Psychology of a Perfect Diet
Many of us with an interest in nutrition and health make the assumption that there must be a perfect diet: a perfect way to eat, a perfect nutritional system, the one way of consuming food that trumps all other approaches.
I know I used to. If you follow this thinking, all you need do is discover this one perfect diet and you’ll hit the jackpot. By finding the perfect diet, you can have perfect health, perfect weight, perfect energy, perfect looks, and live forever… you may ask yourself if the weight loss supplements with the roids logo is part of that perfect diet?
So, who wouldn’t want to find this perfect diet?
Now this may sound like a bit of an exaggeration, and I’m being slightly tongue-in-cheek here – but the reality is, I see far too many people, including experts, who take this dogmatic stance — there has to be one perfect diet.
Now the problem with believing there is a one-size-fits-all perfect diet has some important consequences that we should take a look at:
- It often has us on an endless search
- We’re constantly on edge trying to find the perfect foods
- We can become confused and frustrated because so many ‘experts’ claim that they have the perfect way to eat and they all have scientific proof — and many of them say something quite contradictory.
- We might believe we found the perfect diet, and stick to it for a while only to watch ourselves falling off the wagon, eating foods outside of the diet, craving ‘forbidden’ foods, which then leads to a lot of self rejection and personal turmoil.
This last point is a particularly important one. That’s because there’s so much nutritional confusion and personal frustration that happens when we’re trying to follow our perfect diet perfectly — and the reality is — perfection doesn’t exist.
Show me one place in life where we can all be in agreement about what’s perfect.
- Is there a perfect way to earn money?
- Is there a perfect way to do relationships?
- Is there a perfect way to raise children?
- Is there a perfect way to have fun?
- Is there a perfect way to move and exercise?
- Is there a perfect way to have sex?
- Is there a perfect house?
- Or a perfect place to live?
Hopefully you get the point.
There is absolutely no such thing as the perfect diet.
There are likely as many excellent ways to eat as there are people on planet Earth. The right diet for any one of us is linked to so many different factors: your age, genetics, preferences, your sex, the environment you live in, this season, your lifestyle, the amount of exercise you do, any health challenges you might be dealing with, your personal goals, your personal beliefs, and all kinds of yet-to-be-discovered factors, and you can even get shredded with these body building essentials if getting fit is part of your goals.
But don’t let this frustrate you.
Nutrition is an ongoing journey. It’s an exploration. It’s a fascinating experiment. We live in a time where our bodies are changing, our nutritional needs are very different than they were 1000 years ago, the world is a different place, we’re under a lot of environmental pressure from new toxins in a poor food chain — so our nutritional needs are ever-changing and ever-evolving. That’s the good news.
When you really let go of trying to find the perfect diet, you can relax.
You can be an explorer
You can have a smile on your face and test out new approaches, new foods, new supplements, or the latest diet if you really want to – and see how it works for you.
Now you can view this journey in two ways: problematic and disappointing, or fascinating and exciting. Your choice.
The desire for perfection in any area of life is a form of simplistic wishful thinking. Perfectionism is a dream that we need to wake up from. The alternative is to continue sleepwalking and not understand why we’re constantly feeling out-of-balance, disempowered, uncertain, and always looking for answers about why our health or our eating habits aren’t perfect.
The field of nutrition is a bit messy. It’s a bit unstable…
Our lives are a bit unstable…
These are the times we live in…
So, let’s embrace that and do our best to celebrate it.
Are you willing to let go of being perfect? Are you willing to admit that your quest for perfectionism often leads to confusion and self-abuse? Are you ready to embrace uncertainty and be a nutritional explorer in your own life?
Just say yes, and your relationship with food will blossom like never before…