Why Diets Don’t Work, and What to Do Instead
Metabolic Detectives follow the only rule of dieting: do what works for YOU. To do that, detectives put aside all of their preconceived notions about the rules of healthy vs not healthy or good vs bad.
There is no such thing as the perfect diet.
Are you relieved by this statement, or do you have mixed feelings? It’s completely normal to seek certainty in the form of “the diet” that will finally unlock the secrets to sustainable results!
The reality of the situation is this. Those who are successful long-term, don’t discover the perfect diet. Instead, they build one that aligns with their unique metabolism by considering the 4Ps (physiology, psychology, practical circumstances & personal preferences), and by listening to their SHMEC (sleep, hunger, mood, energy and cravings).
Are you ready to change from being the dieter to being the detective? If so, here’s a 3-step process to help you get started today. If you’re not ready yet, that’s ok. There are 3 stages of change that occur before action, so this might be the nudge or support that you need to move toward action.
Step 1: Where’s your SHMEC?
SHMEC is a catchy little acronym, coined by Dr. Jade Teta, that stands for sleep, hunger, mood, energy, and cravings. Monitoring SHMEC is one way to tune into your body and gain insight into whether your nutrition and/or eating habits are supporting you or working against you. For more detailed information, check out this post called How to listen to your body.
Step 2: Get your SHMEC in check
Instead of giving rigid one-size-fits-all plans, this approach puts you in control. By following this 5-step process, you will learn how to adjust macronutrient ratios (protein, carbs, and fats) and meal frequency to build a diet that best serves you. Learn more here: 5-Step Process to get your HEC in check.
Step 3: Consider your 4Ps
The 4Ps are critical to understanding yourself and creating a lifestyle that you can own, love, and live with. Let’s explore each of the 4Ps and what they entail. The 4Ps will take time to uncover; however, by considering these 4 unique attributes, you’ll feel confident and capable of building a diet that works for YOU.
Physiology: Includes your genes, biochemistry, and how your body reacts to the foods you eat. Use SHMEC as a guiding compass here.
Psychology: The way you react to stress and to the things going on in and around you. These might include your triggers, coping mechanisms, tendencies, and habits.
Personal Preferences: The foods you like and dislike as well as the types of exercise you prefer to do to stay active.
Practical circumstances: Your practical circumstances include the factors that impact everyday living. Where you live, your work environment, your daily schedule, and the amount of social support are examples.
Weight loss is a process. Not a protocol.
It may take time to discover the foods and eating patterns that serve you best. Embrace the process. Chances are, it won’t be an off-the-shelf program. It will be something you’ll have to tweak and experiment with to find your unique metabolic approach to nutrition. Once you learn how to read and understand your body’s hormonal cues, you can tweak any approach to make it your own.
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash