Modern society demands perfection, and this notion trails down (unfortunately) into body image, which inevitably means weight loss for most people. Google the best selling health books, and the top results are books proclaiming rapid weight loss through fad diets. Ever heard of the cayenne pepper diet? Sadly, these quick fixes are what sell the books, as people continue their quest for quick, painless weight loss and dietary solutions.
Of course these diets fail, and not just because the body can’t survive on cayenne pepper (or juices or whatever may be the crazy fad) alone. The main reason is this:
There is no perfect diet for any one person.
Until recently, people have largely turned to diet books as their primary source of nutrition information. The problem with this is that following a strict diet will inevitably lead to falling off the diet. Any “diet” is generally something that cannot be sustained over long periods of time.
There is a concept I want to introduce you to called bio-individuality, which means that there is no one right way of eating for every single person. There are many factors that come into play here: age, gender and culture, are to name a few. For example, men and women eat very differently. Men tend to crave more animal foods, so the raw, vegetarian foods that work well for many women, may not suit men.
Culture also plays a role. Although we don’t realise, we have a genetic disposition to eat the foods from the country in which we grew up, or perhaps even the country where our parents grew up. This is demonstrated in the fact that the Japanese culture focuses on fresh fish, seaweed, vegetables and rice, and sees very low levels of heart disease. By contrast, the Mexican culture features heavy carbs and high levels of fat, yet also sees low level of heart attack and disease.
When you take a holistic approach to health, you begin to realise that health is more than simply what you eat. You cannot eat a certain, “perfect” way and expect health to simply happen. Healing and health starts in the home – with your relationships and in your community. It encompasses your stress levels and your sleep, your age, gender, background and culture. Everything is interwoven, and the sooner we understand this concept, the easier it becomes to embrace a true healthy lifestyle.
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