Health and wellbeing can be sensitive topics for many people. They are associated with a lot of guilt – I know I should go to the gym, I know I should be eating an apple instead of apple pie with cream, I know I should relax more. But in the end, guilt doesn’t get you results. All it does is make you feel bad about yourself, and guess what makes you more likely to fall back into behaviors that feel good in the short term, but are bad for you in the long run? Feeling bad about yourself. (10 points to Sherlock.)
For diet, guilt is particularly pernicious. In his excellent book “The Diet Fix” (Amazon), Dr Yoni Freedhoff calls it one of the Seven Deadly Traumas of dieting. Freedhoff argues that one of the keys to eating more healthily and losing weight is to eat food you enjoy, and that fits your life, not the other way around.
The form that your ideal diet takes may vary, and many people need to experiment until they find a good fit for them. Some people might be happiest with a version of the paleo diet, which is heavy on all types of animal products, and most of their meals will consist of delicious animal protein and well prepared vegetables. Other people might be committed to a vegan lifestyle, which affects many parts of their lives apart from diet. Yet others have an allotment, grow most of their own produce, and want to use what they harvest for delicious recipes.
Each person is unique, and no one app will work for everybody. For the allotment folk, the best choice might be a good recipe app that quickly shows them delicious, healthy options for their produce. Vegans might benefit from a service that helps them spot hidden animal products in otherwise innocuous-looking foodstuffs. Paleo dieters who don’t want to spend lots of money on prime cuts might have a library of recipes that transform neglected cuts of meat into feasts that is indexed by cut of meat and lives on their Google Drive.
Apps can also help you plan and track your dietary experiments. Use todo list apps to make a list of approaches to eating you want to try, and tick them off once you have eaten that way for a week or two. Make a spreadsheet with several options, record how you feel, how easy it is for you to follow that particular approach to nutrition, and most importantly, how delicious the food is!