There is an abundance of information out there (too much in my opinion) about different types of diets or nutrition plans. Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, High Carb, etc. It's just too much. So what is the best diet for you?
While I would love to give you a simple answer to an already complex situation, I can't and I won't. If you spend time working with different people the way I do, you will understand that there is NOT a without - a - doubt best diet for everyone to follow. I know...sorry, I didn't make anything easier there, did I?
There is just too much diversity amongst people to place them all into the same nutrition box. Things like body type, dietary preferences and exclusions, budget, environment, knowledge and time all need to be considered.
If you are working with a coach, these things should be part of the discussion and if you are planning for yourself, be sure to take these things into consideration too. Physiologically the human body can do well under many different nutritional conditions, so to say there is one diet that fits everyone would be ignorant.
So if there isn't a one size fits all approach, what should I focus on to determine what the best one is for ME?
When evaluating different nutrition options focus on the following things:
1) Awareness and Attention
While counting macros and focusing on calories can absolutely be effective, studies have shown that simply becoming more mindful of what you are eating can be a key factor for success. Focusing on the WHY (habits, triggers and mindset surrounding food) is just as important as focusing on WHAT you are eating.
2) Quality of Food
Whether you are eating high carb, low carb, vegetarian or vegan, eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient rich foods should be a focus. There isn't a plan that condones chemical laden "junk food".
3) Eliminating Nutrient Deficiencies
If done correctly, any nutrition plan should eliminate the most common nutrient deficiencies including hydration, vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids.
4) Controlling Portion Sizes
When you focus on mindset, quality of food and eliminating nutrient deficiencies we almost always end up eating less food because we feel more satisfied with the things we are eating. Tuning in to our hunger cues and staying mindful is important here. Understanding what a portion looks like for you and what a complete meal looks like for you will help keep you successful long term.
5) Exercising Regularly
When people start paying attention to their eating, physical activity is usually not to far behind. By focusing on all of these things we drastically improve our body's ability to turn food into functional tissue rather than fat.
SO...how do you determine which diet is the BEST for YOU?
The best diet for you is the one that's best for you.
Choosing the right diet or nutrition plan needs to encompass all of these things. It needs to be something that is sustainable and takes into consideration EVERYTHING.
Some things to consider would be:
- Your family. Are you cooking for yourself of do you have others to think about?
- Your life demands. Realistically how much time and effort can you put towards this?
- Your stress level. What does the rest of your life look like. Will this create more stress or less for you?
- Your income level. Realistically what is a budget for your food?
- Your food availability. What kinds of stores do you have near you? What kinds of crops grow near you? Do you have access to high quality meat?
- Your cooking experience and food knowledge. Is this something you can actually do for yourself?
- Your time availability. How much time can you devote to this?
While I can't give you a direct answer on which diet is best for you, I can tell you it needs to be something you can live with and should be something you can sustain long term.
Need some help determining the best course of action for you? Reach out and set up a consultation TODAY!
*Info used from Precision Nutrition