It seems like every few months there’s a new special diet that has the answers to everyone’s health and fitness goals.
Usually, it promises rapid weight loss, more energy, longer lifespan, and guarantees that these results will be long-lasting.
The diet gets hyped up and promoted by celebrities and people well known in the industry, which makes the general population want to try it. And when you’re promised quick and long-lasting results, it’s understandable.
So this inevitably leads to the question – should I be on this diet?
If you’re here, I’m assuming your goals are centred around living a fit and healthy lifestyle for the long term, not short term weight loss.
These commercialised diets achieve rapid weight loss through severe calorie restriction either by providing a very strict meal plan or cutting out entire food groups altogether.
Then, if (when) it doesn’t work for you and you don’t achieve the results this diet promises because you can’t restrict your food forever, you’re made to feel like it’s your fault, like you’re a failure, and that you just didn’t try hard enough. When in reality, these diets aren’t designed to produce long-term results; they want you to “fall off the wagon” so they can then sell you the next big thing.
The only times you should have a super strict diet is if you’re a professional athlete and have to be a certain weight to compete, or if certain foods make you sick. Other than that, there’s no need to be on a restrictive diet or aggressively restricting calories.
So how should I eat?
Firstly, as with a lot of things in regards to health and fitness, it depends. Different things work for different people and it will depend on what your goals are, what your dieting history is like, what your training regimen is like, and what your current and goal lifestyle is.
For overall health and wellbeing, my rule of thumb is if the way you eat has a certain name, it’s not likely to be sustainable. If it requires you to cut out certain food groups or be on a strict eating schedule with a long list of foods that are off limits, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to implement it into your life for the long term and it’s best to steer clear.
The best diet for you is a way of eating where you feel energised, nourished, satiated, and can see yourself eating this way in five, ten, or fifty years from now. Focus on eating plenty of protein and veggies, good fats, fruit, wholefoods, and a sprinkling of all the fun stuff all these diets tell you that you have to cut out.
Because life is better with cake.