Which Diet is Right For You
By: Coach Mitchell
I often get asked questions about specific diets and if people should try them or subscribe to them. The questions usually go something like this:
“Should I try Keto? I see it all over recently.”
“Do you think intermittent fasting would be a good idea for me?”
“Have you heard of the carnivore diet? A friend of mine is seeing crazy results with it.”
My answer to each of these questions is typically the same. First I will ask, “What is your primary goal?” And then the second (for non-performance based goals which make up the large majority of nutrition goals), “Sure! Try it out and see how you like it! Just be sure to go all in for at least a month if you decide to try.”
You may notice that the answer doesn’t change depending on the diet I am asked about. The reason is that I don’t care much about which diet they choose to follow! What I do care about is that they put a framework around their nutrition, that they begin to think about nutrition differently than ‘Vegetables are good, dessert is bad’, and that they become open to altering their relationship with food! Also, if the athlete still feels good while completing his/her workouts, go for it! Any negative variance in how you normally feel during workouts will indicate if that diet is the right one for you or not.
The real answer to all questions is that the best diet is the one that you will stick to! When it comes to success with your diet and reaching your body composition or performance goals, the best diet is the one that is the most sustainable for you. This is where a coach can come in handy, by helping you match your diet to your lifestyle and decide on a plan to help you reach your goals, a coach can help you to build this framework to match your life!
People often get caught up in the wave of the newest diet trend and think that it will be the answer for what they are looking for. Sometimes it may be, but often times I have found that most people who benefit from trying these various diets experience results because they have a goal and framework from which to eat. If they choose to do one of these diets, they now have a set of parameters around what foods they can and cannot eat. They have a set of guidelines to follow and this often produces results because they stick to these guidelines.
For those who choose to try Keto, are the results coming because they are eating 30g of carbs per day and high fat and protein? Perhaps, but in my experience, the results are coming because they went from having no parameters around their diet besides ‘I know excess dessert is bad for me but I’m going to do it anyway for the third night in a row because why not?’ to ‘I eat Keto, so now I do not eat sweets.’ Or ‘I do intermittent fasting so I have a set window in which to eat so I cannot eat those cookies at 9 pm every night’.
It isn’t the specifics of the diet itself that produces the results; it is the goal and framework that produces the results. In much the same way that signing up for a half marathon gets people to run, subscribing to a specific diet or nutrition program gets people to become more conscious of their eating thus more successful in reaching their performance or body composition goals!
These diets or nutritional changes are most effective because it gives a framework from which to eat. That is why I love when people ask about these diets! Because it means they are open and ready for a change. They are ready to take the step of building a framework to improve their relationship with food.
So, if you ever have the question, “Should I try this out?” The answer is yes! Try it out but commit to it fully for at least one month.