25.7.14

What's The Best Diet?


When I attended FitPro Live, I had just started Whole 30. However, when I chose my sessions for the event, I had no idea I would be doing a Whole 30 so it was interesting to be attending a talk entitled "What's the best diet?" when I technically was on a diet. In my mind, I'm thinking, would the answer be Whole 30? Or will this session make me think I'm mad for even doing a Whole 30? ...There was only one way to find out.

The talk was delivered by Dr John Berardi; a very knowledgeable Canadian. 


My fellow FitPro, Juliana with Dr John Berardi

When clients / friends ask me "what's the best diet?"...I usually share with them what I've been up, what I've recently learned and some basic starter points / principles such as eating breakfast each and every day, staying hydrated and being mindful of what you are snacking on. But these are what's known as 'best practices'...things that generally work but may not suit everyone. I'm not a nutritionist after all!

John made some very valuable and thought provoking points during the 1.5 hours that we all had together. One of the most important for me had to be about the "macronutrient debate". Each and every diet that is put out there, is just another version of how much carbohydrates / protein / fat they believe our diets should consist of. However, research shows that no matter the macronutrient content of a "diet", the results are always the same!

As John pointed out...

"Do you know a vegan who is in great shape?!"

"Do you know someone who follows the Paleo lifestyle who is in great shape?"

"Do you know someone who eats what they want and is in great shape?!"

...I certainly can answer "yes" to all three questions! Can you?!

Therefore, maybe, just maybe, this isn't about macronutrients. And if it isn't about macronutrients, why is there still such a big debate?!

"Put an end to the macronutrient debate".


This is my effort towards the above. I'm putting an end to the macronutrient debate, here on keep it simpElle. I'm becoming a nutritional agnostic who will respect anyones choice of diet. ...Why?!

Because all the "diets" worth their weight in salt, may actually have far more commonalities than they do differences if we throw out the macronutrient debate. ...What makes a diet work?! How do you achieve success on your chosen diet? What do all these diets actually do for you?!

Here are the secrets that you've been wanting to know...

What makes a diet work?!


....Adherence. Consistency. Sticking to it.


What do diet interventions have in common:

- awareness and attention
- focus on food quality
- eliminate nutrient deficiency
- control appetite and food intake
- promote regular exercise


Let me regress a moment here and go back to my current choice of completing a Whole 30. I wrote a blog post entitled 'Why Whole 30?!' where I shared with you my reasons for wanting to complete it. After having read about the program and seen the results that could be achieved I decided I would like to see what it could do for me. Remember though, that I changed my diet quite drastically this year already; since January 2014 I have been (mostly) following the principles of Alkaline eating. I upped my intake of fruit and vegetables and introduced a plethora of new foods into my kitchen repertoire. What I found though, was after a few months, I was still suffering from anaemia symptoms, my skin was still not clear but there had been other positive changes as a result.

Therefore it seemed to me that although some principles of eating alkaline had worked for me, wholly, it was not THE "diet" for me. What I did learn though, was what place this approach had in my life - I learnt which principles worked well for me and which did not. Looking back at the list of commonalties of a successful diet, it had achieved 4 of these. So now, it was time to see what place Whole 30 has in my life, and what principles I can take away from the experience that can be incorporated into my lifestyle on a permanent basis.

"Train how I train, eat what I eat, and you can look just like me!" ...Is that what would pay a Personal Trainer to tell you?! ...that's basically what we get when we see "X (insert celebrity name here)  4 week diet and training plan to get the body you've always wanted" in that weekly magazine or generic blog post. Will following that plan meal for meal, exercise for exercise make us look like "X"?

If you are thinking about changing your diet, there are some considerations you should have in mind:

"Change one thing at a time and commit to this change"


This 'change' should be the biggest limiting factor, the most important change that you need to make there and then. For example, ensuring you drink enough water each day as dehydration can be physically and mentally debilitating. From personal experience, when I am dehydrated I feel tired to the point of exhaustion and often end up sleeping any spare time away. I have slowly learnt to recognise the symptoms and am able to reverse the effects quickly and simply by just drinking more water!

"Change should be measurable"


...at one point this year, I shared with you how I would be working on upping my intake of water. I used a visual cue in my diary by drawing 8 empty cups on each day of the week. Each time I drank a cup of water, I filled in a cup in my diary making it easy for me to track my progress over the day, week and duration of the challenge.

"Changing one thing at a time has a 85% chance of success"


...don't those odds sound positive vs changing three things at a time which has a 10% chance of success.

"Start when you are ready and confident that you can succeed"


I watched Leah complete 4 Whole 30 challenges before I decided I was ready. I had to make smaller changes first before I could commit to an overall bigger change. I then set myself up for success by thoroughly preparing for the 30 days ahead. On a scale of 1 - 10, I am at 10 with confidence that I will complete the Whole 30 successfully.

After hearing everything above about "the best diet", I am even more confident in my decision to attempt a Whole 30. The difference being, that I'm doing this for me, I'm not saying you should try it, I'm not saying I will get the same results that others have reported, nor am I saying it is the best diet out there.

What I am saying though, is, I'm giving it a go to see which of it's principles work for me; I'm using it as an opportunity to learn how my body reacts to different foods and how my body works without the consumption of certain foods; I'm learning to not focus on counting calories and focusing on the five commonalties I shared above of any diet...

...and I'm saying you can be successful too with whichever diet / lifestyle you choose to follow...

Elle :)

6 comments:

  1. It took me about a year before I decided to do a whole30. I basically transitioned slowly. I increased my veggie intake and made alternatives to pasta, bread extra.
    Doing a whole30 was a real eye opener for me.
    At the moment I'm doing a whole15 (just a clean up), and it has made me realise (I have also been listening to the runner academy podcast with Matt Fitzgerald who also talked about diet cults), at the end of the day, the way I eat, is going to be different to everyone else. There is only one me. And I know what works for me, and what doesn't.
    You will work out what works for you too.

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    1. Here here! There is only one you! ...and you have been an inspiration to me! Keep up the great work :) x

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  2. YESSSSS there is no perfect, especially if it's not something people can stick too! Whole 30 is too intense for me, but I have found ways of eating that have happily allowed me to maintain a 35lb loss for like 10 years now. No dieting involved.

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    1. Good work Amanda! Living proof that once you take the time to find what works for you, you can have success!! Amazing!

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  3. I think diet is massively individual, and it's a lot of trial and error. What works for someone might not work for someone else. I'm Vegan, but for me it's not a diet, more a lifestyle choice.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I get you! ...and when I say "diet" ...I mean what I eat / drink as opposed to something that is restricted!

      I'm learning a lot right now...through, like you say, trial and error!

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