By Sport Nutrition Coach Laura Nava
Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, Atkins, low-carb, vegan, vegetarian, the zone, something called the duken diet… With so many diets out there, how is anyone supposed to know how to eat??!!
As someone who follows everything nutrition, there is a lot of information out there, all using studies and trials that agree with where they stand. Each one brings something to the table. For example, you have the “Blue Zone” diet, the blue zones are where a large number of humans live up to and beyond 100 years old. They eat a Mediterranean diet. It is primarily plant based, some fruit, you eat more fish and little meat with lots to do with lifestyle. It’s about spending quality time with friends and family, walking, being outdoors and drinking some wine. Can’t argue with those results. What about the kids and adults that haven’t had a seizure in months after starting the keto diet? Not to forget the tremendous results for weight loss, either. Who would think a diet high in fat would have such results? There are many athletic people that are super successful on the vegan diet. They are running ultra-marathons, body building and in Iron Man triathlons. Where do they get their protein, you may be asking?
How can each of these diets work? There are trillions of people on this planet, some are tall and thin, while others are short and stocky. The human body has potential to do well under a host of nutritional conditions. Where we live can also play a role in our diet. For example, the Arctic Inuit and African Masai eat traditional diets that are very high in fat and animal products with very few vegetables. The Kitavans in the South Pacific eat traditional diets that are low in fat but very high in vegetables and starchy carbs. Each of these tribes and cultures are primarily fit, and display no chronic diseases, like hypertension or diabetes. It is possible to be healthy and fit if you eat mostly vegetables and no meat or lots of meat, high healthy fats and very low carbs.
That is why, as a nutrition coach, I am neutral—open to anything that will work per the individual. If I believe too much into a specific diet, then I lose my focus on what’s most important as a coach and that is you, my client, and your individual physiological and psychological needs.
So how do all these diets work, aren’t they all different? Actually, there is a common thread through all of them.
1) They raise your nutrition awareness and attention. Whether your attention is avoiding carbs, eating more vegetables, or how to get in more healthy fat. What you focus on may not matter as much as simply caring more about what you’re eating in the first place.
2) Each focus on food quality. Paleo and low carb diets want you to eat pasture raised chicken and grass-fed beef and lamb, higher in protein and fat, that are minimally processed. Vegans and high carb diets want you to eat organically grown fruits and vegetables, rich in fibers, antioxidants and minerals, and minimally processed. Do you see the common thread? None of the diets want you to eat “junk” food, high in chemicals and heavily processed.
3) They each help eliminate nutrient deficiency. Going along with the last point. Each of these diets lead you away from highly processed foods. Foods that are stripped of their nutrients during processing. Instead, they lead you towards whole, real foods, rich in nutrients, antioxidants and minerals. Which is awesome, otherwise you feel, look and perform horribly when consuming a diet low in nutrients.
4) They help you control appetite and food intake. When you eat a diet that is high quality, more satisfying, and high in nutrients, you will eat less, overall. In turn you will lose fat, gain lean muscle and perform better.
5) They promote exercise. No matter what diet you’re on, when you start to eat well, then the next thought is starting to move. Most of them recommend exercise as part of their diet. Nutrition may be 80% of losing weight, but you can’t forget the other 20%. Exercise, another very important part of healthy living.
Each diet, whether it’s paleo, keto, vegan or the zone, all recommend whole, real, minimally processed foods. Humans are evolved to do well under any kind of dietary condition. It’s finding what’s right for you. And if you have found one that works, but find you still need guidance, then as a nutrition coach, I am happy to help. It’s a win, win. You get into shape doing the things you actually like and I get to help people.
If you want some help to lose weight, gain strength, perform better or lower your lab numbers and get off medications, then sign up for a free nutrition consultation with me. We will review your goals and find a suitable plan to achieve healthy living. That plan may include a single 1-on-1 session, power hour. Or maybe it will be a 4- or 6-week nutrition plan that includes meals, action steps and accountability.
Let’s get you started today! FREE NUTRI CONSULTATION
~ Coach Laura