In this episode, we explore the nutritional landscape and “named diets” out there and come up with practical advice and ideas on how to choose the best diet and nutrition plan that works for you, and helps you achieve your goals.


With all the popular “named diets” out there, how does somebody choose the best diet plan for them? I explore this topic in this episode and give practical tips on how to choose the best diet for you.

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For as long as I can remember, there have been “named diets” out there.
-Fit for Life
-Body for Life
-Atkins
-Vegetarian
-Vegan
-Paleo
-Low Carb
-South Beach diet

On our own podcast, we have had a few different diets represented. Sinead Urwin is a huge fan of the Ketogenic lifestyle, Michelle Lockhart has a real focus on plant-based diets, in our rapid weight loss interviews with Jimmy Duggan we talked about VLCD’s or very low-calorie diets for short periods of time for rapid weight loss, and Dr. Lewis talked about eating for longevity by not eating too much food. Lauren Stewart talked about the Blue Zones, and the various diets eaten by those who live the longest on the planet.

I have talked about the principles of eating a balance between carbs, fats, and proteins.

So it may seem like we are all over the map nutritionally, but there’s a method to our madness, which I will touch on in this episode. Basically, I am agnostic when it comes to best diets, and agree with Dr. Berardi when he says the “best diet” is the one that works best for YOU and may be very different from the one your best friend is trying to talk you into.

I don’t believe there’s a single, absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt best diet for every person to follow, always, and forever.” John Berardi

The challenge is that there are too many variables among people, here’s a short list:
-Gender
-Ethnicity
-Religious or Moral considerations
-Likes and dislikes
-Goals
-Age
-Allergies and limitations
-Budget
-Time
-Location

So sometimes these “named diets” work really well for people, and that’s terrific and gives a great track to run on with shopping lists and support groups etc, but they don’t work for everybody, and they don’t work forever for most people.

Beware of people who are absolutely committed to a single dietary philosophy. Dave

Physiologically, the human body can do well under a host of different nutritional conditions. -John Berardi PhD

See the Blue Zones episode we did right here on this show for great examples of this.

When you work with actual human beings, you must be a nutritional agnostic. -John Berardi PhD

There’s no such thing as a “true nutritional religion.”

Key components of Precision Nutrition success include:
1. Named diets have more in common than you might think. All focus on eliminating low-quality foods and eating more plant-based foods for example.
2. Research has proven that simply being more aware of what you eat leads to losing fat, getting lean, and general health improvements.
3. All named diets help eliminate nutritional deficiencies.
4. They all help control appetite and food intake.
5. They all promote regular exercise.

There’s no such thing as one, universal “best” diet. John Berardi, PhD

In short, the best diet to follow is the one that’s best for you.

One of the “named diets” might be perfect for YOU, but NONE of them are perfect for everybody. -Dave

 

Tips for coming up with a plan:
1. Keep it really simple. If it’s complex or difficult, chances are you won’t stick with it.
2. Identify your goals first. The nutritional plan for somebody who simply wants to remain “symptom-free” requires a totally different plan than a CrossFit competitor.
3. Try to keep it principles-based rather than technique based.
4. Make sure your plan has a good balance of carbs, fats and protein (macros) that will help you reach your goals. The balance between these macros is probably the biggest differentiator between all the named diets. Do you do better on carbs or fats? Or a good ratio of both? Are you getting enough protein? (most people aren’t). Make sure these 3 basic building blocks of health are represented well in your plan.
5. Research nutritional deficiencies and if possible, get tested to see if you have any. Usually, inexpensive supplementation can really help fill deficiencies, many of which will remain even if you do eat a super healthy diet.
6. Make sure your plan includes at least 5 hours of exercise per week. There’s just way too much research bearing this out to ignore.
7. Convert your ideas into shopping lists
8. Convert your shopping list into a simple meal plan, and pre-make meals whenever possible.

 

 

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Note that this information is presented as educational in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure or prevent any disease.