The Right Diet For You

Navigating through your fitness journey can be hard. With all of the fitness information out there, it can seem like a daunting task to not only stick to a regimented exercise program but also follow a strict diet. Not only that, but sifting through all the fitness information that is out there and deciding what’s good or bad information can be exhausting. On your journey to find the proper nutrition plan, you will undoubtedly run across the many popular diets currently making their rounds in the fitness space. Current popular diets you may have heard of include: gluten free, paleo, detox, keto, “flat belly”, atkins, vegan and vegetarian. While these diets can certainly work in the short term, you have to think about the long run with weight loss. Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint, and any diet you cannot see yourself doing a year from now is not the diet for you. It can be easy to lose weight but keeping it off and making lasting changes is the hard part. Sustainability is the key to any diet.

The fundamental flaw with every diet is that they are all short term. It can be tough to stick to a specific way of eating for long periods of time which leads to burnout or just plain boredom with the way you’re eating. For the sake of keeping things simple, we will only focus on the diet portion of the equation. You can exercise all you want but you cannot out-train a bad diet, as you’ve probably heard. Sorry to break it to you but not even an hour of intense cardio won’t even burn off that Five Guys with fries you ate for lunch, sorry my friend. Unfortunately, many people try to do exactly this and end up burning out or injuring themselves in the process. Don’t get me wrong, it is almost always recommended to follow a well planned exercise program along with changing habits, but that is an entirely different topic for another day. Nutrition is by far the most easily changed variable and will make the biggest difference in the way you look. The best bang for the buck, if you will.

Now, with that information in hand, rather than hopping on the newest diet trend you’ve seen advertised, it is time to start developing new habits and changing your mindset about food. Although this may seem like a daunting task, it is really all about making small changes and taking it one step at a time. Focus on one thing a week, no matter how silly you think it is. If you only drink 2 glasses of water per day, up that to 5. That’s week #1, you did it! Pat yourself on the back. Second week maybe add a couple servings of veggies into your day, third week, cut out processed food, and so forth. Stay disciplined and stick to the plan you or a fitness professional lay out for you. As small as these habits changes may seem to you, they are small wins that will compound and develop into a new healthy lifestyle. It is a cascade effect which leads to feeling better which then, in turn, leads to healthier habits that translate into long term success. Body composition is a byproduct of how healthy you are, so by chasing health, the aesthetics follow.

Feeding your body what it needs goes way beyond just weight loss or muscle gain. The benefits of a good diet affect the way you focus, your mood, energy levels, sleep, overall health, and everything in between. Now, what else can you think of that will improve all those things? Nutrition can surely be complicated but if you just start, today, changing one thing about your diet/lifestyle, imagine how you will look/feel in a year. Now what are you waiting for?! Go eat some veggies!

Written by Joe Benn – Personal Trainer