As a strength and performance coach, literally every other day I am asked “What kind of diet” should I be doing to a.) Lose weight b.) get a six pack c.) Get more muscle…
And my answer most all of the time is never really satisfactory: It depends.
Despite the dogmatic articles and misinformation, there is no one diet for every person. There are many factors involved such as age, activity level, goals, lifestyle, home environment, sleep patterns, the list goes on.
Each of these factors vary per individual, and a good coach is going to take these into consideration before just handing you a few sheets of paper that say eat brown rice and chicken breast everyday for a month, and look like they look.
Anything worth working for will take careful planning, consistency, and a systematic approach.
Here are 3 Important things to remember when attempting to discover the “right diet” for you:
- Good dieting involves solid habit management. The best step to take is to do a self-assessment and determine HOW you are currently eating and identify gaps there. Once those gaps, or deficiencies so to speak, are identified, then you can start creating the habits necessary to fill those gaps. These can be as small as drinking one more glass of water every day, to eating fast food one less day a week and go from there. The quickest way to failure is trying to overhaul what you are currently doing too fast, rather than systematically.
- Keep a simple food log. This alone will help bring awareness to how you are eating and urge you to make positive changes. No counting calories, just writing down what you eat. Simply seeing on paper how you eat will prompt you to make a change if you are serious.
- Any worthwhile dieting change is going to take patience. Dieting should be about making long term change for your health, unless an elite athlete or competitor and you are in training for a specific season or event. Diet is not an end result but a process compiled of making consistent good choices on a daily basis. You will not have the smoothest experience in making that change, but it is apart of the process. Be consistent. Be patient.
Now, I know this blog did not say anything like “Make sure to eat green leafy vegetables every day” or “Eat 30 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat per day..” and there is a reason for that. Unsuccessful diet strategies are typically too rigid and tough to follow. Successful diet management is flexible and integrates with the individual’s preferences, lifestyle, goals, and realistic.
People know what they should and shouldn’t be doing already. The real magic is guiding people to make the best choices for them and there goals, and a good way to start is by understanding what and how these 3 principle work for you!