Is it Paleo? Intermittent Fasting?
None of them...
Clients ask me all the time if I've heard of a certain diet; their friend tried X and lost 20 lbs or they're eating low carb, high protein...how come they're still not losing weight?
There is honestly not a simple response to these types of questions. There are so many factors at play as to why your body may respond differently to a diet than, say, your friend's body does. And on the flipside, just because ONE diet works really well for you doesn't mean another diet wouldn't work just as well.
- Clients are diverse. Meaning, there are various factors that determine whether a certain way of eating works well for you or not.
Various Factors: Body type, fitness level and body composition, age, budget, dietary preferences and exclusions, nutrition knowledge and diet history and even ethnic background and heritage.
- The "healthiest people in the world" do not adhere to one nutrition philosophy.
Physiologically, the human body is capable of responding well to many different types of diets or nutrition conditions. Case in point, the Arctic Inuit eat diets that are high in fat and animal products, with few vegetables, but then many in the Amazon basin generally eat diets that are low in fat and high in vegetables and starchy carbohydrates.
The human body adapts very well to different ways of eating, which is why it's so important not to pigeon hole yourself into a specific diet or believe there is no way to be successful eating in a way that you're not accustomed to.
So then the question is...
How can a ton of different diets keep people fit and healthy?
THAT answer is actually pretty simple. Good nutrition & diets are more similar than different!
When people start a diet program, they just start eating better overall & they get more of the nutrients their bodies need. They eat a variety of foods - fresher foods, they choose mindfully, cut back on processed foods. Consequently, they feel better! And that's one of the reasons people start screaming from the roof tops that their diet is gold in food-form.
But truthfully, they didn't do anything special. Most times, they've begun getting what their bodies needed.
- A "good" diet asks people to care about their food choices and eating in general. Research has actually shown that your food choices may be less important than simply paying more attention to what you're eating.
- A "good" diet focuses on food quality. Pretty much any "diet" you try is going to ask you to eat less processed and more nutrient-dense foods. So regardless of the macros or specific food choices, eating better QUALITY food is going to improve your health.
- A "good" diet helps eliminate nutrient deficiencies.
- A "good" diet helps control appetite and food intake. By simply focusing on the food and its quality, this oftentimes allows a person to tune in to their own appetite and hunger. It's kind of like a built-in calorie counter without actually having to count calories.
Good nutrition and good diets are not so black & white. There is plenty of grey area to play around with. And this should be exciting for people! You don't need to starve yourself or restrict yourself of foods you like or torture yourself into the next clothing size down. There are plenty of options and plenty of wiggle room!
QUESTION: Have you tried a diet that didn't get the results you were expecting? Have you and a friend ever done the same diet and one of you did far "better" than the other?