Over the course of the last decade, I’ve experimented with countless of different eating styles and diets – Atkins, Vegan, Vegetarian, Octo-Lacto, Pescetarian, Macrobiotic, Paleo, Juicing, Cleansing, high fat, low fat, Intermittent Fasting, etc. To this day, I continue to try new things and research how I feel and how it applies to my life.
Each eating style certainly has their benefits but, in my opinion, there is NO PERFECT WAY TO EAT because each and every single person on this planet is unique. There are different body types, people have different goals, different lifestyles, food sensitivities, live in different climates, geography and food availability could be an issue, age requires different nutrients, and even weather play a part in our food needs. Having countless food options increases your chances to achieve optimal health, vibrancy, and your own fitness goals. Whether it’s too much of a particular type of food or too little of certain nutrients, the best way to harmonize the body is by creating balance but as many of us know that particular balance is a tricky thing to figure out.
There are so many myths out there surrounding food such as “don’t eat this” or “eat only that” so by trying many different diet styles and working with so many different individuals, the conclusion I’ve come up with and how I strategize my own clients’ nutrition strategy is based on my philosophy of – “THE BODY DOESN’T LIE”.
If a particular eating style has you feeling vibrant, energetic, lean, and strong then continue doing what you’re doing and eating what you’re eating.
However if a person is holding significant amounts of white adipose tissue (i.e. body fat) then you’re eating too much. If a person only eats rich forms of red meat and is beginning to experience symptoms of cardiovascular disease then you need to utilize other sources of food for nourishment. If you only eat plant-based or raw and avoid animal protein (Vegan, Vegetarian, Octo-Lacto) but suffer from dry skin, brittle hair, lack of lean muscle, low energy then your chosen way of eating isn’t working and you should be eating higher sources of protein and saturated fats. If you consume heavy amounts of dairy that comprises a majority of your diet and are experiencing digestive issues and skin rashes then you’re eating too much dairy and need to eliminate periodically and eventually introduce better quality sources over time or eliminate dairy altogether.
For weight loss and achieving a lean physique, utilizing a diet high in animal protein (along with fish and dairy), different types of carbs, and healthy amounts (and sources) of fat combined with Resistance Training followed by shuffling things around when need be is the best formula that yields the best results in almost all cases. Dieting for weight loss is a PHASE and a short phase only. Followed by weight loss, the body should be eating in a completely different phase by utilizing other types of food sources (and portions) because we can’t sustain that type of eating style over a lengthy period of time. The human body needs so many different nutrients at the different times of the year to keep all of the various systems and glands in our body to function optimally.
Like humans, food is unique. Chicken is different than Beef. Tuna is not Salmon. An Apple is unlike a Pear. Broccoli is completely differing from a Pepper. Calories, macronutrients, micronutrients, and fibre availability is not the same in each food item. There is no denying that the human body will thrive on consuming various forms of food in the correct quantities.
My lifestyle and my coaching style is about complete food flexibility, I don’t have 1 way of doing things because I like to “dip into my bag of nutrition tricks” depending on the type of situation that arrises so when it comes to food restriction, I’m completely against it nor will I work with a client that cannot use a variety of options to make progress. The human body is amazing at adapting and reacting to what we eat. To continue to progress we need to feed our body with a multitude of different nutrients and to also correct many ailments we experience. We’ve all heard the adage the “food is the best form of medicine” and I completely stand behind that notion. Not being able to use food ties my hands and limits my ability to provide direction due to restriction when the solution lies within food options.
When it comes to health, wellness, vibrancy, and weight loss – USE FOOD. Don’t avoid food.