Navigating the dietary conundrum can be a challenging endeavor for those who have tried several popular diets. Some may have achieved their goals in changing their diet and felt that the program of choice worked well for them. Others may have found certain programs to be too rigid and could only maintain a new diet for a few days, then slip back into their old ways.

This is a typical pattern often seen when someone “goes on a diet.” This statement implies that these changes are temporary, have a beginning and an end and the program is simply to be endured until the desired goal is achieved. This is the wrong way to approach dietary changes. I know, I’ve been there and so have many of my patients.

First and foremost, a program needs to be livable to bring about long-term change. The changes made need to become a part of your life if they are to have a lasting impact on your health, fitness and longevity. Examining preferred foods and eating patterns can offer some insight into the types of foods one likes so that we can work together to improve the quality and nutritional value of the foods consumed as well as introducing new foods and healthy ways of preparing them.

We live in a world of abundance when it comes to the number of foods we have available to choose from. We can learn how to make better choices and allow for some of our favorites. Adhering to an 80:20 or 90:10 ratio when structuring our diets can allow for some flexibility in our food choices.

Eighty to ninety percent of time we should eat healthy and balanced meals. Ten to twenty percent of the time we can allow some dietary indiscretions. This is what a balanced and livable program looks like.

If you are confused about which diet works best for you, we can offer some guidance based on your current health issues, history and goals.