Why You Should Never Do It!
Take a look below at just a few of the many diets floating around the Internet these days:
- Weight Watchers
- Jenny Craig
- Raw Food Diet
- South Beach Diet
- Eat Stop Eat
- Lean Gains
- Slow Carb Diet
- Mayo Clinic Diet
- Flexitarian Diet
- Biggest Loser Diet
- Slim Fast
- Flat Belly Diet
- Abs Diet
- The 8 Hour Diet
And on and on and on…
There are hundreds of diets out there to choose from and it seems as though everyone has their opinion on which ones work and which ones don’t. No matter what your opinion, I see far too many people do what I call “diet hopping.”
All this means is they jump from one diet to the next, never sticking to a nutrition plan for longer than a few weeks. They try something, get tired of it, and move on to the next diet fad.
Diet hoppers never achieve the goals they are looking for because they are so inconsistent with how they eat. They go from fad diet to fad diet because that is what’s “in” at the time.
With so many options of diet plans out there, it is very easy to get confused and overwhelmed with all the information. However, when you really take a look at the diet plans that truly work you will discover some recurring themes.
Before going into what those themes are, let’s first define what I mean when I say “truly works.”
A diet that “truly works” is one that first and foremost gets you and keeps you healthy. It is not some plan that you follow for a month in order to lose a ton of weight. It is a lifestyle plan, one that sets you up for lifelong health.
Next, the plan should give you tons of energy and make you feel amazing. Many diets such as vegetarian, vegan, and other low calorie diets don’t provide this. They make you feel tired, irritable, and leave you constantly hungry. Plus, these diets do a great job at eating away at your hard earned muscle which is a huge negative.
A solid nutrition plan will do the opposite. It will promote fat burning and lean muscle growth. You will be energized, focused, be able to think clearly, and simply feel great.
So when looking into what diet or nutrition plan is right for you, make sure you ask yourself these questions:
- Will this plan lead to lifelong health or will it just bring a short term result?
- Will this plan give me constant energy?
- Will I feel good eating the foods on the plan and will they bring me focus and a clear mind?
- What kind of results has the plan brought others? For example, Mark Sisson, creator of the Primal Blueprint, looks incredible at the age of 58, has loads of energy, and is in great health!
- Will this promote fat burn and lean muscle gain to get me to my most natural weight? Notice I said “most natural weight.” If you eat properly, and do not restrict your body the calories it is craving, you will naturally get and stay at the weight your body is most comfortable. And if you combine this with proper exercise, it will result in you being lean, strong, and incredibly healthy.
In short, you want a plan that is proven to work. And as I mentioned earlier, all the plans that bring the best results and lifelong health have recurring themes about them. Below, I will cover three of the main themes you will see when it comes to a nutrition plan that truly works:
1. It revolves around eating real food:
Humans thrived on eating real food for thousands of years and this is still what the human body thrives on today:
- Fruits and Veggies
- Healthy Fats
- Nuts and Seeds
2. Eating the proper carbohydrates:
Much of the fitness community is deathly scared of carbohydrates when the reality is they are necessary in everyones diet. What you must understand, however, is not all carbs are created equal. Eating a bowl of processed cereal is much different than eating a sweet potato. Eating a donut is much different than having some white rice.
All of these foods are considered carbohydrates, but each will have a different effect on your body. When you are trying to choose the right carbohydrates to eat, the first thing you must do is stay away from the processed ones. This means breads, pasta, muffins, donuts, candy, baked goods, etc.
Instead look for carbs that have one ingredient (the order below are my preferred carb choices from top to bottom):
- Sweet potatoes
- Beans and Legumes
- Steel Cut Oats
- White rice
Please understand that carbohydrates are not bad. They are essential in helping with recovery, fat burn, lean muscle gain, and more. If you stay away from eating processed carbs, you will start seeing better results.
3. Don’t expect perfection:
The reason so many diets fail is because they are far too strict. The ones that work, lifestyle diets, are the ones that understand mistakes happen and they allow for that. Now, this does not mean you can make “mistakes” 3 out of your 4 meals everyday, but it does give you some room for error.
For example, some plans call for the 80/20 rule. This means you eat real food 80% of the time, then can have some cheat meals the other 20% of the time.
Other plans tell you to eat healthy for 6 straight days, then enjoy a full cheat day once per week. (For more on that, check HERE!)
What you will find is that the nutrition plans that last are the ones that offer a buffer zone (whether this be a few cheat meals a week or one cheat day a week.)
When a diet calls for going a month or two eliminating all the foods you love to eat, it is setting you up for disaster. Think about it: What happens once those two months are over? You go back to eating all the junk food you have been craving.
With the 80/20 or the cheat day rule, you get to enjoy the foods you love each week. This curbs your cravings while still allowing you to get healthy! There is tons scientific proof that the cheat day plan works incredibly well, and if you do not believe me check out this article HERE. The 80/20 rule has also brought great success to thousands of individuals. Figure out which one works better for you and stick with it…
All that to say…
I challenge you to find a nutrition plan that works for you and then stick with it. No more jumping from one plan to the next. Find a plan that you can sustain for a long period of time and run with it. A plan that is going to get you and keep you healthy, bring energy, focus, promote lean muscle growth, fat burning, etc. Don’t go and drastically cut calories as this will only kill your results. You can’t sustain that kind of plan, and your body and brain will not like you for it if you try.
Don’t over complicate things, simply follow the rules above and EAT REAL FOOD… The majority of the time anyway!
Questions or Comments? Let me know your feedback below…
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