How Can EVERY Diet Plan Claim to Be the BEST?
Diet plans are so numerous and too often contradictory. Have you heard of the Ketogenic Diet or its cousins, Cyclical or Targeted Ketogenic Diets? What about Intermittent Fasting? Paleo? Performance Diet? Green Diet? Carb Cycling? Modified Atkins Diet? IIFYM? Bulletproof Diet? Whole30? South Beach Diet? Mediterranean Diet? Low Carb Diet? How the heck are you supposed to choose from all of these?
Well-intentioned advocates of the aforementioned diet plans argue against each other and proclaim their diet plan to be the best as if they have a personal stake in it. They will attack you at parties or at your job if you dare to disagree with them. They will demand you log on to some streaming service to binge-watch some fascinating documentaries so you can educate yourself. In fact, many are so confident in their diet they proclaim you should follow their awesome diet plan forever. Let’s see…anyone up for cabbage soup and water twice per day for the rest of your life? All of this nonsense leads to Diet Plan Confusion.
How are you to know which one is really the best diet plan for you?
Which one will help you not only lose weight but keep it off while improving your health or performance?
The answer…NONE of them…or ALL of them…or parts of them! Basically, it depends on the person and the situation and it does change over time.
Let me provide a few examples.
Weight Loss Diet Plans.
Situation 1-You are trying to use Low Carb or Keto Diet to lose fat but have diarrhea or other GI distress and headaches.
If you have excessive body fat, you do need to teach your body how to use fat as fuel vice carbohydrates. You may think about jumping into deep water right away with the Ketogenic Diet. Your body, including your liver and gall bladder, may disagree with your approach as they may not be ready to produce enough bile to break down the fats.
It may be better to use a Modified Atkins Diet as a transitional diet before starting a Keto Diet so you can give your gall bladder time to adapt to the increasing bile production requirements. Otherwise, all that fat you are eating will sit in your gut and make you feel terrible. The type of fats matter too. Fatty grocery store hamburger cooked in vegetable oil and pounds of bacon may sound appetizing to some but it will be counterproductive, to say the least.
A transitional approach may also help you prevent headaches from mineral and water loss. Ketogenic Diets and Low Carb Diets may need to be phased and and must be well-formulated to work and not cause side-effects.
Situation 2-Every diet plan you try seems to upset your digestive system due to chronic GI Distress and/or Poor Gut Function.
What if you used strong antibiotics which have eliminated needed gut bacteria or have chronic gut issues? What if those issues are inhibiting your absorption of critical micronutrients frustrating your fat loss and degrading your health? You may need to start with Intermittent Fasting combined with prebiotic and probiotic supplements followed by a Green Diet (lectin free). You may need to follow that with an Elimination Diet or Paleo Diet to optimize health before entering into a Modified Atkins or Keto Diet.
Fitness and Performance Optimization Diet Plan.
Situation 1-You are an Endurance Athlete or Physique Competitor trying to implement a Low Carb or Keto Diet to drop body fat or optimize performance.
Endurance athletes may thrive on the Ketogenic Diet but if you do not allow yourself time to get fat-adapted, your energy levels and performance could be bottomed out at the worst possible time. You may also not be able to afford the short-term reduction in performance during the critical train-up. You may be better served by a transitional approach implementing the Modified Atkins Diet and then Keto Diet over a period of weeks.
If you are a physique competitor, a Ketogenic Diet may help you get competition shredded but could leave you looking flat on stage if you do not replenish minerals or if you are not fat-adapted enough to replenish glycogen stores from fatty acids. What happens when you return to eating moderate to high carbohydrates immediately after competing? You get fat as your body is no longer accustomed to ingesting so much carbohydrate. This can be prevented with a Reverse Diet approach increasing calories and carbohydrates in a planned and scheduled manner. It may make sense for you to transition to a Modified Atkins Diet before moving to a Performance Diet to gain muscle, improve performance, and repair metabolic maladaptations.
Situation 2-You are a CrossFit or Strength Athlete trying to maximize fat free mass while optimizing performance.
What if you are a Cross Fit or strength athlete? Will a Ketogenic Diet provide adequate muscle glycogen to power through your explosive workouts? Maybe a Modified Atkins Diet or Performance Diet will work better. If you have weight classes, would transitioning to a Ketogenic Diet help you lean out? Can you lean out without losing all your power? How long will it take you to get fat-adapted so as not to lose performance? Have you considered Intermittent Carb Fasting? Does your coach, trainer, or nutritionist have you eating the same calories every day regardless if it is a rest day, strength day, or cardio/METCON day? Does that even make sense? Your personal situation and the different phases of competition preparation will drive which diet plan you use at what time.
Yo-Yo Dieting and Fat Rebounding:
We believe that strict adherence to an inflexible diet which does not adjust with activities, goals, seasons, and life in general will ultimately fail. People can lose weight on nearly every diet in the short-term; however, people normally return to their prior lifestyle and regain the lost fat. People need to consider Transitional and Reverse Dieting approaches to prevent rebounding.
Mismanaging the transitions between diets and going to the extreme, especially eating too few calories, may be one of the primary causes of yo-yo dieting and fat rebounds. It may also severely impact your health, energy, performance, and well-being.
Instead of arguing over which diet is the best, perhaps people should look at diets as a buffet with varied menu options from which to choose. Having options is not a bad thing.
You see, we do not believe in the superiority of a single diet plan. Instead, we believe most diet plans contain valuable components and that a combined, living, and individualized approach is superior.
We believe people must maintain food diversity and metabolic flexibility and may need to alter diet plans and nutritional strategies over time instead of maintaining the same diet plan.
Sticking to one diet plan forever can lead to boredom, poor adherence, micronutrient deficiencies, metabolic maladaptations, dysfunction, and adverse health events. For example:
The diet plan which enabled you to lose weight, may not be the same diet plan you need to sustain the weight loss.
You may reach a plateau at which the diet plan you are following simply stops working for you.
Perhaps your circumstances or activities change significantly requiring a new diet plan.
You may become deficient in B-vitamins and trace minerals following some versions of the Ketogenic Diet.
You may become deficient in Omega-3s following a Green Diet.
You may be unknowingly consuming large amounts of lectins on Green, Vegan, or Vegetarian Diets potentially causing systemic inflammation and associated diseases.
Many will become deficient in the hormone modulator D3 and K2 on multiple diets resulting in immune system issues.
If you eat too few calories for too long, your body may adapt by crashing your resting metabolic rate making you feel terrible and making you gain or regain fat.
Your diet plan may be so inflexible you stop enjoying your social life…why did you go on a diet again?
We take the very best parts of these diet plans and develop a blended, individualized nutrition and diet plan founded upon individual concerns and goals.
Our nutritional and diet plans are living plans which we adjust in collaboration with our clients to ensure progression towards our clients’ objectives. We help our clients with Reverse Dieting and Transitional Dieting making sensible and sustainable lifestyle changes to prevent the yo-yo effect of most diets.
We also partner with our clients and provide educational information and guidance so as to remove ourselves from the process in the future. We believe education and empowerment are foundational to long-term success of the individual.
We understand this can be complex. We consider personal goals, health, nutrition, properly-calculated macronutrient ratios, properly-prioritized micronutrients, individually-calculated energy expenditure and changing calorie calculations when we develop nutrition and diet plans.
For more information on nutrition and diet plans, workouts, training programs, and supplements, or to purchase vitamins, minerals, supplements, nutritional products, and workout gear visit us at http://shapeshiftersfitness.net.
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For more information on a few of the specific diet plans mentioned, click on the pictures below.
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