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Should you follow a specific dietary approach?

Keto? Vegan? Carnivore?...

This article/blog covers whether you should follow a specific diet?

Why might it be beneficial for you?

How diets work, and are they worth your time and money?

  • Firstly, you don’t have to follow any specific diet or nutrition trend to lose body fat or gain muscle. You don’t even have to change the types of food you're eating or introduce strange fruit and vegetables you've never heard of, nor do you have to start drinking smoothies or celery juice.

  • Secondly, you can follow a diet approach and you will likely get the results you want if you are consistent, however you must understand that the reason any diet ‘works’ for you is by helping you maintain a calorie deficit, whether it’s the Ketogenic diet, a Plant-based diet, the Carnivore diet, IIFYM, or Paleo etc. The results of a diet have nothing to do with certain magical foods or the impact it has on your hormones.

  • Thirdly, your choice of diet/nutrition approach may not be the best diet for you or your goal, objectively look at the pro’s and con’s. Logic seems to go out the window when people start talking about nutrition as if there is some sort of supernatural effect which provides us results. For example, eating before or after a certain time isn’t going to alter how your body's physiology works.

This day and age there are so many different diets, cleanses, detoxes and even fasting approaches to achieving fat loss results.

The thing is, a majority of these ‘so called diets’ are complete fluff, presented in attractive packaging found in the window of numerous health food shops, for example Holland and Barrett and their detox teas… (stay clear unless you want to be sold over priced protein supplements). Though the shop may be beneficial for grabbing a multivitamin during their ‘penny sale’.

Social media, however, has become the new battleground for diet enthusiasts and nutrition cults who seem to follow and promote nutritional approaches based on opinion and belief treating the way they eat as a religious affair rather than one backed by science and rationality.

Marketing is a wonderful thing though is often used to promote bullsh*t, whether its exercise equipment, supplements or diets, the core aim being financial gain. I can’t blame those who get pulled in, let’s be honest we all love a quick fix, but 9/10 times it’s too good to be true.

We are a lazy species really. Anything that makes our daily tasks a little easier we want, and will continue to throw money at anything that promises to make our life less demanding.

When it comes to exercise and nutrition there really are no shortcuts or quick fixes, we can not simply change our genetics or human physiology to suit or physique goals (unless you go down the pharmaceutical route, which I strongly suggest you don't). So, next time someone offers you a ‘bio-hack’ explaining how they have figured out how to ‘trick’ your body into ‘fat burning mode’ remember you cannot outsmart your physiology.

Our body is a complex system of trillions of neurological pathways and chemical reactions which we still know very little about in the grand scheme of things, so something as simply as a detox tea really isn’t going to change how these systems interact or ‘burn fat’.

You do not need to spend money on a diet protocol or approach, however, certain food options may make dieting easier to adhere to, or assist in maintaining an overall healthy diet. Now these aren’t necessary but optional if you do have some disposable incoming you wish to put towards your health goals. The only products worth considering are a general multivitamin, Vitamin D, creatine mono-hydrate, and a bog standard protein powder (no blends), everything else is most likely not worth your money.

So when should you consider following a certain dietary approach?

Select diets can help individuals adhere to a calorie deficit or even a surplus through the type of foods they consist of or the nature of when food is consumed.

If you find it hard to stick to a diet, not knowing what to eat or when to eat, then a more rigid diet approach may suit you, taking out the obstacle of food choice and most often meal preparation.

Much like our personalities, our food preference also differs, you may want to consider both before picking the diet you’ve heard so much about on social media.

If you are a type of individual which tends to go ‘all in’ with new tasks and can adhere to a high amount of restriction for a moderate period of time then a strict dietary protocol may work for you (keto, carnivor etc).However, you need to think about what your general diet will look like after terminating your overly restrictive diet approach. How will you structure your daily diet to maintain your results?

On the other hand, if you tend to get easily distracted or are more food focused than most, a more restrictive diet, both calories and food type, probably isn’t the best choice for you and a more moderate, flexible diet approach is likely to better assist your goals.

Now food preference is one of the biggest considerations you should take before selecting a diet (if you want to), and can help when dealing with cravings. That being said, it can be harder to achieve your goals if you are purely eating tasty foods (IIFYM), especially as the best foods are normally high fat, high sugar and high calories.

A diet that consists of various foods, from all food groups, will better assist good health. So when considering a diet, look at the diet as a whole rather than individual foods you're ‘allowed’ to eat.

I suggest looking at your current lifestyle before picking a diet to follow. What approach fits well with your work, home life, activities, hobbies etc. This might be a mix of when and what you want to eat on your ‘diet’.

At some point however, dieting will get harder to adhere to. Your body doesn’t want to be in a calorie deficit and will regulate hormones and promote physiological behaviours to make food seem more inviting (bring on the cravings and heighten food focus). At this point a diet break (maintenance) may be advisable before continuing on another diet/fat loss phase.

All in all you do need to follow a specific diet for weight loss or gain. I often advise against following a rigid diet due to how life tends to get in the way of our goals. So when you have a birthday party, BBQ or wedding to attend, remember you don’t have to be in a calorie deficit every single day, just don’t go overboard and undo all the hard work you've put in.

Educating yourself on how to be flexible and make foods work for you will inevitably be better and more sustainable in the long term. However, this will take more of a time commitment at first which is the general reason many chose to follow a written diet plan or specific diet approach as it provides structure, ‘do’s and don’ts’, what you’re allowed to eat, etc.

If you have any questions on a specific diet you are considering feel free to leave me a message.

Best of luck dieting, #dietsmart

Much love



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