Why Diets Fail and the Importance of Integrated Nutrition

-by Dr Erica Kubanek, ND

You are smart and health conscious.

When you learn about a new diet, whether you want to be a leaner you or be the healthiest you possible, you will jump on that diet bandwagon. And why not? Isn’t it backed up by the latest nutritional research? Hasn’t your friend or that celeb tried it with so much success? So what if it flies in the face of the last ULTIMATE DIET SOLUTION you tried?

Now you are eating just as the book/talk show/health guide/expert has told you. Not long after that you start to slip a little. Then you slip a little more. Suddenly you feel like you are right back where you started: feeling terrible or tubby or both. Maybe you beat yourself up because you couldn’t stick to that ideal diet. Was it your life that got in the way of your diet? Your lack of will power? Why do your diets always fail?

The diets marketed to you serve to sell books, get ratings or suit politics and food industries. No matter how much research or opinion backs them up authors, companies and governments do not know what will work best for you as an individual. There is no one-size-fits-all diet that suits everyone. Instead consider that your ideal diet is just as unique as you are. No book or nutritional research can tell you what diet is best for you.

But there is a perfect diet for you. This perfect diet isn’t based on the leading experts. Instead it is based on your genetics, your ancestry, your preferences, your habits, your budget, your community and your values. This perfect diet is uniquely YOU.

This is integrated nutrition.

Your nutrition shouldn’t be dictated by politics or research. Instead it needs to be dictated by your intuition, your body awareness and your trusted professionals.

Integrated nutrition is a whole systems approach to life and food. It assumes that your nutrition is not separate from the rest of your life. It mirrors your values and your purpose. Integrated nutrition considers that ‘food for your soul’ (healthy relationships, a spiritual practice and fulfilling work) is just as important as the food on your plate. When you are considering your cravings or your nutrient deficiencies we can also look at how these mirror your life. Hone your intuition and body sense so that you can be the ultimate expert in what is right for you.

How do you discover this diet? Joshua Rosenthal, author of Integrative Nutrition, has a handy way of discovering where to start.

Try this out:
– Choose 3 different diet solutions you have come across and appeal to you
– Write down 5 aspects of these diets that you think are important
– Think about how this diet would suit your lifestyle and body
– Feel free to name this diet!
– Voila! This can be the beginning of nutrition plan that works incredibly well for you.

Dr Mark Hyman MD of the Functional Medicine Institute, author and educator has just recently created a new diet. His is called the Pegan diet. It’s simply a marriage of Paleolithic and Vegan diets.

Two other experts have distilled health eating to the most basic principles that would fit nearly any healthy diet and lifestyle. Aaron E Caroll wrote Simple Rules for Healthy Eating for the NY Times recently. They are as follows:

1. Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods
b) eat lightly-processed foods less often
c) eat highly-processed foods even less often
2. Eat as much home-cooked food as possible, which should be prepared according to rule 1
3. Use salt and fats, including butter and oil, as needed in food preparation
4. When you do eat, try to eat out restaurants that follow the same rules
5. Drink mostly water, but some alcohol, coffee and other beverages are fine
6. Treat all beverages with calories in them as you would alcohol.
7. Eat with other people, especially people you care about as often as possible.

Exceptional author and journalist Michael Pollan is even more succinct. He states that we should follow a single, simple rule: eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Now is the time to start to find your own unique and authentic diet. Let the naturopathic doctors at Qi Integrated Health guide you to find your ideal diet through integrated nutrition.

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