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"The Perfect Diet"


If you are looking for the perfect diet I’m sorry to inform you that there is no such thing, even though social media will lead you to believe otherwise.


In the bid to be the healthiest and fittest I could be, I myself fell for the allure of the perfect diet many years ago when there was far less charlatans and misinformation floating about, so I can only imagine how persuasive diet material and the media can be if you don’t know any better. Sometimes it isn’t clear what you’re getting yourself into, remember timeshares and pyramid schemes… herbalife *cough cough*, it might seem clear to some of us but others aren’t so lucky.


Before you read any further, remind yourself that everyone is different and depending on our genetic makeup, lifestyle and personal taste preference the ‘optimal’ diet will look different from person to person. So that diet Karen is trying to sell you on that worked so well for her might not do anything for your health, most importantly your relationship with food.


Every 'diet' or food framework all has pros and cons, and you should be aware of that before undergoing any radical dietary change, especially when the nutritional information comes from social media influencers or your favorite celebrity, even the Karen's of the world.


Balance 'homeostasis' is what we should aim for within a diet. Balance in the sense of the food groups (macro & micronutrients) that make it, however, it is impossible to be in a constant state of balance as our lifestyle and external factors consistently pull us from pillar to post, i.e. work stresses, illness, injury, finances or other commitments.The aim of the game is to lie within a margin of fluctuation and not reach diet extremes, such as over consuming calorific foods of low quality, or being deficient in several vitamins or minerals for a long period of time. We are able to do this through ‘moderation’, implementing a range of foods and lifestyle habits, if necessary reducing calories 'dieting’ for set periods of time to minimise the potential of deficiencies and control our sanity.


If you are looking at starting a new diet with the aim of losing body fat, gaining muscle or to obtain ‘maximal’ health, I would advise against partaking in any diet that removes or greatly restricts a whole food group for a prolonged period (i.e. keto). Depending on your goal each may have a roll, though utilise them as a tool sparingly if you do feel the need to partake in them.


Because of this, you must be aware of the limitations each has, educate yourself, I don’t mean watch a Netflix documentary or a few Youtube videos, read from a credible source before incorporating any dietary changes, or better yet, ask a registered Nutritionist (me!) or Dietitian.


A few diets to consider reading up on before ‘giving it ago’...


Carnivore

Keto

Fasting

Paleo

Vegan


Specifically looking at a full plant-based (vegan) diet, you must be aware that it is still possible to become deficient in a number of micronutrients no matter how many fruits and vegetables you eat. Though many common food items (milk alternatives, cereals, salt, etc) are now fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, even animal products, it can still be possible to consume insufficient quantities. To counter this, those on a fully plant-based diet should consider supplementing with certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12. If you are an active individual nutrient demands will increase and therefore considerations must be made for other micronutrients, specifically iron and vitamin C, this goes for any diet. The more active you are, the more attention your diet will need, athletes in particular.


Depending on the country you live in and your daily routine Vitamin D should likely be consumed, vegan or not, the vast majority of individuals receive sub-optimal amounts for general health yet alone physical and mental performance needs.


So in search for the 'one diet to rule them all' be mindful with your choice and how it suits your needs or what consideration you may have to take along with your dietary choice.


Good luck diet hunting!


Craig

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