Firstly, I’d like to clarify something – there is no such thing as the perfect diet.
I do believe, however, there is a perfect eating lifestyle for everyone.
Unless you’re someone who needs to drop weight for a competition or sporting event, then you shouldn’t take “dieting” too seriously. Whether you simply just want to get in better shape, and maybe lose a few pounds, or maybe add a bit of weight to your frame – you can afford to play around with different methods of eating, and see what works best for you.
It’s become common knowledge that to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit. This is where you are consuming less calories in a day than your body is burning. For example, over the past year I consumed anywhere from 2800-3000 calories (roughly daily), and maintained a consistent bodyweight. When I decided that I wanted to drop a bit of body fat because the sunny times were approaching, I reduced my calories to around 2450 per day.
I’d strongly recommend against using an online calculator to figure out your caloric intake. While they may give you a rough idea, if you’re someone who eats around 2000 calories a day for example (maintaining body weight), to then start eating 2300 calories because a calculator told you to – you’re going to gain weight.
Intermittent fasting involves consuming your caloric intake during a specific time frame during the day. Only eating between 2pm-10pm, for example.
This is a method that I use every day – simply drinking water and coffee until around 4pm, when I’ll begin eating.
During fasting your digestive system can rest, and your body can rely on the previous day’s calories for energy.
‘If It Fits Your Macros’ or ‘flexible dieting’ is a method that has become quite popular as it does not exclude any specific food groups.
The mentality of flexible dieting is that so long as a caloric target is met each day, then you can also budget little treats into your day.
I used to do flexible dieting myself, though in my opinion I’d rather eat more nutritiously dense carbohydrate sources such as sweet potato, over eating five Haribo’s. Not only are sweet potatoes more nutritiously dense, but they will have a less negative affect on blood sugar and insulin levels.
I feel like flexible dieting can cause an addiction to sugar, and a reliance of sweet treats each day.
The ketogenic involves relying on dietary fat as a primary energy source, instead of carbohydrates. You’d be eating barely any carbohydrates per day (only vegetables), and consuming the rest of the calories from mainly fat and protein (such as red meat, avocado, cheese, coconut oil, eggs, and so on).
I love the ketogenic diet. Why? Because it doesn’t feel like a diet.
The ketogenic diet combined with intermittent fasting has allowed me to stay sharp and focused during the day because I am in control of my insulin levels. You can read more about my experiences with the ketogenic diet here on The Newplex.
JOPO trailed the ketogenic diet in an ealrier Newplex post and shared his results. Credit: The Newplex
I can go out for food with my girlfriend, friends, or family without having to focus so much on obsessively tracking my every bite on MyFitnessPal .
Instead, I know if I eat protein and fat dense foods with some vegetables, I’ll be grand. Recently a good buddy of mine came back from Australia, so I mentioned the ketogenic diet to him. Since beginning the ketogenic lifestyle, he has lost 4kg in three weeks.
The paleo diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meats, while excluding dairy, grains, and sugar.
I don’t really have much to say about the paleo diet, I think the idea of it is great. It excludes sugar which is key, but includes a lot of fruit and vegetables which is great. I’ve never gave paleo a go, but I think the concept sounds great.
The point I am trying to make is that the best “diet” or eating lifestyle is the one that works best for you. It’s the one that allows you to stay on track with your goals, without feeling like you’re starving yourself.
Nutrition is important, but it’s not everything. If you can find a style of eating that allows you to enjoy life, then that’s great. That’s what nutrition is all about, improving your quality of life.
I hope this article has helped, I am always available via social media if you want some nutrition advice, or if you’re interested in a more one-to-one conversation, I will be taking on clients soon for nutritional advice.