I bounce around in my diet, sometimes from day to day, in an attempt to listen to the messages my body is giving me regarding what I should eat and the activities I should partake in at that time. Sometimes I workout every day and sometimes there are three week stretches that I feel my body needs some serious down time. Sometimes I eat on the extreme end of the ketogenic spectrum while other times I find my face submerged in a big bowl of oatmeal or some homemade pancakes. There are times when I avoid fruit completely while other times I'll have the upwards of 3 servings a day. The majority of the time I prefer to chew my food while other days, especially in the hot summer months when I love a good thick smoothie. But the majority of the time, as much as I'd love to say that I eat what I love, I actually have to eat things that are bland and simple. So it makes it rather difficult to say that I eat one way or the other.
There are lots of gurus out there telling you that this diet and that diet are the optimal way to eat. I've been suckered into believing that we must eat like our ancestors in order to thrive in this world. But I also spent the majority of my 20s and early 30s eating the majority of diet as vegetarian with emphasis on plant based nutrition, soy protein sources, and the infrequent egg and fish consumption. Both diets are extreme and offer little in the sense of balanced nutrition. But they also offer little in the sense of food freedom. When you follow one way of eating exclusively it can lead you to feel a sense of restriction and guilt when it comes to eating outside of your boundaries. That sense of guilt can create a huge impact on how you digest food overall. That was me for so many years. And to a certain extent it still is. I had come to a point in my life where I felt I HAD to eat a certain way.....even though I wasn't thriving on that WOE-ing. We get so brainwashed into believing that one way is the best when really, there are so many options out there.
We don't have to stick with just one option. As we get older or as our bodies change due to life happenings, we need to have a little wiggle room and give ourselves permission to shift from one diet to another based on OUR OWN BEST INTEREST and without labeling the diet either (i.e--keto, paleo, vegan, high this, low that, whatever.) When we get all caught up with the labels and practices, we forget to listen to our bodies and embark upon a world of biohacking, complete restriction, and experimentation that can wind up causing more harm than good. It's a dark place to be in and doesn't fix the conditions you're trying to eliminate. Trust me on that one. This is exactly why I have finally made peace with the fact that I cannot, will not, stick with only one way of eating and why I now give myself permission to bounce around based on what my body is telling me, specifically my digestive system and hormones as well as the activities I'm currently participating in.
Some suggestions would be to connect with a functional medicine doctor or a naturopath that has a specific specialty. I am currently being treated by a doctor who is an expert in hormones and helping me to get that aspect of my health balanced. By addressing this directly, I see that being in such a depleted state has caused me significant amount of anxiety which ultimately, regardless of how I was eating, directly impacted how my body received food......the majority of the time rejecting it causing extreme pain and severe IBS symptoms.
You can also start by just simply paying attention to what it is that you are eating. You don't need to go "all-in" to arrive at your destiny. You can simply start by removing the junk and simply eating real food. There's a saying that if you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. And when it comes to our bodies, this couldn't be more true. When it comes to the digestive system, triggers never lie. There are foods that I love that I simply must avoid. And there are foods that I have been avoiding that would be extremely beneficial for me. So little by little, by paying attention to what you're eating perhaps even how you're preparing your foods, you can see what your triggers are. An example for me is that eggs over easy cause me symptoms but scrambled I'm perfectly fine with. I can eat instant oatmeal while regular rolled oats or steel cut oats tear me apart. But you don't need to take out ALL the food in order to accomplish your goals. If all else fails, get a food sensitivity test and see what you may be allergic/sensitive to. It could be something benign....like cinnamon ( a high allergen for me that I ate for YEARS and wound up being a major contributor to my dermatitis and eczema ).
You don't have to do it all one way or another. But you do need to get good with and be in agreement with what your body really needs. Pay attention. Pay close attention. Your body never lies. And your body will always send you signals when something isn't working and when it is working. You'll simply just feel it.
I'm currently adding back a decent amount of carbs in the form of oats, some gluten free breads, and potatoes.....lots of potatoes. I've also lowered my fats a little bit. I have always believed in a higher protein diet for satiety and for adrenal health. I do not measure or weight and macros mean very little to me at this point. I'm just listening to my body. Sometimes I eat 5 times a day but mostly I eat between 2 and 3 times a day. I pay attention. By changing your dietary trajectory just a little bit here and there, you will ultimately arrive at your destination. That's the approach I'm currently taking and it brings me tremendous peace.