Diet Options

Diet Options

How to choose what kind of diet to follow

Let’s have a look at diet options. I have used several different diet protocols over the years and have found success with a few of them. I’m going to focus on what I have found to be the most helpful means of weight normalization and my reasons for them:

  • You have to enjoy the foods you’re eating
  • You have to be able to make these adjustments for the long haul
  • You have to find the results you’re seeking
  • You have to be able to land in a state of homeostasis at a healthy weight

You will not find any suggestions here that would have you eat nothing but 1000 calories of salad in a day. I am a firm believer in sustainable change – and I like eating! So there are three main approaches that I do support. Within them, you can adjust to your individual needs and wants i.e. paleo, vegetarian etc.

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Flexible Dieting IIFYM

FLEXIBLE DIETING

With flexible dieting – sometimes called IIFYM (for If It Fits Your Macros), we establish a calorie target for you that fuels your daily activity in a way that leaves you feeling satisfied but with enough of a caloric deficit or surplus to meet your weight and body composition goals.

Within that caloric target we set your macronutrient ratios in a way that minimizes lean mass loss in dieting, fat gain in bulking and allows for flexibility in your food choices. This system is promoted by one of the foremost authorities on sport nutrition science: Dr. Layne Norton, PhD.

From there, you eat what you want. You will naturally gravitate towards more choices that help you achieve your goals as you become more mindful of what you’re consuming. Protein and fiber will become your friend; nothing is off limits… (if it fits your macros).

Eat to Perform High Carbohydrate Diet

HIGH PERFORMANCE

There are a few groups out there advocating what I’m going to call a High Performance diet. I first came across this concept in 2012 when a couple of ladies in the My Fitness Pal community were promoting the idea of “Eat More to Weigh Less.” From there, I shifted towards another group who promote “Eat to Perform”.

Both groups advocate pushing the upper end of your metabolic capabilities. What does that mean? They both advocate eating as much as you can while still achieving your goals; the Eat To Perform group pushing for higher carbohydrate intake in order to maximize work load in sport performance. Most in these communities have set body composition and performance goals rather than focusing on body weight.

This system is generally designed for highly active people who are already committed to a regular sport or training regimen that includes lifting.

Ketogenic Diet

KETOGENIC DIET

Also known as a High Fat Low Carbohydrate diet, the ketogenic diet is comprised primarily of fat and causes an adaptation in the body where it begins to burn ketones for fuel rather than glucose.

Once fat adapted, the body and brain burn ketones for fuel, which come from the metabolism of fat in the body – both dietary fat and the fat from adipose tissue i.e. the fat on our bodies. In essence, this way of eating trains the body to be able to access our fat stores for energy – something our bodies are reluctant to doing unless we’re in a state of starvation.

This adaptation takes time but can have some tremendous health benefits including reduced hunger, clearer thought, and better moods. The Ketogenic diet has also been found to be helpful in fighting cancer, epilepsy and neuro-degenerative disease. The foremost researcher on the Ketogenic diet and ketosis is Dr. Dominic d’Agostino, PhD.

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