The first ever diet was published in 1863. That means that 159 years ago the world was introduced to what we today consider as traditional “dieting“. In its dictionary definition, dieting is described as “restricting oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.”
Today, there are thousands of different diets, promising ‘skinnier’ – and millions of people who have tried at least one of these. So why are diets so popular? Because, in the short term, they work. However, I am here to tell you, that in the long run, they don’t.
Now, you may be wondering, who is she to tell me that diets don’t work?
Well, firstly, I am someone who has tried every diet under the sun… yes, including the first ever one from 1863.
Secondly, I have done a fair share of studying both nutrition and holistic health to confidently tell you to stop dieting. What I will not do, however, is leave it at this.
So, why don’t diets work in the long run and why are they unsustainable?
The answer to this question comes in the form of a concept that has been coined 25 years ago as bio-individuality.
What is bio-individuality?
Bio-individuality refers to the fact that no one diet, or lifestyle works for everyone, as each of us is a unique individual with different needs from a cellular, biological standpoint. As this concept has been studied for the past years, there are many findings related to this that have proven to be scientifically true.
One of my favorite findings is that one person’s food is another person’s poison. To explain this in the simplest terms, let’s take beans as an example – I’m sure you know some people who love beans for their great taste and quality plant protein, while others who fully avoid beans as they get severe gas and bloating from eating them.
Scientifically, this has been proven by researchers at the Personalized Nutrition Project who set out to explore the connection between diet and blood sugar and its association with diabetes, cancer, obesity, and more. Observing a wide variation in how people responded physiologically to foods universally considered “good” or “bad”, the researchers found highly inconsistent results – many participants experienced lowered blood sugar after eating ice cream, and buttered bread triggered less of a blood sugar spike than plain bread. The only conclusion they were left to draw is that we are all different.
At this point, you might be wondering what makes us all so different, since we’re all part of the same species, and pretty much operate with the same internal organs. To answer this, science has found that individual dietary needs are linked to gut health.
In figuring out why people reacted so differently to the same foods, researchers studied participants’ microbiomes (their unique collection of good and bad bacteria) to find that different people need different nutrients and can digest different foods more easily than others based on just this.
How is food affecting us?
Hence, every food affects individuals differently. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to diet and nutrition. So how do we find a diet that works for us, and that is sustainable in the long run?
What is the connection between Bio-individuality and the mind and body?
It takes getting to know yourself and putting in the work to achieve a clear mind-body connection to know what works for you.
Just like we all have different taste in fashion, music, and movies, we each tend to gravitate toward different foods and activities based on what our body determines is beneficial for us.
If you pay attention to your feelings, intuition, and physical reactions, you will realize that your body speaks. When you listen to it, it will continue speaking, and it will let you know what is working for it and what is not. This is the only way to find the perfect diet that is sustainable long term – and even if you won’t lose 5 lbs. in 5 days, you will reach your ideal weight in time, and I promise you will not gain it back, like you do once those 5 days are over.
For more information, and to follow along with my tips on how to create and maintain this mind-body connection, follow @be_linea on Instagram, or sign-up for health coaching on our website at https://be-linea.com/health-coaching/ .