Paleo, Keto, Intermittent Fasting or Low Carb?
A lot of the posts or ads on facebook, instagram or other social media subscribe to one particular approach or eating regime. Some of them claim that their way is the best way or the only way to lose weight or to get lean. It might be Intermittent Fasting, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Ketogenic or Low carb eating. Perhaps it worked for them and now they think that it would be great for everyone.
It would be great if it were that simple. One answer, one approach for everyone! Unfortunately, everyone is different and will have a different approach that works best for them. That’s what I do for my clients, is to help them figure out what will work best for them. And instead of a complete diet overhaul or switch to a strict regime, I like to make incremental changes to the way they are currently eating, so that the change is manageable and will actually stick over time.
The amount of time you have, your personal goals, the amount of money you’d like to prioritise for exercise and food, the types of foods you like, the body type you have, (lean or stocky), your metabolism, the nutritional knowledge you have and the previous experiences with food and even your culture and friend’s habits will all influence what the best diet is for you.
What’s the Best Diet for you?
Sometimes the best approach is not an easily categorised one. It might not be a strict approach, cutting out certain foods, or have a catchy name. That’s not very sexy, but if you can find a few ways to make small changes to your current lifestyle, the end of result will be healthier lifestyle and something you can easily “stick to”.
The truth is, each of these approaches might work for you..that is, if it suits you. The human body is amazingly adaptable, so if you’re healthy, your body can easily adapt to many different eating styles. Usually if you are paying more attention to what you are eating it will result in an improvement in your health and energy.
What do all of these Diet Approaches Have in Common?
Paleo is largely meat-based, vegetarian and vegan are carb and plant based, intermittent fasting requires a lot of commitment and motivation as does a ketogenic approach which prioritises fats. Even low carb eating requires planning and thought. At first sight all of these approaches seem quite different. What is similar, is that none of them suggest eating processed foods!
When you embark on a new eating regime, you generally tend to eat better and become more aware of what you are putting in. It’s the process of trying that makes all the difference, not necessarily the particular dietary approach. This can be evidenced in cultures with more traditional eating. The Japanese, the Inuit, the Masai and Mediterranean cultures all have very different dietary approaches, but all have significantly lower rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and inflammation etc.. These traditional cultures do not include processed foods and use simple, whole foods that are minimally processed and naturally rich in nutrients.
Take a scientific approach to it and see what style works best for you – it could be lower fat, lower carb, plant-based, high fat or a moderate balance of macronutrients. Evaluate how certain types of eating work for you and try new methods if you feel you need some change. I can help you help you to separate what is fact or simply wrong. And there is a lot of false information out there. It pays to be very skeptical.
Once you start prioritising eating healthier, you’ll likely also get more interested or focussed on physical activity. Then it’s just one big snowball of healthy mindset, regular exercise and eating whole foods.
If you want to try a particular approach, I can help you do that. Or, if you want to develop an approach particular to your set of needs, goals and preferences and available time, I can help you with that too. But just because one thing may have worked for me, I do not expect it to work for everyone. Let’s focus on changing your habits over time. I can ensure that the entire process is painless and catered to your specific needs, not restrictive and hard!