The Best Diet
This might be the most popular question asked in the fitness and nutrition space, and every site you check is giving you a different answer: Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Macros, Atkins, Low-Fat… But what’s the REAL answer? The answer is actually very simple… It’s whatever works best for YOU. I know, I know… not the answer you wanted, but there are so many “experts” who know nothing about you or how your body reacts to certain foods or macronutrient splits.
The fact that you’re reading this article tells me that you’ve probably tried most, if not all, of the diets I mentioned above, so you have some sort of idea of how you feel when you’re eating certain foods. For example, maybe you’ve done Paleo or the Whole30, which eliminate grains from your diet, but you know that when you eat rice or oats, you feel 10x better during your workouts. It wouldn’t make sense for you to stick with either of these diets if it affects your performance in the gym. Maybe you’ve tried a low-fat diet and found that you feel extra groggy and sluggish throughout the day. Now you know you need to include some more healthy fats in your diet.
How to Find Your Best Diet
Finding the “diet” that works best for your body and mind takes time. Any diet that promises you quick and drastic results is not the type of program you want to follow. Once you get those extreme results, you’re more likely to undo those results within days or weeks of stopping. It’s important that you find the foods and quantities of foods that feel good for you and also are aligned with your health and fitness goals. The best diet is one that is sustainable and makes you feel and perform at your best, both physically and mentally.
Tools You Can Use
Some of the best tools to try and figure out what “diet” you should be following are food journals, food logs, or a nutrition coach. The more common food logs are MyFitnessPal and LoseIt!. These allow you to log food type, food quantity, weight, water intake, and other meal related items. A food journal is a little bit more in depth and is something that can be handwritten.
For a successful food journal, it’s important to give you best guess to your quantity of food and list EVERYTHING, and yes I mean everything (even that cookie you snuck in the middle of the night), and also write down how you’re feeling during certain times of the day. Write down your moods/emotions, physical state, sleep quality, and anything else you think might be attributed to the foods you’re eating. With a detailed food journal, you can go back and see how you’re feeling a few hours, maybe even a few days, after you have certain foods. This can give you great insight into what works and doesn’t work for you. If you don’t think you can handle doing all of this on your own, you can always hire a nutrition professional to help give you more tips and tools to help you along your journey.
Just remember, the best diet is the diet that works best for you!