In case you haven’t noticed, there are lots of different diets out there. Low carb, high carb, Paleo, Mediterranean, taco, juice cleanse, cabbage, cayenne pepper…. The list goes on and on. And it seems like each one has a loyal following of people who have lost substantial weight while following their chosen diet.
Why do most diets work, at least in the short term?
One thing that every diet has in common is they decrease your calorie intake. So no matter if you are eating only meat and avocado, or only sweet potatoes and rice, or only tacos, or some combination, you are probably eating less overall calories than you were before. This calorie deficiency translates to weight lost, at least in the short term.
But good nutrition relies on much more than just calories in vs. calories out. The best nutrition plans,
- Prioritize health over weight
A healthy diet should help fix any deficiencies, not contribute to them. Eliminating entire food groups or only eating a limited variety of foods can leave gaping holes in your vitamin and macronutrient intakes. Balance is key. Good nutrition should leave you feeling and performing better, not worse.
- Encourage a healthy relationship with food
Food is fuel. We need it to survive. Food is not the enemy here. Thinking about food in polarizing terms such as good vs. bad, can lead to an unhealthy relationship and mindset. It is more of a sliding scale. Should some foods be limited or eaten only in moderation? Sure! But a chocolate cake has no more nefarious tendencies than a toaster or couch cushion.
- Are sustainable
Do you see yourself eating like this for the next 6 months? A year? Longer? Does is fuel your workouts and leave you feeling energized? Is it possible to stick with it with your work schedule and travel? If not than you probably are not going to get significant long-term results. If you are counting down the days until the end of this diet, chances are you will go back to eating the way you were before with similar results.
- Provide measurable long-term results
A healthy diet should encourage both fat loss and muscle gain. It should improve your waistline as well as increase performance at the gym. It should rev up your metabolism not suppress it from substantial sustained calorie deficient. The goal is to feel better, look better, and move better.
Does you diet check off all these boxes? If not, it may be time to try something different. Sign up for a free nutrition intro session to learn about individualized nutrition coaching and start the best program for YOU.