People always ask me which “nutrition camp” I fall into. Is it paleo? Vegan? Low carb? Intermittent fasting? Or something else? In essence, they’re asking: “What’s The Best Diet?”
Today I’ll share my surprising answer. I’ll also explain how we’ve used certain “best diet” principles in our coaching programme that has helped change the lives of hundreds of men and women.
When done properly, Paleo diets, plant-based diets, high-carb diets, low-carb diets, eating small meals frequently, eating larger meals infrequently, etc. all accomplish the following:
1. They raise nutrition awareness and attention.
I know, everyone wants to talk about the food itself—the proteins, carbs, and fats. What to eat more of and what to avoid. But research is now showing that simply paying better attention to what you eat is a key factor in whether you’ll lose fat, get lean, and improve your health.
Whether your attention is locked on to avoiding carbs, eating more vegetables, seeking out organic/free-range food, avoiding animal foods, or avoiding “non-Paleo” food, it’s all good.
Because what you focus on may not matter as much as simply caring more about what you’re eating in the first place.
2. They focus on food quality.
Paleo and low carb advocates want you to eat more natural, free-range animal-based foods that are higher in protein, higher in fat, and are minimally processed.
Vegan and high carb advocates want you to eat more natural, plant-based foods that are higher in fibre, antioxidants and are minimally processed.
Recognise what’s common here?
Indeed, very few nutrition camps recommend you eat more processed, chemical-laden “junk” food. (Thank goodness.)
Instead, pretty much every camp recommends eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods. And that may be one of the most important nutrition interventions of all, regardless of the protein, carb, and fat breakdowns.
3. They help eliminate nutrient deficiencies.
In keeping with the last point, the best nutritional advocates help us shift away from highly processed foods, which are often low in nutrients because they’ve been stripped out during processing, and toward more whole, minimally processed foods, which often have their nutrients intact.
Thus, a properly designed diet of any kind eliminates some of the most common nutrient deficiencies (water, certain vitamins and minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids).
This is huge. We often look, feel, and perform terribly when we’re deficient in important nutrients. But within a few weeks of correcting these deficiencies, we feel totally rejuvenated. (And because the transformation is so dramatic, that’s often when we become diet diehards.)
4. They help control appetite and food intake.
When we’re more aware of what we’re eating, choose more satisfying, higher-quality foods, and eliminate nutrient deficiencies, we almost always end up eating less total food. We feel more satisfied. We lose fat, gain lean muscle, and perform better.
Notice that you don’t need calorie counting here. Focusing on food awareness and food quality is usually enough for people to tune into their own hunger and appetite. And that means calorie control without annoying calorie math. It also means you can maintain your results/weight loss. Counting calories has a shelf-life; no one does it forever.
5. They promote regular exercise.
When people start paying attention to their eating, they usually start thinking about physical activity too. In fact, many of the diet camps recommend regular exercise. (Which is a good idea, since focusing on diet alone may actually interfere with establishing a consistent exercise routine.)
When a person exercises regularly, with a mix of high and low-intensity activity, they dramatically improve their ability to turn the food they eat—whatever food that is—into functional tissue (instead of extra fat).
Hopefully, you can now understand how different well-designed dietary philosophies—even when they seem oppositional and antagonistic on the surface—can all promote good health, body composition, and longevity.
Which is why…
The best diet to follow actually is… the one that’s best for you.
If you want to follow a Paleo diet, or are on a Weight Watchers programme – I can help with that.
I can also help out if you’re vegan, prefer to eat more carbs (or less), are on a tight budget, or only eat organic/free-range artisan foods.
But, really, I want to listen to your needs… What you want to accomplish. How you live. What’s really important to you. Then let me help you create the right dietary approach for you; one that’s specific to your goals and your lifestyle.
Because that’s what coaching really is.
Diet gurus are in this game to get attention, make a scene, and get on TV. That’s why they try to force people into following strict and largely unnecessary nutrition rules—demonising some foods, deifying others.
Sure, it sells books. It gives good TV. But we all know how things turn out when real people try to follow these rules in real life.
The best coaches, on the other hand, are actually responsible for (and accountable to) their clients. They’re paid to get results. This totally changes the game.
That’s why I don’t really have a diet philosophy.
Instead, I have a personal coaching process. One that helps clients find the best diet for them. One that they can follow on their worst day — not just their best. One that takes into account their small (but still important) physical and biochemical differences. And one that takes into account their lifestyle differences, including:
Cooking experience and knowledge
And so on …
No, it’s not as clean and clear as “avoid meat” or “eat like a caveman”. But I believe it’s the only sane and rational approach.
It also happens to be the ONLY approach that actually works in the long run.
Want to get into the best shape of your life? Let me help.
Lose weight, build strength, and get the accountability you need.
If you’re ready to have the body you deserve and get in control of your health and fitness once and for all, I’m ready to help. You’ve tried doing it alone. Now try with someone who’s ready to bring a commitment that’s as serious as your own.
No rules. No restrictions. Just good habits for life.
Email me directly and we can see if personal coaching is right for you.