unfortunately you become disappointed and confused once you flip through the pages.
Wether it’s the magical Acai or Gogi berry one week, or the raw, cooked or frozen diet the next, it’s all a marketing illusion for companies to sell you more of their stuff.
So let’s breakdown the Diet Dogma.
The idea of a “Perfect” Diet is like chasing a moving target, and if you continue to chase this moving target you are setting yourself up for failure.
Even some of the most common advice you hear regarding healthy eating is contradictory and not always perfect or practical for everyone.
Eat 6 small meals a day…
(quite the chore for us busy dads with families who work 12 hours a day)
Don’t eat late at night…
(kinda sucks for us night-shift workers or culture’s in the Mediterranean who eat a late dinner)
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables…
(tell that to the Inuit who hardly ate any and have the lowest rate of heart disease)
Eat high protein…
(some of the longest living and highest performing athletes in the world get 75% of their calories from carbs)
Eat low carbs…
(except first thing in the morning, before or after your workout, on Tuesday’s or during a full moon)
High fat, low fat…
(high fat diets with healthy fats from fish and nuts is highly recommended these days…but not the best advice if you are going in for surgery or if you have a peanut allergy. As for low fat, you’ll have to fight with the French on that one)
Chocolate is healthy
(but only if it’s from 87.625% organic dark Cacao beans that hasn’t seen the light of day in the northern mountains of Papua New Guinea)
Alcohol is bad
(the healthy elders of Sardinia, Italy or Okinawa, Japan with their red wine and sake would disagree)
As a fitness professional myself who has a passion for encouraging healthy lifestyle habits, I still believe all these methods are valid and do work but their long term success depends on the person’s personality and lifestyle, not shear will power.
From only organic, to vegan vegetarians the list goes on between the battle of the perfect diet and more importantly for your dieting dollar.
Humans have healthily survived for millions of years without having to call Jenny. That’s because different cultures from different parts of the world evolved on what worked best for them.
The North American culture continues to feed the media it’s law of the land for healthy diets but ironically it is one of the biggest leader’s or maybe the biggest losers for preventing heart disease and obesity in the modern world.
Unfortunately, most of the food we now eat is being purchased not prepared. What used to be known as a meal has now become a snack that we eat in-between even bigger meals.
No longer is even food enough. According to every second page in a health and fitness magazine we also need pills and powders to supplement our already sub-standard diet.
The problem is when people believe the media’s messages on what is best for them and allow billion dollar companies to dictate what, when and how much we eat.
OCD has turned into OCE, Obsessive Compulsive Eating, and crossing the line between self-discipline because you ate GOOD and self-punishment because you ate BAD is where things go wrong. I always say that the food guilt is sometimes worse than the food itself.
Remember holistic health is mind AND body. So don’t beat yourself up the next time you have a slice of cake at your kid’s Birthday party.
Continue to move more, enjoy eating real food and stress less.
Eating healthy without obsessing over eating healthy, now that sounds like the Perfect Diet…
Sean Barker is a busy dad who finds time for family, fitness and fun. He likes pumping iron as well as producing it, as a heavy equipment
operator in the iron ore mines. He is ALSO a nationally certified personal trainer who writes for Fit Parent and Inside Fitness magazines and is the author of The Dad Fitness System at www.DadFitness.com. Sean also has a Dad Fitness Blog with tips, thoughts, and humor on being a fit dad at DadFitnessBlog.com.