The "Best" Diet
There is *a lot* of nutritional information out there. Sometimes, it’s about how you eat: paleo, vegan, ovo-vegetarian, flexitarian, IIFYM, low fat, Atkins…. The list goes on and on.
And sometimes, it’s about what in your diet that you eat:
“Eat this, not that.”
“This food will help you drop 5 lbs.”
“10 so-called health foods you eat that are sabotaging your goals.”
The back and forth of the latest nutritional trend is confusing...but it’s important to understand that there isn’t any ONE diet that is the best for everyone. At first, that might sound frustrating-- if you just knew what and how to eat, all of your problems would be solved.
BUT, consider a different perspective: you are YOUnique. You have your own goals and aspirations, physiology, sleep routine, job, social life… etc. So, like many things in your life, it would make sense that something that works for Karen or Tony wouldn’t work for you (unless you’re Karen or Tony :P).
However, before throwing your arms up in hopelessness, there are common components of all fad diets and “superfoods” that simultaneously promote health and fitness/ weight goals:
Nuts & seeds
Making up the majority of your diet with foods in these categories will ensure that your body and all of its processes are adequately supported, and therefore supports overall health and well-being. Plus, keeping your body happy with essential nutrients will help regulate your hunger cues, which can help your maintain or reach your weight loss goals.
Now, CONSISTENCY is absolute king when it comes to seeing results-- both aesthetically and physiologically. So it’s imperative that this way of eating is sustainable within your life, and that you actually ENJOY it!
Once you’re able to make up ~80% of your food intake with whole, nutrient-dense foods for at least two or three weeks (through slow, one-step processes); and are ready to intensify further to reach a goal, then it’s time to worry about other factors that may be hindering your progress.
Some factors, depending on your goals and any health indications, to then consider tweaking would be:
Sleep/ recovery quality
Lifestyle stress factors
Exercise frequency, intensity and type
Macronutrient split (protein - carb - fat ratio)
But again, put your primary focus on ensuring that your diet revolves around veggies, fruits, lean/ good quality protein, nuts, seeds and legumes will put you in a fantastic position to reach your goals-- many times without having to worry about changing anything else.
Bottomline: the “best” diet for most people prioritizes whole, nutrient-dense foods in a way that is sustainable and, most importantly, enjoyable.