How I Feel About Specific Diets and Weight Loss

(sigh)… Well, every so often something comes along that makes us just say, “Wow. Really?” And this is one of those things. Currently trending on Facebook is a video from Jimmy Kimmel Live! of people who are gluten-free and don’t even know what gluten is. While the video is funny, it is also just plain sad. I mean, c’mon people. If you are going to avoid something — no matter what it is — you should know what it is and why you are avoiding it.

Google Images

Google Images

I feel like there is a specific-diet epidemic going on right now. I personally follow a whole food diet, eating mostly organic whole unprocessed foods. I do try to opt for naturally gluten-free foods when I have the option, and I like to keep my gluten intake to a minimum. The gluten that I do ingest mainly comes from organic whole unprocessed foods like organic sprouted bread and organic oats. My reason for watching my gluten intake is that I have hypothyroidism and there is a ton of research that suggests gluten is not hypothyroid friendly. So I am conscious of my intake and try to keep my it to a minimum. Whether you have a medical reason, want to explore the elimination or simply feel better avoiding something, just know what it is and why! Otherwise, you are just a fool. And the Jimmy Kimmel video proves it.

As a believer, follower and practicer of holistic health and nutrition, I agree that every body is different. I believe that a diet full of organic whole unprocessed food is a great place to start when making a dietary change. Ditch the processed food, abandon the fast-food and start eating fresh food from nature. Another important part of this process is paying attention to your body. Test, explore and figure out what works for you. Nothing says that you have to be a vegan, gluten-free, raw vegan or paleo in order to be healthy. Your body tells what you have to be in order to be healthy. Listen to it. What works for me may not work for you. Some people have serious medical reasons, intolerances and sensitivities that lead them to obtain a specific diet. Their body is telling them, “Hey! Something isn’t right here!”

Google Images

Google Images

There could also be a personal or ethical reason why someone chooses to follow a specific diet. And I firmly stand behind anyone who does just that. Your body is your body. If you want to eat a certain way, then do it. However, I do advise and hope that each person put their health first. I do not recommend following a specific diet for the sole purpose of losing weight. That is not a long-term method to keeping weight off, and you are likely to be miserable during the entire process. Just change your lifestyle. Find something that works for you and something that means something to you. The intrinsic motivation from an inner desire or purpose is a very powerful and lasting tool. I actually think it is necessary for long-term health and success. Most importantly though, follow the diet correctly. Eat the most food you can by eating all the variety of foods open to you. You do not want to create a hormone imbalance or nutrient deficiency from improper nutrition. Like I said, nobody knows what is best for you better than you and your own body. If you need some guidance, you can start by checking out this article and asking yourself these 4 questions.

So if you are following a specific diet or thinking of adopting one, please:

  • Know what the specific diet is: what you eat, what you do not eat and why
  • Have a reason: medical, ethical, personal, or what have you
  • Do not do it for the sole purpose of losing weight
  • Put your health first: get checked for proper hormone levels and vitamin/mineral deficiencies (this is a big one! do not create an imbalance or a deficiency in your body by cutting out foods/nutrients that you need!)
  • Ask yourself these 4 questions

Want to read more about this topic? Here are 3 articles that I really enjoy in relation to specific diets and how following one can be the wrong decision for you:

  1. The Truth About the 80-10-10 Diet
  2. 5 Types of People Who Think They Are Healthy Eaters (But They’re Really Not)
  3. How I Made My Way from Strict Vegetarianism All the Way Back to Chicken

Looking to shed some pounds? I know, I know… summer is around the corner! I’m working on myself right now too, but that doesn’t mean we all need to go to extremes or be miserable. I am working on becoming more mindful and sticking to what I know works best for my body. While I make excellent food choices, I have made some other slip ups. So, I am now regrouping and working hard to stick to what works for me.

Here are my tips for losing weight without going to extremes:

  1. Eat whole foods and cut out processed foods
  2. Eat 3-4 well-portioned balanced meals a day
  3. Be active every single day — even if it means going for a 10-20 minute walk (here’s a great way to fit in some moves every day — the treadmill desk!)
  4. Sit down and eat your meals mindfully; do not eat on the go or standing up while multi-tasking
  5. Stop eating out so much
  6. Do not make yourself miserable — eat food you enjoy and find exercises you enjoy
  7. But challenge yourself — try to broaden your horizons with different foods and challenge yourself in your workouts (if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you)
  8. Get outside — get up and do more things outside, it should lift your mood and force you be more active
  9. Sleep
  10. Enjoy indulgent foods in small portions

Those are my main tips for losing weight. None of them are extreme and none of them should make you miserable. These are all things I try to do when I want to slim down. Want more? Here are two articles related to natural weight loss including foods that could help you slim down:

Those are my thoughts. Specific diets are everywhere these days, and I find that many people resort to them when they want to lose weight without thinking about the impact these diets can have on their health when they aren’t followed or supplemented properly. Not to say that it can’t be done. Certainly, it can be. Just know what you are doing and why. Be smart, be safe, be happy, be healthy. That’s all I want for you.

Good food. Good tips. Good moves. Good for you.

xo Kim, Running on Good

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy the following posts by my blogging friends from around the web pertaining to specific diets and dietary changes:

  1. Anxiety: What’s in Your Head Can be Related to What’s in Your Gut
  2. Paleo Weight Loss Tips
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