What is the best diet? There are so many options how do we know what is best for our personal bodies. Is it keto, Atkins, the zone diet, intermittent fasting or low carb just to name a few.

I believe the first step to finding the proper “diet” is to eliminate the term “diet” from your vocabulary. If you start a “diet” this means it is a set plan that has a start and an end date. We know that nutrition is a lifelong journey so why do we start a “diet” for a set period of time and then go back to our old habits? “I need a kick-start.” “I need to see results quickly to stay motivated.” “Nothing else has worked.” Maybe this sounds familiar? Maybe it doesn’t. Either way it is a way of looking for quick results.

What’s the problem with quick results? Chances are they will not last. Why? If you do a “diet” for 30 or 60 days that restricts you from calories or certain food groups, then you will most likely see results but about 99% of the time “diets” are not manageable long term. If someone goes on a low carb or a keto diet for example, then the first thing they should ask themselves is will I be able to do this for the rest of my life? If yes, then great do it if it is maintainable and supports proper health. If they answer “no” then there is a good chance this is a restrictive “diet” that will yield short term results but it will not change their habits so it is very likely that the results seen will be lost once this person goes back to their old ways.

Here is another way to think of a “diet” vs. making lifestyle changes. Compare your nutrition to investing. Let’s say you are investing for retirement. Is it better to invest a larger sum of money at once into one stock and hope you make enough to retire? Or is it a better option to invest smaller sums more frequently into a diversified fund that almost guarantees you will see a solid return after many years of investing. Should you go all in and commit to one diet short term and expect to get results that last? Or should you build habits that are going to help you make better choices every day for the rest of your life. The compounding effect of daily healthy habits will yield great results while a short term commitment will eventually lead you back to where you started from.

The best part is that with building healthy habits you can start now! If you are to start a “diet” you will have to start on a certain day. Go ahead and make a small change right now that will allow you to live a healthier life. Add more veggies to your meals, drink an extra glass of water or two today or any other habit that will get you closer to your goals. Then add in another habit the next day or next week. Watch these habits snowball to create a healthy lifestyle that will last.

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