Bio-individuality: Is There A Best Diet or Workout Routine?
October 10, 2019
It’s SO confusing! With so many new diets and workout routines popping up all over the place, especially around January 1, it’s hard to know which is the “right” one.
Should we go with Paleo? Gluten-free? Vegan? Vegetarian?
Should we join a spin class, buy a Peloton, take up Pilates, enroll in yoga, or become a bodybuilder?
So many options and outlandish claims.
Truth is, there’s no single diet or workout routine that works for everyone. You are unique, and what works for your friend might not work or you.
Bio- individuality means that everyone has specific nutritional and fitness requirements due to a combination of factors including age, constitution, gender, genetics, gut microbes and lifestyle.
The term, bio-individuality, was coined by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition located in New York. The institute encourages people who are new to the world of health and fitness to explore a variety of diets and workouts until they figure out which one works best for them.
If you’ve tried
Here’s another great tip: Stop comparing your diet to those of the people around you.
We all know someone who’s always on a restrictive diet or existing on salads or a high-fat diet because it’s the latest craze. So you give it a try. But all it does is make you hungry, tired and irritable! That’s NO way to live.
Different people react differently to common foods. For instance, some people’s insulin levels may spike after they eat sweet things while others only register a tiny blip on the glucose monitor (sure, it’s kind of rare, and unfair, but it can happen :).
Figure Out What Works for You
The first step to figuring out the best diet or workout for you is to treat dietary and fitness guidelines as suggestions rather than rigid requirements.
For instance, if a strict vegan diet makes you feel lackluster, grumpy and irritable, throw out the rule book and start experimenting by adding in other foods until you find what works for you.
Secondly, listen to your body. If you suspect that certain foods don’t agree with you, try eliminating one food at a time for 30 days to see if things improve.
Similarly, if running on a treadmill hurts your hips or knees, try walking. Remember, the best workout is one that you enjoy and STICK with.
Lastly, be flexible. What worked yesterday might not work today. Your body is an amazing machine that adapts to diet and activity; mix things up.
The big takeaway isn’t that you shouldn’t try to learn from other people’s diets and fitness routines. Just realize that some will work for you, some won’t. Use what works and throw out the rest! Live YOUR life.