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Nutrition

How many diets do you need?

How many diets do you need? You can eat for your blood type, keto, paleo, carnivore, Vegetarian, eat for your star sign?? There’s 5:2, low calorie or intermittent fasting?

So if they all worked why do they all exist?

Surely there would be just one, that’s the one that works and everybody would have the body they want and feel amazing, but no.

And diets have become cult like which is even weirder. Vegans Vs Paleo, don’t talk shit about MY diet, it’s better than your diet.

The truth…its very simple.

If you’re smart, and you are, you can utilise different aspects of many diets to help you achieve your best health, body and mind. You don’t have to marry your diet, you can pick the best aspects of a few.

The reason why most intermittent fasters love doing it? They never liked eating breakfast anyway, so it suits them. If you love waking up and cooking up some eggs then it’s probably not the best choice.

If a rigid diet is going to work for you it can’t be too far off what you like doing in your current lifestyle, and keep in mind, the further it is from what you currently do, the harder it’ll be to maintain. You know that yo-yo effect? That’s why that occurs.

People try something radical like chicken breast and broccoli daily then go slightly mad after the strict regimen, losing the plot at the weekend. The Deliveroo app gets a hammering Friday night, which bleeds into Saturday, and then Sunday? Well IT IS the weekend so carry on, and Mondays always the new start day right?

So you just tanked for 3 days after 4 days of a plan that’s too far off your norm and too rigid.

More truth?

Any diet essentially drops some calories in some way.

Intermittent fasting – You’ve chopped off breakfast

Carnivore or Keto – You’ve eradicated carbs

Eating for your star sign – You’re burning calories by riding your unicorn

Paleo – There’s a list of allowed foods, which means your donut and pizza night is now gone.

So that’s your goal. Drop some calories in some way!

Reduce quantities of things you’re already eating.

Use a smaller plate, smaller wine glass, but keep a log for a few days.

So many people when I ask them about nutrition say they hardly eat cakes, chocolate, drink alcohol, the usual high calorie low nutrient dense foods we like.  But then after they keep a log for 5 days, its full of these food items, because it’s such a habit, people forget. It’s almost like autopilot that you grab another glass of wine, one more beer, a second helping of dinner.

The behaviour is normally a speed issue, eating too fast and choosing too fast.

If you don’t eat slowly enough you wont sense fullness so you’re inclined to keep eating.

If you choose too fast then the donut is already in your belly, seconds from fridge to stomach right?

Just think about it more.

You’d never buy a new car or TV without doing some thinking, research, watching a few youtube reviews.

Yet there’s no thought on food, the thing that sustains your life, your optimal body and mind, your health and immunity.

You know what percentage battery your phone is usually on at 5pm but how many calories were in your lunch?

Do you fill up the Ferrari convertible with petrol then once its full, just spray more fuel all over the nice white leather interior? It already had the fuel required. Why throw more into it to damage it?

I get it though, sometimes emotion takes over and thought goes out the window of your fuel soaked Ferrari, so……..

You have to be clear on the perceived benefit you get from the bad habit/food choice

You have to replace that bad habit/choice with something that gives you the same benefit (but that doesn’t create long term regression in your goal)

If you’ve had a bad day, you’re looking at the take away menu, you’re thinking screw it, but how will this behaviour help your long term goal?

You can down 4 donuts easily, quickly, they taste good and sugary, and then it’s gone.

Any positive feeling leaves you as quickly as it came.

How do you feel 5mins after? 30 mins after? 2hrs after? There’s usually regret unfortunately, there’s no positive emotion left, so it fixed nothing, and you’ve just taken in 1200 calories, a days worth.

The reward? Happiness for about 2 minutes, then a sinking ship feeling and back to square one.

So what’s better?

Thinking of the long term goal. Usually getting the optimal body for most people I come across, which takes time, and consistency.

It’s never about perfection, because cakes taste good. But just maybe you need less of them to achieve your goal.

It’s never “Don’t eat chocolate!”, but if you’re taking in 500 calories of chocolate in a day, and your daily target is 1500 cals total for your goal, then that’s what will cause issues.

One third of your calories being low nutrient density, high calorie, causing less satiety, maintaining a sugar craving high.

It’s like your bank balance. You only have so much to spend per day.

The issue? People spend all their calories by 4pm but then keep spending. That’s why the body stores more fat, gets more inflamed, lowers immunity and gets weaker.

So…..

The best diet? It’s the one that fits your lifestyle, that you can do daily and indefinitely, that works with foods you enjoy, and lets you consume the right calorie amount for your goal. Ideally you’d stick to a 90/10 split on natural non processed foods Vs low nutrient processed ones.

The best behaviour tactic? Slow down your eating and slow down your choices.

Chew more times, take more time eating, and think about what you’re going to eat, how it’ll make you feel before, during and after eating it.

Does it help your goals or hinder?

And stay away from people that eat for their star sign.

Written by: Lee Brooks

Lee has been a personal trainer for over 20 years and has worked extensively across the UK, USA, Australia and Bermuda.  He delivers his expertise in 5* hotel gyms, high end fitness facilities and previously worked for Equinox as a top of the line Tier X Coach.

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