The Changing Diet

I’ve been there – looking for the BEST diet . Gluten free. Dairy free. Sugar Free. No preservatives. Blah Blah Blah.

And once you start looking into the diet, you see how many different approaches there are to diet and each one claims to be the best – paleo, vegetarian, vegan, etc. 

This month I want to tackle the 5 key factors that are influencing your diet and the changing nature of your body.

1) Life Style

I think about how my diet changed when I moved out of my parent’s house into residence at the University of Guelph. If you went there, you know the food was amazing and plentiful. On campus, there was a woman who made me a sub every single day at 11am. And I loved those sandwiches so much. 

Then I moved into my own house in second year where I was making most of my own food, and my diet changed again. When you have to make it all for yourself, I was living off veggies and dip, cheese and crackers and the occasional stir-fry. 

Reason I mention this, is that when you are in a new location, different career or job, have a shift in finances, change in exercise level or change in sleep schedule, your diet will change…as it should because your physiology is changing.

Remember that your lifestyle will determine your diet. 

2) Environment

As our surroundings change, we change. When I went to Chiropractic College from undergrad, I found myself surrounded by many more health conscious people. They helped to motivate me to eat differently (I started eating more salads) and exercising 4-5 times a week. My protein requirements went up substantially and I learned that all the bread I so loved was causing little red bumps all over my skin. So I cut out bread and the bumps went away and I discovered I felt so much better. 

Imagine if you moved to a new country, the likelihood is you will try new foods which may even become staples in your diet. I know when I go to Mexico, my cravings for guacamole are real!! 

Based on your heritage, you will have other foods that may be a staple in your life. Again, remember this is normal. 

3) Season 

With this warm weather you may notice you want more cool foods, salads or BBQ. But the past winter, you couldn’t convince me to eat a salad. In the winter my body wants warm foods – soups, stew and anything in the Instapot. 

It is perfectly normal for you to want to indulge more in seasonal food and our diet will shift because of this. Listen to what your body is telling you!

Please also note that in the summer and spring, the suns energy warms the body and we have less need to produce internal heat through digestion so it is common for appetite to decrease. The opposite is also true in the winter and you may notice that your waistband is tighter – this winter bulk is protective and completely normal. Try to give yourself some grace as the colder months come around. 

4) Age

First think of what babies eat – milk, milk and more milk. We then add more solid food over time. Teenagers can be ravenous. What a transition. 

Seniors usually eat less. As we age, our metabolic rate slows. Seniors have decreased taste sensation, decreased nutritional needs and may even notice a decreased desire for food. 

Remember that depending on your age, your body will change which will lead to dietary changes as well. 

5) Health 

Who has heard you need to feed a cold or starve a fever? Who has felt that for themselves? Have you heard of specific diets for people who know who have been diagnosed with a disease? 

Again, based on your level of health or health challenges your diet and your body’s needs change.

Overall, I feel this is important to share because there is no 1 perfect diet. 

We all have a different diet and the quest to find 1 perfect one is impossible and a waste of energy. 

As Marc David says in his book about Psychology of Eating, “The fear of shifting to new foods as the body’s needs fluctuate is symbolic of our fear of change.”

Trust your body’s innate wisdom.

So next time you are looking for the one diet to fix everything or find yourself judging another’s choices when it comes to food, remember different dietary systems are effective for different people under different circumstances including culture, race, body type, belief systems, environment and access to food. 

Dr. Sarah

This information was taken from “Nourishing Wisdom” By Marc David. For more information, check out his book at https://www.amazon.ca/Nourishing-Wisdom-Mind-Body-Nutrition-Well-Being/dp/0517881292