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Restrictive Diets Are Great........ If You Hate Yourself.

Is the blog back? Maybe…

Let me first say that I am not a nutrition expert, most “nutrition experts” probably aren’t nutrition experts. I’m a Strength & Conditioning Coach and boy I’m glad, because I’d hate to have to put up with all the shit that gets thrown around when it comes to diets and weight loss.

Today’s thoughts are on why restrictive diets are the equivalent of Blink 182’s 2003 self-titled album. Sure it’s Blink, but why do I hate myself so much, (and why is Sophie Monk in this film clip).

I think we’ve pretty much heard it all when it comes to what people are restricting from their diets in order to lose weight. Red meat, diary, bread, when the sun is up, all carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables – yes! People are actually not eating their fruits and veges. Mum’s everywhere are disgusted!

But wait,

All of these restrictions can be effective because of one reason.

They (can) create a negative energy balance.

As in, they (can) reduce your total caloric intake.

And that will lead to weight loss.

The problem we see is that people demonise said food/food group and make bold, unsubstantiated claims that it was “such and such” food that was making them overweight. When in fact, it was excess caloric intake. IT IS ALWAYS EXCESS CALORIC INTAKE. Write that down.

I have no problem if people want to keto their way to losing weight. Plenty of people have, but even more have fallen off the wagon because it's unsustainable. Just don't go spouting BS that it's somehow magical. I'll let you in on a little secret, are you ready? It still only works if your in a calorie deficit!

So where’s my gripe? Well, the biggest problem with these sorts of restrictions is that they are unsustainable. There is only so much emo Blink you can listen to before you eventually put Dude Ranch on and remember the good times. Thus, creating that dreaded yo-yo diet effect.

Every “nutrition expert” worth a grain of salt will have a big focus on adherence, take into account personal preference and allow people to eat things they enjoy. They normally suggest a split like 80% whole and minimally process foods and 20% foods that are questionable or that you just enjoy. These are ball park figures of course

Here's 10 Characteristics of a successful diet, notice numbers 1, 4 and 10.

1. Respects personal taste preference

2. Supports physical and mental performance goals

3. Covers macro- and micronutrient needs

4. No unnecessary/scientifically unfounded food restrictions

5. Respects medical intolerances/allergies

6. Convenient

7. Affordable

8. Socially acceptable

9. Compatible with personal ideologies

10. Sustainable in the long-term

In my opinion, the path of least resistance is the easiest to follow.

So, when you are looking at how you are going to lose weight, don’t be sold on quick fixes and overly restrictive solutions. Yes, they might work in the short term, but there are easier, more sustainable ways to do it.

My recommendations are as follows:

  • Reduce portion sizes.

  • Replace things with lower caloric versions.

  • Enjoy foods you like in moderation, 80-20 rule.

  • Reduce binges.

And remember; IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO ENERGY BALANCE (read: put slightly less in ya gob). AJ

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