Did I get your attention with my little teaser about the “Best” diet? Spoiler alert there really is no “best” diet for everyone. On the other hand, there is likely a best diet for you. What are the clues that what you are doing is really optimum for you?
First off, we must acknowledge that diet is a loaded term, mostly because virtually everyone who has struggled with their weight has been on one and for most people the experience is frustrating. Instead of the word ‘diet’ let’s use the term ‘nutritional strategy’ or perhaps ‘eating plan’.
There are only three things you can modify when it comes to eating:
- What you eat
- How much you eat
- When you eat
Let’s go through all three.
The first is the most technical…what you eat refers to the ‘macro-molecules’ you consume. In English that means am I a vegetarian/vegan, pescatarian, paleo, low fat, low carb, keto, gluten free etc.
How much you eat is straightforward…how many calories am I consuming.
The ‘when do I eat’ refers to how many hours in a 24-hour period am I fasting versus eating. To give a simple example: you finish dinner at 7 pm and have breakfast at 8 am….you were ‘fasting’ for 13 hours overnight. You can obviously combine some or all of these, for example, limit yourself to 100 grams of carbohydrates/day (low carb) and 1500 calories/day (moderate caloric restriction) and do a 14 hour overnight fast each day. A moderately prolonged overnight fast. This would be an example of how you can mix and match these different elements to come up with a personalized ‘nutritional strategy’.
How do you know if what you are doing is ‘best’ for you? Good question, here are some clues: are you moving toward or staying at your target weight, do you feel satisfied and not hungry all the time (let’s face it, no one will stay on an eating plan if they are hungry all the time), you are not having any GI distress, etc. In short, the best diet is the one that works best for you. If you want some pointers on this it is something you can discuss with our Dietitians, Anna and Karla.
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