It’s a tricky thing, you know?
There are so many different ideas, philosophies, domgas, and opinions — there are facts too, but honestly there are so many stinkin’ “interpretations” of those facts that it can get exhausting just listening to the debates.
Everyone will tell you that they have the end-all, be-all solution to your nutrition woes.
It’s IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)!
It’s Low Carb!
It’s Carb Cycling!
It’s Calorie Counting!
It’s Intermittent Fasting!
…and those are just a few of the camps touting that they have the solution to keep you lean and fit forever.
Oh, and did I mention that there are brilliant people in every one of those seemingly contradictory camps?
So what’s the deal? What “diet” or nutrition program actually works?
Psssst… it’s the one that you can stick to, forever, that makes you feel good, and look good.
Yep. That’s it. That’s the secret.
So about those brilliant people whose ideas contradict one another completely…
Want to know another secret? If you put those experts in a room together, most of them would agree on several principles. In fact, I’d ballpark that they would agree on about 60-80% of things. The problem is, in our industry we like to label and pigeonhole people (or they like to do it to themselves) so that they can create their own niche market and following. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just means that they are often pitted against one another with seemingly polar opposite views on nutrition, when in fact, they probably agree on more than they disagree on.
The truth is that there are a zillion ways to skin a cat. But don’t do that. Because skinning cats is gross. But I digress…
There are so many successful ways of eating that you must experiment and find what works for you. There are nutrition principles that I’ll list below, but beyond that, you’ll have to do some experimenting.
1. Protein is important. As a good rule of thumb, get ~ 1 gram/lb. of body weight per day. Less if you’re less active, more if you’re more active and need more overall calories.
2. Vegetables and fruits are important. Eat them both, more vegetables than fruits. Yes, you’re correct. I don’t know anyone who got fat from eating too many apples either, but I’m generally a fan of erring on the side of eating less sugar.
3. Water is important. Drink plenty of it. For most people, that’s about .5 oz/lb. of body weight. More if you’re extremely active. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
4. Fat is important, and many women I work with don’t eat enough fat. We have been told to be afraid of fat, but that’s silly. Get it from whole food sources like whole eggs, salmon, grass-fed beef, butter, avocados, and coconuts.
5. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re 80% full. Make sure you eat slowly enough to be able to recognize when you’re 80% full and chew your food extremely well.
Beyond those principles, you’ll have to do some experimenting of your own to find out what works best for you.
In the meantime, here are some of my most popular nutrition articles:
How To Stick to Your Nutrition Plan While Traveling
Sometimes Foods: The Sneaky Diet Disaster
Reader Question: What Should I Eat To Get Abs
Reader Question: How Many Carbs Should I Eat For Fat Loss?
My Favorite Protein Shake Recipes