Choosing the best diet for me.
Not a week goes without a new diet suddenly become the talk of the office.
“Have you tried keto?”
“I lost so much weight with intermittent fasting.”
“I only ever eat paleo.”
These are all statements we can expect to hear over lunch in the canteen. As a personal trainer I constantly get asked “but which is the best diet plan for me.” First lets give you some basic info on each so you can join in those conversations with your colleagues.
Ketone diet– The idea of the ketone diet is to get your body into a process called Ketosis where you stop burning carbohydrates as fuel and instead turn to the burning of what are known as ketones (fat stores). This will occur when you bring your carbohydrate levels to around 50 grams per day or lower. This means a higher ratio of your daily calories will come from good sources of fat and protein. This is very effective at helping people lose weight and fast. However your food choices will soon become limited and you may encounter a drop in energy and performance.
Paleo diet– The Paleo diet is an effort to eat like we used to back in the day, meaning if a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you. This allows you to eat anything you could in theory hunt or find- meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies and seeds. This is great as it restricts you from eating overly processed foods with poor nutritional content. However the diet is overly reliant on meat and can lead to a lack in certain micronutrients.
Intermittent fasting– Intermittent fasting is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It does not say anything about which foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them. The most popular form revolves around fasting for 16 hours a day then eating all your calories in an 8 hour window. Most people do this by extending the fasting period post sleep to around lunchtime and then eating for the following 8. It has been shown to promote weight loss and is a very simple formula to follow. However it can lead to low energy during the morning and some people can overeat during the 8 hour period of food intake.
Now we know a little bit more about these diets now its time to asses which one is suitable for you. Whenever I talk to a client about nutrition I feel there are certain key things to bear in mind.
1) Regardless of diet, quantity of calories is key- if we want to lose weight we need to burn more calories than we eat, if we want to gain muscle we need to eat more calories than we burn. If this is not in balance, regardless of your diet choice, then you will struggle to get results.
2) Next up we need to look at the quality of the calories. We need to make sure we are getting the most macro and micronutrients from each meal to enable our body to recover from training.
3) Finally I feel it is important to make sure your diet fits in around your existing lifestyle and is easy to incorporate. This is key to ensuring that you stay accountable. If you have a job that requires a lot of focus and high energy in the morning then intermittent fasting is probably not for you. You would be better suited to having a ketone breakfast full of healthy fats to give you energy to last through to lunch.
To help you further with your choice I will now give you an insight into how I eat and fit it in around my schedule. As a personal trainer it means long days fitting in around other peoples work times. So I start my day with a ketone breakfast full of healthy fats and protein to ensure I have enough energy to last me from a 5am start through my morning clients. My next two meals revolve around pre and post training meals. They could be described as a more paleo style with a focus on good quality protein, leafy seeds and nuts. This gives the performance boost I need through my workout and enough fuel to aid my bodies recovery. Finally I will finish my day with a ketone style dinner with very low carbohydrate content. This ensures I have enough fat in my system ready for the following morning.
On the weekend where I don’t have clients I will use intermittent fasting to give my metabolism a shock. As you can see I use a variety of methods but as always my focus is around quantity and quality of calories before choosing a ‘diet’.
If you have any further questions about anything in this newsletter then please get in touch through our website http://jdpfitness.wpengine.com.
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