What Is The Best Diet For You?
By 360 Fitness SHPK Manager, Rich Hill
Keto? Paleo? Fasting? Low Calorie?
Carb or No Carbs? Fats or No Fats?
It’s a confusing world out there when it comes to nutrition. If you google “diets” there are over 738 Million results, in half a second!
As more and more people are becoming mindful of their midlines (which IS a great thing!) there are more and more people looking at their dietary intake. With that, there are new diets being create seemingly daily, which begs the question…what is the best one for you?
This is the fun part about this industry. There are 100 ways to get to 1 destination, it’s just finding which way works best for you! There are a couple of steps required to find the best nutrition plan for you. Some of these may seem obvious, some less so!
1. What do you want to achieve?
Goals are so important (check out my goal setting blog), and this should be the building block of your nutrition plan. Are you looking to lose weight? Build muscle? Improve performance?
All of these goals require a completely different approach to the nutritional side of things. You need to make sure you are fuelling your body for what you want to achieve. So, you need to think about your ultimate vision of what you want to attain, and build your way to that.
2. Is it sustainable?
This is a big one when it comes to choosing a diet for you. This can make or break how you sustain the results you see! For example, if you are looking to lose 30 pounds and cut out all of your carbohydrates, and then achieve that goal, what do you think is going to happen when you go back to eating carbohydrates? You WILL gain weight back.
So, when looking at a meal plan that’s going to work for you, you have to think about what is going to work for you in 10 years from now. If you want to cut out your carbs, if you want to not eat grains, or dairy or cut out whatever food you want, make sure that it’s something you will be able to do! In my experiences, when people restrict the type of food they consume to see results, they end up battling with weight gain once they go off the restriction.
Now, this also comes with an asterisk when it comes loosing large amounts of weight. When someone is 100+ pounds overweight, then crash dieting will be effective in helping that person. They should still be thinking about long term changes, but short term for health is important
3. Research, Read and Learn!
When looking at different diets it’s important to look deep into how this diet will affect the body short term, but long term as well. Far too often I hear people say “I’m doing ‘X’ diet, my friend has dropped 20ilbs doing it!”, which is great for that friend but as the old adage goes… if your friend jumped off a bridge, would you do it to?
People who are excited about their results cannot wait to tell you about them, and companies will go to far lengths to show you why their diet is the best, and you should follow theirs versus their competition, it is a business after all. What people/companies won’t tell you about, are the possible side effects or negatives certain diets can have and trust me when I say… there are downfalls and negatives to EVERY diet!
Eating 5x per day is time consuming. Fasting all day can be very tough to work around. Cutting out alcohol can affect your social life. No carbs means no pizza!
These are all very surface level problems, but you get what I mean! Learn the pro’s about the diet, but don’t put your head in the sand… learn the con’s as well!
4. Fuel Your Body
Regardless of what program you are doing you need to make sure your body is getting the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs on a daily basis. This also means getting in an adequate amount of calories per day to allow your body to grow. Typically, anything that recommends you eat less then your Resting Metabolic Rate (Or Basal Metabolic Rate aka BMR) is a bad idea. You want to make sure you are at least eating enough to sustain proper body function on a daily basis.
If you want to go in-depth with this, getting your body fat percentage calculated is very useful in determining this number. You can do this test in a number of ways, but keep in mind that this is an approximation of your need calorie intake, it will not be 100% as there are a number of factors that play into metabolic rate.
Back to the original point though, if you are going to be restricting different types of food, you want to ensure you are getting those nutrients from other sources. Vegans need to find alternative sources for complete protein, restricting carbohydrates can lead to lack of fibre or certain vitamins, etc. Sometimes supplements may be needed to help out!
Keep that in mind.
5. Stick With It
Whatever plan you pick, it’s important to see it through. Stick with it and be realistic with your expectations. We don’t gain 20ilbs overnight, we won’t lose 20ilbs over night either. It takes time, it takes effort and it takes some form of sacrifice (see my previous blog on sacrifice). Be honest with yourself and give it a good honest try. Far too often people will bounce around from plan to plan to claim none of them work, but we have to stick it out.
If you feel like you’re not seeing results on that plan, start tracking everything you take in. Most likely you’ll find that you may be not following it as closely as you think. Or if you’ve given it an honest try, maybe it’s just not the right fit for you.
So there you have it team, a couple of pointers to help find the best diet for you. In reality though, the best diet and the best meal plan you can have is the one you will actually follow.
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