Ridz Rant: How Do I Know What Info Is Correct When It Comes To Nutrition???

This is a question that we get here regularly at Gym Ridz Personal Training and it is one really prickly topic.

There is so much anecdotal evidence out there as to the right way to eat or the wrong. We know that the Okinawans outlive most of us and have few issues with heart disease and obesity. But we here stories of soy not being the greatest for us, and yet the Okinawans eat plenty of it. The Pacific Island nations have some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world, and yet there are plenty of people out there advocating the use of coconut oil, something that is a major part of their diet.

Do you really know the difference between Atkins, Paleo, The South Beach Diet or following the healthy food pyramid for that matter? Is there one right way for every single person on the planet to eat? I’ll go out on a limb and guess, NO. You only have to look in any bookshop and see how many different diet books there are to know that there cannot possibly be one size fits all. Each and every one of those diet books works for someone somewhere on this planet. How do I know you ask? Because I have used them. Before I became a PT I tried different diets and meal plans, I can tell you now there was a time that I thought I could not stomach another milkshake, having to have one at breakfast and one at lunch everyday almost drove me mad! But you can benefit from the fact that I have done these silly things and have now applied that experience to everything we do here.

But see the problem begins with what are your goals? If your goals are to lose WEIGHT then you could pick up just about any diet book or plan and get into it and watch that scale weight drop. The trouble is the WEIGHT you are dropping could be fluid or muscle mass, not just fat. But if you are setting out to lose fat then you are faced with a whole different kettle of fish. Most very restrictive diets will almost certainly reduce weight by dropping fluid and muscle mass. The loss of muscle mass is far from ideal, this will cause your metabolism to slow and in turn make it easier fro you to regain fat. Can you see how the dieting yo-yo comes about

So today I want to ask you a few questions, and I want you to use these the next time a friend/relative/”expert” tells you that the newest fad diet they have discovered is the key to your fat loss.

How do you work out if the information you are getting is accurate?

You can answer this by asking a few simple questions.

Does the plan exclude or dramatically reduce a macro-nutrient?

The macro nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. If the nutrition plan you are considering cuts one of these right back or out all together it probably is not for the best.

Are there peer reviewed scientific reports available that are clear and easy to read?

People looking to market their product will make a pretty compelling argument about why you should invest your money in what they are selling. However if they are unable to back up their theories with independent peer reviewed reports, chances are they do not have the evidence to substantiate their claims. Anecdotal evidence can be used to substantiate most claims, but if there is no solid backing from good scientific sources then chances are the magic food or wonder diet is just too good to be true. The next part of this, are they easy to read. If the report seems too complex and misleading, thenĀ  it probably is.

Could you follow it for the rest of your life?

There are diets out there that are so complex it is not funny. Imagine only being able to eat blue foods, or having to exclude them. If the plan is so complex, bland, boring, restrictive, unrealistic or just plain strange then it is probably not something you are going to be able to follow all the time. Now the problem with an eating plan that is not going to be simple to follow or you are not going to be able to stick with it all the time it will become easy to fall off the wagon so to speak and then give in all together.

We don’t have all the answers, but what we can do is try to give you a clearer direction in what to eat and what not to. There are further questions you can ask, but I will leave them for a later date or you could give us a call to discuss your current nutrition program. We can help to point you on a steady course that is going to get you the results you desire.

Don’t worry we will be able to provide you with the data and evidence to back up what is the best way for you to be eating.


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