When people find out that you are involved in a ‘hot-topic’ or controversial field like nutrition the first question you get is ‘Do you agree with [insert current diet fad/evil food group/pop-science nutrition guru here]?’
Now, while I could give a short answer, I seldom feel that it does me any favours. You see, questions like this are not a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for me. The shortest good answer I could give you would be ‘If you have tried it properly and it worked for you, then I agree with it’.
But even that doesn’t really cut it… Why? Many of these diets are not sustainable. People don’t want to spend the rest of their lives eating only green vegetables in order to be 10% thinner and eke out a few extra years at the end of their lives. So although they may work, they come at a huge cost. Not health-wise, but in terms of quality-of-life.
People want (even NEED) to enjoy food
Celebrating around a great meal is a social component of almost every culture in the world. Putting someone on an extreme, super-restrictive diet makes them enjoy life less. Most people would rather be a bit heavier than give up their favourite foods. Even if they swear you’re wrong for saying so. The proof is there in the obesity statistics. People don’t succeed on diets. Why? See above.
OK, so what if I go on a short super clean-eating plan that only lasts a while? It’s extreme, but I can handle it. Go ahead. You may lose some weight, but how will your body respond when you return to your normal eating habits again? My guess: the weight comes back, usually with some friends.
So what does the average person who wants to get in shape need?
They need a way of eating that will transform the body over time while being sustainable in the long-term. They need a change in their relationship with food from guilt-driven and negative to guilt-free and positive. They need new habits. They need to be allowed to eat anything that they want to, but understand how this fits in to the bigger picture. They need to be able to decide for themselves what foods they should avoid, based not on some ‘bro-science’ they heard in the gym, but on personal experience.
Essentially, what people need is balance… the UNSEXIEST word in the nutrition world. Not exciting, but it’s what YOU REALLY WANT.
So here’s the thing… If you’ve tried some extreme diets that sounded fancy but they didn’t work long-term, maybe you should give ATW Nutrition Coaching a try. We will help you achieve your best body and live a balanced life at the same time.