One of the most challenges anyone has when following a diet is keeping it interesting. Some of us are lucky enough to not like food so we can eat the most boring things all day everyday. Mom’s who have to cook for an entire family have the most trouble with this because they not only need to keep it interesting for themselves but for everyone else as well.
First of all understand that there is always more than one way of doing something. Whether you are building a house, doing a project or planning your nutrition you don’t always have to do it the same way as the next person. The most important thing is results. Someone can give you the most perfect nutrition plan and if you cannot follow it or perhaps it just doesn’t work for you then you won’t get any results and the plan is useless. Lets look at some ways to get results with nutrition.
The new fad “Does It Fit Your Macros” Diet
What is it? This approach allows you to eat ANYTHING you want as long as it fits with your carb, fat, and protein goals. This is simply an advanced version of weight watchers. One of the reason’s why weight watchers has been so successful in the past is not due to the results it got with people but the total amount of people who have done the program. The program is easy to follow so even if 1 in 10 people lost a significant amount of weight that equals hundreds of thousands of testimonials. What you don’t hear are the millions of people who have failed on the program. Eating based on your Macro goals doesn’t account for food sensitivities, junk foods or processed foods that we should all avoid. However, if you do it properly with good food then this could be a great alternative allowing you a little bit more freedom with food choices.
What is it? This approach eliminates a large amount of your everyday food choices. This allows the body to heal from the abuse that most people put their gut through eating concentrated sugars and other processed foods. I have seen some great results with elimination diets however this diet tends to cause the most issues with boredom. People either become afraid to add things back into their diet or are unable because of food intolerances. Although an elimination diet provides great results it is very important to constantly test and re-introduce foods carefully and consistently.
What is it? This approach in my opinion can be the most dangerous if implemented improperly. This approach simply restricts all food intake other than water for a period of time. This period of time could be the first 6 hours of the day each day or a full day every 7-10 days. I would say that 80% of the population is chronically stressed which alone causes severe hormonal imbalances and unwanted fat gain. This approach for a currently stressed individual can just compound the daily stress causing loss of muscle and metabolic function. This approach has been very successful to people who already eat a very healthy balanced diet and want quick results but can handle the extra stress that comes with it.
What is it? The paleo diet is a diet that promotes foods that were easily found during the Palaeolithic era. These foods include lean meats, fruits, seeds, nuts and veggies. Basically anything you can hunt or gather. This diet tries to avoid anything processed or “unnatural”. This plan is a great base for almost any nutrition because it very easily classifies foods giving you a better idea of what to eat and what to avoid without counting calories, carbs, fats, or proteins. This is more of an all you can eat plan but only focussing on whole foods. Unfortunately paleo is starting to get further and further away from the original paleo theories coming out with cook books that include foods like Chocolate-Topped Paleo Plantain Brownies and Fudgy Pumpkin Blondies. Even though they are generally a more healthy treat being gluten free they are far from a hunter gatherer diet.
What is it? Carb cycling is a pretty simple concept that can be taken to extremes. When carb cycling you can eat paleo while practicing intermitted fasting and counting your macro’s on a daily basis; or it can be as simple as eating “more” carbs one day and “less” on another without actually keeping track. Carb cycling is always a great idea because you aren’t restricting calories while allowing for high carb days (healthy cheat days) and low carb days (recovery days) to help maintain or increase fat loss results. Generally people eat more carbs on more active days and less carbs on less active days. This is a great way to regulate your nutrition looking at it on a weekly basis instead of eating the same thing day in and day out.
It is very important to enjoy what you are doing with your nutrition or it will be very difficult to follow. For me the most enjoyable thing about nutrition is the results. It’s hard to follow a diet if you are not seeing results. Take some time to research different diet techniques and even though you may not be eating the most exciting foods sometimes all you need to do is change your approach to your diet to gain a little interest. Around the Holiday Season you may want to look into some paleo treat foods while watching your macro’s. Maybe you will find yourself in a position where you are eating extremely large meals for a party or family dinner and want to test out intermitted fasting as a recovery method to the excessive amounts of calories. The truth is there are many ways to approaching weight loss through nutrition and the one that works the best is the one that you are able to follow consistently.
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