The Difference Between a Holistic and a Modern Diet

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I was asking some women what they found confusing about holistic diets, and the most common response I got was "Uhh...what is a holistic diet?".

As someone who has been living in a Health Coach bubble, this caught me off guard. Here I have been, telling you some tidbits on holistic diets without actually explaining to you what it is in the first place! Oops!

In this 3-Part Series, Here's what we'll cover:

  1. The Difference Between a Holistic and a Modern Diet
  2. 11 Kinds of Holistic Diets and Therapies (and which to choose, when)
  3. 4 Ways to Get Started with a Holistic Diet
The difference between a holistic and modern diet

Modern Diets & Holistic Diets, defined:


Modern diets are probably what you've been coming across the most. They involve some kind of counting, measuring, weighing, and analyzing of health science.

Some examples would be:

  • calorie counting
  • doing a program where you get a meal plan that promises you can lose x amount of weight in x amount of days, or
  • looking at protein/fat/carb ratios.

What makes Modern Diets attractive:

What I (and probably you) find attractive about modern diets is that you feel like there is a guarantee. "If I could just stick to this plan for x amount of days, surely I'll look like that Victoria Secret Angel model!"

But what's so challenging about modern diets is that they're too rigid. They don't account for your friend's birthday party. For travel. Or anything considered "life" when you say "life happens".

I feel like modern diets make you paranoid. Because even if you meet your goal, you're constantly thinking about how much you ate, when you ate, if you've been good or bad, if you can "afford" calories, and whether or not you're "allowed" to have a social life. Ugh!


The word "holistic" literally means mind + body. It's about finding out what foods react the best to your body, what foods make you feel your best, and living in a way where you feel like your diet is in alignment with your goals and your spirit. Weight loss is a byproduct of this!

Some distinguishing factors would be that holistic diets:

  • consider body temperature (circulation)
  • energy levels
  • how you feel when you eat the food (regardless of whether or not it's considered "healthy")

Key Point about Holistic Diets

One thing to note here about holistic diets is that many of them originated before we had modern science. Humans had to understand how to rebalance our bodies and stay healthy based on what we could sense, and that means understanding elements in nature. 

Mother Nature doesn't want you to be fat. Your body is constantly trying to bring itself back into balance at a comfortable weight. That's how it's designed!

So if you find yourself struggling, it usually means that your body is trying it's best. But, something is getting in the way of it's progress.

And doing a holistic diet helps you figure out what that is, and helps you regulate your weight without all of that counting and measuring and weighing.

Don't be too tempted...

As someone who was obsessed with all-things-weight-loss, I found myself skeptical of holistic diets at first.

Because when you have a specific goal in mind (ex: I wanna lose 20 pounds), it's tempting to choose the method that you think is going to get you the results the quickest. So you wind up picking modern diets like an 8 week meal plan or a bootcamp.

Instead, take one step and look at holistic diets. You'll find it easier to understand how those 20 pounds snuck onto your body in the first place. And, learn to eat in a way that feels great to you, your lifestyle, and helps you have the body you want for the long-term.

Alright, now that you know the difference between holistic and modern diets, check out part 2:  11 Kinds of Holistic Diets and Therapies (and which to choose, when)

What about you, have you ever tried a holistic diet before? Leave a comment!