Which Diet Plan is Best for You?
By Mark Caron, MS, CSCS, XPS / Chris Sports Resident Performance Coach
There is lot of information on how to be healthy with different diet plans, nutritional information and guidelines etc. The problem is sifting through these vast amount of information and finding the one that is best suited for you.
Professionals are always being asked with the question “What should and shouldn’t eat?” There are a lot of people and different diet camps that will claim that theirs is more effective than the other. I’ve been at the same position. I’ve tried most of the current diet that is going around, from Paleo to Keto. The truth is there is no such diet that will fall under one box that will be the ultimate diet. I don’t believe there’s a single, absolutely, positively the best diet for every person to follow always. Fitting everybody on those nice little nutritional boxes doesn’t make any sense. There are a lot of factors in a person’s lifestyle that you need to think first before drawing up a nutritional strategy. There is:
- Body type
- Dietary likes and dislikes
- Organic or Inorganic
- Nutritional Knowledge
- Time for food
You get the picture. There is no way we can take it all into account these aspects into one single nutritional paradigm. It’s like saying “Organic and free-range whole food is the way to get healthy but we know you are very tight on your budget, but if you sell your house or your car, maybe you can make it work” or “Carbs is the enemy. You need to cut it way back. Say goodbye to your pasta, potatoes, and rice. Insulin is the enemy.” I know this sounds a bit extreme but this is not far from what people say to other people especially in the Internet and Facebook. Sure, a particular nutrition scheme – Paleo, Keto or Vegetarianism – worked for you personally, that’s awesome. But to suggest that to people because it worked for you at some point in your life, under specific set of conditions, is misleading. Our body, physiological, is very adaptable and will do well under a host of different nutritional conditions (Berardi, 2016). There are a lot of published works that evaluated different nutritional conditions of different groups of people in the world and showed that we are capable of being healthy on whatever is available while minimizing the incidences of lifestyle related diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, inflammatory obesity etc).
How can these different diets achieve positive results? They are not that different as you think. When done properly, Paleo diets, plant-based diets, low-carb diets, high carb diets, small meals, large meals, all accomplish the same things (Berardi, 2016).
- They raise our nutritional awareness.
Research shows that simply focusing on what you eat is a key factor in whether you will achieve your goal of getting lean/losing fat or being healthier. Training your focus on what your putting on your body have a huge impact.
- They focus on food quality.
Any of these “diet camps” actually advocates the same thing. We should be aiming to eat more natural, free-ranged animals, higher protein, higher fat, more fiber, antioxidants, and minimally processed food. There are a few nutrition camps that actually recommend you to eat MORE processed, chemical-loaded “junk” food (you know who are they).
- They discourage nutrient deficiencies.
In connection to the second point, the best nutritional advices points us away from highly processed foods which are nutrient deficient because it was stripped away during processing.
- They help control appetite and food intake.
When we are more focused on our food, we tend to choose higher quality foods that are more satisfying, nutrient-rich, making us eat less. We are more satisfied.
Choosing a single diet camp makes no sense. Again, the most popular diets – when done right and a little coaching – help us raise our nutritional awareness, choose the right foods (quality), and control our appetite. They build habit-based than diet-based mindset. At the end of the day, it’s building that mindset and following thru with the habit to reach you nutritional goals.So, what should and shouldn’t you eat? I barely scratched the surface but this article gives you ideas what to look for in your nutritional campaign. I highly recommend seeking a nutrition professional that can help and guide you thru the process Food photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com