We all have different visions of success when it comes to eating and our bodies. However, most people are seeking answers to similar questions when it comes to dieting.
Can I reach my body composition goals with this diet approach?
Does this diet allow me to enjoy my life?
Is this diet easy to follow, despite life being complex and temptations abundant?
I would have answered yes to all of these just 5 years ago. By saying yes I would have achieved it and lost it all within a year.
I know this because I did this most of my young adult life. I was always seeking out a meal plan ,a diet program, and complex exercise programs that would get me shredded..
The diets worked! Temporarily.
It took almost a decade but I found that if I wanted more freedom with my food, with more sustainable results, I needed to lay the foundations of my health and wellness.
If you’d like that too, then I wrote this for you
Diets that DIDN'T work
Low Calorie Meal Planning – Strict low calorie meal plans
I did this one for far to long and it left me feeling empty with no energy and I was hangry all the damn time
Low Fat – Remove as much fat from the diet as possible, non- fat everything.
Yup, I bought into the fat make you fat concept. What did it do destroy my hormone production, keeping me fat and weak.
Keto - A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet designed to induce ketosis, a metabolic state where your body burns fat for energy.
This didn’t work for me because I could never stay disciplined enough to not eat carbs. However, I believe this diet is perfect for those who suffer with diabetes to follow until they can get their weight under control.
Metabolic & Body Typing – only eat foods that match your “metabolic or body type”
I found it’s designed to be for a specific kind of …. General body or metabolic type. It does not take into account an individual's unique lifestyle.
100% Clean Eating – void “unhealthy processed” foods. Just eat as much whole foods to support my training
Good god this was the worst. I did this for a year! In hindsight this caused me to binge eat when no one was looking.
Intermittent Fasting – Fast for 16 hours a day and eat within an 8-hour window or less
This works for some but I believe it has become mainstream and lost its original meaning. Fasting is a great reset for your digestive fire that should be implement every 3 to 6 months for a day or two not every single day.
Carb Cycling – Follow low-carb macros most days and mix in high-carb macros on the other days. But stick to the macros every day.
This made meal planning impossible, resulting in an unsustainable diet.
Vegan & Vegetarian – Vegetarian Diet: Excludes meat but includes plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and dairy. Vegan Diet: Excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs, and is based on plant-based foods.
I didn't know what the hell I was doing, by the end of the 6 months my skin was gray, I had no energy and felt sick. Those who do it right, good for you but not for me.
IIFYM – If it fits your macros you can eat it
Not literally what it meant but that’s how I took it.
Diets that DID work
Mediterranean Diet: Emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, with moderate consumption of fish and poultry.
This is basically what I stick to now but I allow for indulgence 20% of the time
Paleo – meat, veggies, nuts, seeds, some fruit, and no dairy or grains
It is a bit more strict than the Mediterranean but I count this as a win because I found out that dairy messes me up.
Easy Diets Matter
I always felt like if I were to stick to a diet it needed to be the most difficult thing I have ever done. In a way, it’s almost as if I thought I we’re a robot that just uses an algorithm to succeed. The obvious truth is, I am human and my biological needs are powerful. Our bodies want to keep us alive, thriving, and fed. And it will get its way by sending strong conscious or subconscious signals.
I have become so in tune with my body that I can feel a difference if my diet is off or changes. I notice changes in my digestion, mental focus, energy levels and even my skin. Now, when I look at a diet I pay attention to how easy or difficult it is to sustain, while also living a normal life of eating with friends, family and being a busy.
I always thought there was a secret sauce to a diet that would change everything, that sauce never revealed itself. I no longer rely on other diets or programs to tell me what to eat. I now treat my nutrition as a fun game of fine tuning.
4 key points to eat in a way that feels good for you.
Key Point #1 - Choose a diet that keeps you excited
Key Point #2 - Recognize what all diets have in common
Key Point #3 - All diets work when you are consistent
Key Point #4 - Nutrition like training demands a well planned road map
Don’t put all your effort on the diet of choice and instead put effort into learning your personal nutrition. When you raise your nutritional IQ you will have the tools to achieve and keep the results forever.