Does the Perfect Diet Exist?
Being a busy professional or entrepreneur comes with a lot of stress which is normally the reason why people gain weight and become unfit at the first place. They stop dedicating enough time to care for their body and many only realise it when it starts creating symptoms such as weight gain, lower back or other joint pain, energy level issues or medical problems.
I always explain to my members that years of being inactive and eating poorly can’t be undone in a month or even three months. It requires a longer-term lifestyle plan, an important shift in mindset and probably a whole lot of other things that are unique to the individual.
Even science can’t clearly identify the secret to long-term weight management, there are too many variables including physiological, biological and mental aspects. This post aims to give you an overview of a few popular diet trends, find out the similarities and differences and argue how they work as a lifestyle.
Low-carb (Atkins, Paleo, Ketogenic Diet)
The Atkins method highlights the role of insulin in the human body and promotes low carbohydrate intake. Consuming too much refined carbs can trigger the body’s insulin response to store more energy that way stopping it from using the excess fat storage as source of energy.
The Paleo Diet encourages its followers to consume foods that were already available hundreds of thousand years ago. That naturally excludes most of the carbs produced or processed today making lean meats, fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts and seeds as primary sources.
The secret of the Ketogenic Diet is to achieve a metabolic state in the body, called ketosis which would use fat as fuel and turn your body into a fat burning machine. This can only be achieved by reducing your carb intake to the very minimum (5%) from fruits and vegetables only, consuming about 20% of your daily calories from protein and a whopping 75% from fat.
It takes your body about 2 weeks to get into ketosis and you need to stick to it long-term because the smallest increase in your carb intake can push your body out of it. The ketogenic diet not for the fain hearted for sure.
Weight Watchers, Slimming World and the like
Besides providing you with a nutrition plan, these companies are built on the community and personal support spirit. You will be given rules to follow in terms of what foods to eat limitlessly, in moderation or sparingly and what to cut out.
There is a system built for foods they deem ‘unhealthy’ and you can only consume a maximum amount of them in a week. You will also become part of a community, meet likeminded people and have regular scale checks.
The Mediterranean Diet mirrors the lifestyle of those living in Southern Greece and Italy. It focuses on lots of plant foods, fresh fruits as desserts, beans, nuts, whole grain, seeds and olive oil as the main source of dietary fats.
It promotes mainly cheese and yoghurt as dairy, includes moderate amount of poultry and fish, a few eggs per week, very little red meat and low to moderate amount of wine. About the third of the daily calorie intake is from fats. Low saturated fat intake (up to 8% of all calories) is key here too.
The Perfect Diet?
Out of all the methods mentioned the Mediterranean diet may be the easiest to sustain for longer if you like all three macronutrients and prefer having a glass of wine every now and then. However, if you read between the lines there is one major common thing in all these diets. One way or other they help you control how much you eat.
That’s right, being in a calorie deficit is the real secret in all of them so long you can sustain following the plan. Everybody with a little understanding of nutrition knows that weight loss happens only when you eat less than your body uses. If you can achieve a decent calorie deficit and stay consistent with it, you will lose weight provided there isn’t any underlying medical problem that stop you.
All the rest is design. What works for me on a longer term may not work for you. Everybody is different. I encourage you to find a way of balanced eating you can maintain long-term, stay consistent and be patient with your body.
The Perfect Diet is the one you can sustain.
Have you got a question on how to achieve calorie deficit? Feel free to message me.
My name is Calumn, founder of CD Fitness Coaching. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to be a part of the bigger community join my Facebook group, Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.