In a time where everyone seems to choose a side (vegan, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, keto), I want to remind you that you can get great results without going all in 100% to any particular dietary theory.
Yes, if your body reacts negatively to gluten or dairy or has another food intolerance, you need to cut it out.
Otherwise, there is no reason to cut carbs as low as keto requires (other than for medical purposes, as keto was originally designed for curing seizures or metabolic conditions) or to go extreme in any direction.
What you can do most consistently for the long term is what will give you results.
The healthy lifestyle that feels sustainable to you will give you results.
Instead of wondering which diet is the one that you should follow, look at your typical day and ask yourself the following:
1) Am I getting more than 5 servings of vegetables daily? (1/2 cup = serving size for most veggies, 2 cups for leafy greens)
2) Am I eating at regular intervals (every 3-5 hours)?
3) Am I getting a good balance of protein and carbs at each meal?
4) Am I reaching for nutrient dense snacks (fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, nut butters, olives, plain yogurt, eggs, etc)?
5) Am I drinking mostly water, herbal teas, seltzer, etc?
There are almost always a few small tweaks you can make to your typical day that will impact your health, weight, body composition and energy goals.
Red flags that your current diet is not working for you include:
1) Strong sugar or salt cravings daily
2) Crashing and feeling exhausted between meals or mid afternoon
3) Feeling hungry often
4) Overeating at night
If you find yourself doing any of these, write out your food for a few days and circle back to the original 5 questions. If you'd like professional input, have a nutritionist review your food log for gaps or missing nutrients.
Start small, focus on high volume, nutrient dense foods from plants or animals. It doesn't have to be perfect. Aim for 80/20 or 90/10 with the majority of your food coming from real food sources.
For more support, join our private 90/10 Clean Eating Community on FB. Eah week, we focus on one small change - without the extremes!