A quick little blog today to highlight a few things about common diet trends and nutritional strategies and why all of them are based on one common principle, which, contrary to what people selling diets/books/supplements etc want you to think, is the real reason that all these diets can work.
No sugar diet – restriction of calories because you don’t eat processed sugar
Ketogenic diet – restriction of calories because you don’t eat any carbohydrates
Low Fat, 90s style diet – restriction of calories because you limit fat intake
16:8 Intermittent Fasting – Restriction of calories because you don’t eat for 16 hours of the day
Vegan/Vegetarian – Restriction of calories through not eating meat or animal based products
Paleo – restriction based on a “paleolithic” era diet – no grains, no processed food, no dairy etc
Flexible dieting – Calories restricted to a pre-determined goal
Now I think you're getting the picture here and what I want to highlight is that there is nothing inherently special about any of these strategies. The reason that all of these approaches can work to improve our body composition is because they help to balance our energy intake, nothing more, nothing less – there is no magic bullet.
You could in fact gain weight with all of these strategies as well, just because you cut out processed sugar, which is a pretty decent strategy, doesn’t mean you can simply eat whatever you want!
There is so much information, mis-information and quackery out there and it’s easy to get hung up on very minor details and make things a lot more complex than they need to be.
The problem most level-headed exercise professionals have is when people cling religiously to a certain strategy as if it’s got some incredible magic ability, the mechanism for change is the same (energy balance), you just got there a particular way.
What we do know is that a diet higher in protein will help build lean tissue (muscle). We also know that vegetables are pretty damn good for you (health). So yeah, there’s that.
I know it’s cliché but find what works for you, stick to it and shut the fuck up about it.