An age-old question that most women, and some men, have spent years trying to figure out. Low carb, no carb, low-fat, high fat, high protein, and an abundance of celebrity endorsed and high-profile chef designed diets have filled magazines since the good old Women’s Monthly, became the Weekly. It’s a question that you could spend the rest of your life trying to answer, but the truth is, there is no “best diet”. What works for your best friend, or partner, is not necessarily going to work for you, and vice versa.
I hear a collective sigh of relief…why? Cos for those who have tried diet after diet after diet, yet have found none of them to work, were beginning to think they were destined to be overweight and unhealthy for the rest of their lives. It’s not true, there is always a way, but you do have to look at your lifestyle as a whole. If someone came to me and said they’d “tried everything” and still couldn’t lose weight, and I had a “one diet fits all” solution, what would that say about me? It would say that i was closed-minded, ill educated and id be doing an injustice to myself, my business and my clients.
When someone asks for help, you need to see this person, as they are, for the first time and not slot them into a general category with a generalised diet. People come to you as meat eaters and vegans, from different religions and cultural backgrounds, some with medical issues and allergies and some who just don’t like the taste of certain foods. You have to be able to cater to every type of person and adjust nutrition advice to suit.
So when you make a decision to try a fad diet like the “high fat, no carb”, or the “soup diet” or the plan advertised by your favourite celebrity foodies, you need to know, that it just might not work, or, it will work, but as soon as you come off it, you’ll put the weight back on. The latter happens when you deprive yourself of a certain macro (fats, protein, carbs) or when the calorie count is so low, that your body holds onto everything when you start feeding it again.
The best thing you can do for your body is to feed it well and in a balanced way. If you check out the fad diets, you’ll see that the idea behind the loss of weight, is that you cut something important out and that you burn more calories than you digest. Doesnt matter what you do, if you are in a calorie deficit, you’re going to lose weight. What you cut out, however, is going to make you crave that exact thing….so dont cut anything out.
Balance. Is. Key.
Wholefoods are always best, but in saying that, there are people who are allergic to grains, or who hate vegetables or who refuse to drink water. So you have to work around it. Be open-minded and educated in the ways of substitution. It’s no good telling a 40-year-old man who hasn’t eaten vegetables since he was 5, that he “must” eat vegetables or he’s never going to lose weight and be healthy. For one, it’s not true, and secondly, he’s going to go find someone who can help him, cos you clearly are not open to something different.
Each client is a challenge for many reasons. You’re success is in being able to break down the clients lifestyle and intricacies and improvise a plan that will assist them to reach their goals. If you’re reading this and want to figure it out yourself without paying out more money to a coach or online fad, my suggestions would be this. Dont toss out what you love. Dont consume what you hate. Drink water, add lemon or lime if you have to. Eat as many green veggies as you like. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible and don’t eliminate anything. There are ways to still have your chocolate, a beer and mums caramel dumplings…just do it in moderation and you’ll find in no time, your mind will start telling you when you should and shouldnt indulge. If you are someone who needs help to find what works, find yourself a nutrition coach. One who is open-minded and not about to manipulate you into his/her “one size fits all” mould. There are many of us out there, waiting to help you out. Good luck 🙂