Recently I sent a letter to my VIP email list, and wrote an article in the progress (posted below). The subject was “What is the best diet to follow?”. The article hit home for many people, and I received many emails and comments (thank you! I LOVE getting feedback).
But, I didn’t say all I wanted to in an email or article. So, today I recorded a podcast to elaborate on the topic. My goal is to simplify nutrition. To throw out the dogmatic cult like approach to nutrition and to start to explore what works for you, and to allow some flexibility so that you can still make progress while enjoying life.
There’s no doubt, nutrition matters. What you put into your body will affect how you feel, how your body looks and how your body functions. And one of the question I get asked ALL the time is “what should I eat?”.
If you rely on Dr. Google for your answer, you’ll find a spectrum of answers, from Atkins to the Zone Diet (and everything in between), all backed my hundreds of success stories and before and after pictures.
They all work…. For somebody. And they all work, usually for at least 4-6 weeks.
We keep searching for the ‘best diet’ or diet hack that will easily help us shed pounds, have more energy, or reach any other goal we desire.
But the truth is, there’s no “best diet”. There’s only the best diet for YOU. And I believe that’s one that you can stick to. To clarify- when I say diet, I now mean eating style. Simply, the food you eat.
At Ascend Fitness + lifestyle, we coach and support our clients using a wide range of eating styles. However, there are a few commonalities between all approaches:
Basic rules that are good to follow include:
- • Eat food as close to its natural state as possible (if your great-grandmother could recognize them, it’s probably good!)
- • Avoid products that are unfamiliar, unpronounceable, and more than 5-7 ingredients.
- • Skip products that make health claims (ex. Fruit Loops are a source of iron, etc.)
- • Eat foods that you LOVE and that love you back. You might love Oreo cookies, but if they set off a cascade or cravings or make you feel lethargic, they should probably not be on your regular rotation. You might love cheese, but if makes you feel bloated and heavy, it’s not a good food for you. Quinoa and kale might be good for you, but if you have to choke it down, find something else.
- • Eat when you’re hungry; don’t eat when you’re not.
- • Have everyday foods and sometimes foods. I learned this from my 8-year-old son Jacob. For him apples and peanut butter are everyday foods. Ice cream is a sometime food. Eating should be a lifestyle, not a cult.
- • Eat for energy: stop eating when you’re 80% full. Practice slowing down to help gauge when you’re 80% full.
Keep it simple. Eat wholesome foods without overdoing it. Exercise regularly (including strength training at least twice a week). Drink some water and get some sleep. Add purpose and passion to your life.
We know there’s a component of common sense to all of this, but we also recognize how much people struggle with knowing what to eat, when to eat it, and how much to eat. That’s where the mindset piece comes in (another one of my favourite topics and favourite ways to support our clients!)
If this resonates with you, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.