Many people are on an endless search for the one perfect diet that can help them have perfect health, perfect energy, perfect weight, and a life without any doubts when it comes to eating. Indeed, there are plenty of experts who are willing to sell you their version of the perfect way to eat. The challenge is, every nutrition guru has a different approach, and it often leaves us confused or disappointed.
It’s time for some nutritional empowerment. In this fascinating video from IPEtv, Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating shares some great distinctions that can help you see your relationship with perfection in a whole new light. These are some excellent insights you can put into action immediately that can make a real difference.
Below is a transcript of this week’s video:
Hi, I’m Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Today’s topic: The Psychology of the Perfect Diet.
Here’s the thing:
So many people who have an interest in nutrition and health make the fascinating assumption that there must be a perfect diet. Meaning, the perfect way to eat, the perfect nutritional system, the one way of consuming food that trumps all other approaches. As this thinking goes, all we need to do is discover this one perfect diet and we hit the sweet spot so to speak. By finding the perfect diet, we can have perfect health, perfect weight, perfect energy, perfect looks, and live approximately forever.
Who wouldn’t want to find the 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 meet far too many people, including the experts, who come from this essential place. There has to be one perfect diet.
Believing that there is a one size fits all perfect diet has some important consequences that we should take note of:
• 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 different
• 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 I believe is an 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.
Name 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 relationship?
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?
I think you get the point.
But in case you don’t, let me spell it out in nutritional and scientific terms:
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:
I’m talking about 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.
But don’t let this frustrate you please.
Nutrition is an ongoing journey. It’s an exploration. It’s a fascinating experiment. We live in a time when the body is changing, our nutritional needs are quite different than they were 1000 years ago, the world is a different place, we’re under a lot of environmental pressure from toxins in a poor food chain – so our nutritional needs are ever-changing and ever-evolving. That’s the good news.
When you finally 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 – and see how it works for you.
Body wisdom here is the final frontier.
Yes, you’re going to use your knowledge, you’re going to use what you’ve learned, you can listen to the experts, and at the end of the day each one of us ultimately makes the choice about what we consume.
You can see this journey as problematic and disappointing, or you could see it as something fascinating and exciting.
The desire for perfection in any area of life is a form of simplistic wishful thinking. It’s a way of approaching the world that calls for more maturity and experience. 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 off-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 in a lot of flux.
Our lives are in a lot of flux.
These are the times we live in.
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 flower like never before.
I hope this was helpful, my friends.
In the comments below, please let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you and we read and respond to every comment!
Become a Mind Body Eating Coach
Now enrolling for February 2024.
Make real, lasting change - in your life and the lives of others using eating psychology coaching tools.
Subscribe to The Psychology of Eating Podcast
Get notified when new episodes go live.