Choosing the Best Diet
With so many options to choose between it’s not easy deciding if your better off following an intermittent fasting diet like the 5:2, getting in touch with your inner caveman/ woman on the Paleo diet or if you should just take the plunge and go vegan.
So, if you’re head is hurting from listening to the celebrity endorsements, your sick of the outrageous media claims and tired of the general hustle and pressure from your nearest and dearest then just what do you do?
Stick the kettle on and relax…..
Right, now that’s done let’s see if we can’t straighten this out by the time you’ve finished that cuppa.
While I would love to pick apart all of the diets currently on offer it would be very long and dull blog “TL: DR”. So why don’t we go in reverse order, let’s start with you?
Any diet can work if you stick it, the “if” being the important part. To know if the diet you’re looking at is going to fit then you need to ask yourself three questions first.
1. Does it fit my lifestyle?
It’s all very well buying a juicer, three months of shakes and the newest superfood imported from the other side of the planet, but will this new approach even fit your current lifestyle? Do you have time to juice three times a day? Do you have time to go to the shops 2-4 times per week for fresh supplies and how do you feel about eating separately from your family?
These are common areas where short-term diets fall down. These diets typically exist within firmly set parameters and often leaves you high and dry when your life gets in the way. If it doesn’t fit your lifestyle then don’t start it.
2. Can you afford it?
Eating healthily has an unwarranted reputation for being expensive which is something I would strongly refute in another blog. However, does your new diet approach require a big upfront investment? From celebrity endorsed juicers to detox tea bags these often have a hefty price tag (priced high because they know people don’t but them for very long). Aside from these add-on products even diets like paleo require big increases in protein meaning a big jump in cost when you’re at the checkout. Eating well is not this expensive.
If your new diet approach is too expensive it simply won’t last, invest that money elsewhere.
3. Is this too much change for me?
Often the level of change required in an off the shelf diet approach is far too much for people to take on board and be successful. If the diet your considering requires you to change vast amounts of your diet, lifestyle and routine overnight how well will you cope with this beyond the first week or so?
If it feels too much then ask yourself if it’s really the best fit for you.
We could explore the pro’s and con’s of all the many diet approaches but it’s always smarter too begin with what you need and not the requirements of the diet. Think about what is a realistic starting point and what change you can work towards for the long term. If you’re unable to picture yourself eating a certain way for the next six-twelve months (and beyond) then the diet your following is going to burn out pretty soon leaving you feeling very frustrated and out of pocket.
Look at your own diet and pick out the 2-3 things that are holding you back and just focus on changing these. Your efforts will still feel challenging but your success will be more meaningful and good foundation to progress from.
So what is the best diet? The one you can stick to.
Remember you can’t actually go on a diet, only change the foods you habitually eat.
Diet definition: “The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”
For support and Nutrition Coaching Contact Andy Strong
BTN Qualified Coach & Fitness Professional