Time and time again, I hear friends and clients utter the words:
– “I need to do better with my nutrition” or
– “I should go on a diet” or
– “I may try keto to lose weight once and for all” or
– “I need to stop eating a large pizza to the face during NFL Sunday”
The reality is that as much as people think they are sharp with their nutrition, they aren’t. They’re nonchalant with what they put down their throats, and have no idea the tremendous amount of damage the foods they consume are causing their bodies.
I mean come on: if you’re broadcasting to the world that you’re keto, then why are you 40 pounds overweight? If your nutrition is so dialed in, then why do you overeat Domino’s on the weekend? If you food prep grilled chicken and asparagus in tupperware every Sunday, then why are you still hitting up the McDonald’s drive-through during your lunch break? If you’re so hydrated with water, fruits and veggies, then why are your energy levels so low?
You Don’t Know What The Hell You’re Doing
This much I know: people don’t know what the hell they’re doing when it comes to nutrition. In fact, most clients lie to their personal trainers when they tell them what they eat in a week. Most people underestimate how many calories they consume in a day. Most people don’t keep themselves in check with alcohol consumption. And most people, don’t realize that a keto diet won’t aid in weight loss unless they’re in a caloric deficit.
Maybe I’m sounding feisty, but this is the truth.
Because more often than not, folks don’t practice basic nutritional guidelines:
– Eat more fruits and vegetables.
– Eat protein.
– Drink water.
– Don’t be a pig.
That’s about it.
Still, people fail because of one issue that permeates nutritional lifestyles today. Besides losing sight of the basics, there’s something else erupting underneath the surface the matters more: people are choosing extremes.
A diet that is no carb.
A diet that is no sugar.
A diet that is yo-yo in nature with severe ice cream binges every weekend.
Your nutritional extremism is ruining you, and just like anything extreme in life, it isn’t something that is sustainable for the long game.
Why Extreme Nutrition Sucks
The other day, I saw personal trainer and Gary V’s coach Jordan Syatt tweet this:
If this piece of advice isn’t tantamount to entering the gates of heaven with golden wine in-hand and Jon Snow serenading me, I don’t know what is.
Jordan nailed it.
Moreover, his point can be summed up like this: the more extreme you are in your nutritional pursuits, the less likely you’re able to make them last. At least, in a fulfilling and enjoyable way.
Ever been that woman at the office holiday party using every ounce of her willpower to not eat that sugar cookie dusted with glittery green and red sprinkles?
Ever been that man who cooked eggs, bacon, and cheese topped with four sticks of margarine and had a half-ass-one-week attempt at keto, yet was dying for tacos when it was all said and done?
Ever been that girl who tried to be vegan, yet realized she gained 20 pounds because vegan desserts do not equal “healthier” than regular desserts?
Ever been that friend to cancel on plans because you knew you were going to eat loaded nachos and imbibe tequila with the girls at happy hour?
If this has been you, then maybe, just maybe, you’re being too extreme with your diet.
Most diets nowadays are polarizing, meaning, they force us to pick just one way. Popular media has its way of mind f*cking us into opting for one solution, quick fix, and shortcut.
People are muddled into being either keto, vegan, paleo, low-carb, high-carb, Atkins, South Beach, raw, or I don’t know, grass-fed-gluten-free-kale. Admittedly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this existed.
Like what the actual hell?
Let me ask you this: what if you could opt for a nice blend of all of these diets based on how you’re feeling each day?
Of course, this isn’t to say people with unique body types, medical issues, different ways they store fats, the synthesis of proteins at the cellular level, their hormonal issues, the timing of the next full moon, and I-hope-I-covered-all-of-my-writing-caveats-here, can’t choose diet extremes.
On rare occasions, people have to opt for the extreme.
As an example, keto works for a good friend of mine. His blood panels are solid. His energy levels are high. His physique is sexy. His mental health is at its apex. All from eating avocado, butter, bacon, and lard.
But for 99.9% of the population, this is not the case. Most humans need some degree of balance in their lives in order to not crash and burn and fall back to crappy habits. Some people need balance to also optimize their internal health.
How To Take Action with Your Diet
Simply put, listen to your body.
And if this means changing up your diet on a daily basis – from dabbling in keto on a Monday, to adding in carbs on a Tuesday, to incorporating sugar to keep your sanity, then heck. Do it.
I truly believe you can be healthy with all diet forms. And I also truly believe you can enjoy what you eat for a lifetime, even if that means you tweak your menu every day.
And if I hear one more person say “well, eating healthy takes too much time,” I swear I’ll jump into a mosh pit of Marilyn Manson fans.
Stop. Just stop. This ain’t Top Chef.
For those of you who think preparing healthy food is time consuming, I have an idea: time how long it takes for you to mix a meal replacement shake and get back to me.
Or tell me how quick it is to bite into a succulent, fresh apple.
Or let me know how it takes you 1.2 seconds to put Quest Nutrition protein bars in your backpack:
Or throw a bunch of greens in a bowl and drizzle with light Italian dressing.
Even the least adept in cooking can make healthy work. End of story.
Another thing while I’m ranting: I freaking loathe when people also say, “eating healthy is expensive.” You getting a venti Starbucks latte is expensive. You drinking alcohol with your group of 20 friends is expensive. You going to a hipster salad place and getting a kale bowl for $12 is expensive. In fact, you failing to buy your own produce on sale at the market is expensive.
Sometimes, you just need to have common sense.
And above all, keep nutrition simple.
So, Actionable Solutions to Wrap Up
- Stay away from minutia: fat burning supplements, detoxes, drinking matcha tea during the summer solstice
- Eat veggies and fruit daily, in fact, before every meal to fill you up
- Eat protein at each meal
- Realize it is okay to be keto, vegan, and paleo on different days. Don’t be married to one way.
- If you’re tempted to spend loads of money on supplements, see if you can get vitamins and minerals from cheap produce first.
- Eat food that breathes life into you.
- Keep it simple, stupid.