Eating right, eating wrong

I’ve just spent 30 days on a diet, trying to eat more healthily. All the grizzly details are here, but talking about this stuff starts a lot of fights. A few thoughts…

There are so many conflicting pieces of diet advice. The diet I followed (Whole 30) is working for me, but excludes things like whole grains that many people think are healthy. Whole 30 is based on paleo principles, but many people who follow paleo diets eat a lot of meat and saturated fats, which are also considered unhealthy by others.

There’s an interesting debate here, between three doctors, about what is the healthiest diet. I watched this, and I came to this conclusion – we can’t tell.

So many of us, me included (except for the last 30 days), eat so very very badly. Our diets are loaded with processed food, filler, and carbs. We eat more calories than we need, and don’t exercise enough. ANY of the diets these three doctors recommend is likely much better than how we currently eat. If we all switch to one of these diets, maybe there will be enough data to pick which is best. For now, we’re all eating badly and getting ill from it.

What do we know? What does everyone agree on?
* Eat less processed food.
* Eat a LOT more vegetables.
* Eat roughly the right amount of calories, not too much.
* Avoid lots of sugary food and drinks.
* Do exercise regularly – cardio and strength.
* Get enough sleep.

If you find a diet that hits all of those, and which works for you, stick with it. Don’t worry about which diet is best. Don’t listen to people who tell you that another diet is better.

That’s where I’m going. The Whole 30 may or may not be perfect, but it has rules I can stick to, and it has forced me to eat lots of vegs with every meal. I’m eating a lot less meat than you probably imagine for a paleo diet (though I’d like to reduce it more on environmental grounds). And I feel better, and look better.

So: I just finished my first Whole 30, and I’m having a “treat day” and then trying it again, to get even more used to my new veg-based lifestyle. And I’m loving it.