What to Eat?: Breaking Through the Confusion to Reconnect with Instinctual Eating

Dr. Jennifer L. Weinberg, MD, MPH, MBE

Following the excess and indulgences of the holiday season, many of us may be trying to change our eating habits. We set unrealistic standards and unattainable resolutions. Then when we don’t reach them, we blame ourselves and a vicious cycle begins.

Nutrition is Confusing

There are so many theories, fad diets, nutrition books and ways of eating. It seems like every day there is a new eating philosophy in the headlines that has shown to heal this ailment or lead to miraculous weight loss. Yet if you have experimented with some of these various diets, you may have found that they are not one size fits all solutions for everyone’s woes.

Many people turn to an approach of counting calories or following one of the many diet plans purported by so-called “experts” or commercial chains in an attempt to lose weight or get healthier. But if these theories were right, than we would all be the healthiest people in the world! Instead, sadly, we have an epidemic of obesity, metabolic dysfunction and chronic diseases.

So What Should We Eat?

What to eat? That is a loaded and often confusing question.

Given all the strong, mixed messages around nutrition and health in our society, the confusion about true nutrition comes as no surprise. People are confused about health and nutrition for a variety of reasons. Marketing and product labels can be unclear and even deceptive. There are thousands of proposed diet plans in the media and many offer conflicting advice. And most importantly amongst these reasons that we struggle to find that perfect way of eating is that there actually is no one right way of eating that works for everyone!

I am frequently asked by patients, clients, friends and family, “What should I eat?” or “What is the right way to eat?” Sometimes clients want a list of “healthy” foods or desire to know what I eat so that they can mimic it exactly.

But the true key to sustainablewellness is that each of us is unique, and this biological individuality allows one person to thrive on foods which can be harmful to someone else. There is no one correct answer to the question, “What is the right way to eat?” There is no one-size-fits-all diet plan that fits everybody since we each have a unique genetic makeup and nutritional needs and this can even evolve and change throughout our lives.

Discover What Works For You

It is so important to find the way of eating and living that is right for you! This means figuring out how various foods make you feel physically, mentally and emotionally and not just mimicking what works for your best friend or your favorite celebrity.

While this is often much more challenging than simply following the latest media-hyped fad, in the end it will be far more rewarding when you uncover and understand your own nutritional needs and find sustainable health and well-being.

    •   Experiment: Tune into your body and learn to listen to its messages. By taking the time to slow down and listen to what your body truly needs, you will more deeply satisfy your desires!

    •   Educate Yourself: As you figure out your unique needs and desires, you may find yourself naturally drawn towards a lifestyle that works best for you. Try to find out as much as you can about foods, physical activity and other forms of nourishment. Explore your options, expand your knowledge and experience what it feels like to you to eat certain foods and nourish yourself in different ways but do not feel bogged down with needing to learn everything or adhere to a specific dogma or set of rules. Remember, this is about you discovering your unique way of nourishment and not about trying to fit yourself into a certain category, label or diet.

    •   Cook Simple, Whole, Natural Foods: Many products you find in a modern supermarket do not resemble anything you would ever find growing in a field or on a tree. These chemicals and artificial ingredients can confuse our hunger signals and throw off our metabolism. A great way to increase the quality of the food you eat and have greater control over its contents is to cook your own meals. Try to focus on eating simple, natural organic ingredients in their whole forms instead of eating less or counting calories. 

Jumpstart your New Year, conquer cravings and return to instinctive eating by starting with these powerful steps!

Dr. Jennifer Weinberg, MD, MPH, MBE is a preventive and lifestyle medicine physician and the Founder of the
Simple|Pure|WholeTM Wellness Method. She offers innovative online wellness and education programs for individuals looking for sustainable optimal health and non-toxic living as well as health care providers seeking to embrace a transformative approach to health care and corporations wanting to integrate a holistic approach to corporate wellness. She also provides a comprehensive All-Natural virtual Recharge Experience for those ready to rejuvenate and build a strong foundation for sustainable life-long wellness! For more information vist her webpage JenniferWeinbergMD.com.