DIET PARALYSIS – STOP OVERTHINKING AND START ACTING

DIET PARALYSIS – STOP OVERTHINKING AND START ACTING

“What are your thoughts about the Paleo Diet?” “I heard about this new Sugar Detox Diet, should I try it?” “Should I go vegan?”

As a nutritionist, I often see clients who endlessly spin their wheels in search of the “best diet.” They start one, abandon it when the newest fad hits the shelf, and find themselves in a never-ending cycle of diet-hopping. 

They fall victim to “paralysis by analysis,” unable to choose or stick with a diet to determine whether it will really help them meet their goals.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: There is no single best diet.

I know that can be frustrating for those in search of the magic bullet. But the truth is, there are five very basic – basic, not necessarily easy – principles you should follow to optimize your nutrition and meet your health goals.

  1. Calorie/Portion Control: You’ve heard it before and I am going to say it again “calories in equals calories out.” Focus on reducing your portion sizes. That includes all foods. I have seen a lot of people who eat well but eat too much.
  2. Decrease consumption of processed foods, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars: The best diets will recommend decreasing your intake of processed foods that contain added saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. This includes things like baked goods, candy, crackers, and some canned products.
  3. Increase consumption of plant-based foods: I haven’t seen a single diet that doesn’t emphasize increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Even if a diet restricts carbohydrates, it will still recommend you eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  4. Choose lean protein: Focus on consuming lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, eggs and plant-based proteins like beans, peas, nuts, nut butters, and soy products.
  5. Increase physical activity: All diet programs emphasize the importance of including exercise. A good place to start is 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. For weight loss and athletic performance, you will likely need to increase to 4-7 hours per week.

Once you’ve chosen a diet that incorporates these basic principles, ask yourself “How’s this working for me?” In other words, do you feel better? Are you seeing results? Do you feel hungry all the time? Can you keep this up?

These are important questions that will help you determine where you may need to change certain behaviors. If you’re doing well, stick with it. Be consistent and give yourself time to see change.

Like most things in life, there are many ways to be successful with nutrition. But the top reason people fail is because they fail to act.

In his article, “How to Overcome The ‘Analysis Paralysis’ Of Decision-Making,” Jeff Boss states “It doesn’t matter in which direction you choose to move when under a mortar attack just so long as you move.”

So start now. Incorporate the five principles into your daily eating habits and take note of how you feel.

Need a little extra help? Consider meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to make sure you are meeting all your nutrient requirements. An RDN can help make change easier by providing you with ongoing education, guidance and accountability.

DIET PARALYSIS – STOP OVERTHINKING AND START ACTING

“What are your thoughts about the Paleo Diet?” “I heard about this new Sugar Detox Diet, should I try it?” “Should I go vegan?”

As a nutritionist, I often see clients who endlessly spin their wheels in search of the “best diet.” They start one, abandon it when the newest fad hits the shelf, and find themselves in a never-ending cycle of diet-hopping. 

They fall victim to “paralysis by analysis,” unable to choose or stick with a diet to determine whether it will really help them meet their goals.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: There is no single best diet.

I know that can be frustrating for those in search of the magic bullet. But the truth is, there are five very basic – basic, not necessarily easy – principles you should follow to optimize your nutrition and meet your health goals.

  1. Calorie/Portion Control: You’ve heard it before and I am going to say it again “calories in equals calories out.” Focus on reducing your portion sizes. That includes all foods. I have seen a lot of people who eat well but eat too much.
  2. Decrease consumption of processed foods, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars: The best diets will recommend decreasing your intake of processed foods that contain added saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. This includes things like baked goods, candy, crackers, and some canned products.
  3. Increase consumption of plant-based foods: I haven’t seen a single diet that doesn’t emphasize increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Even if a diet restricts carbohydrates, it will still recommend you eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  4. Choose lean protein: Focus on consuming lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, eggs and plant-based proteins like beans, peas, nuts, nut butters, and soy products.
  5. Increase physical activity: All diet programs emphasize the importance of including exercise. A good place to start is 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. For weight loss and athletic performance, you will likely need to increase to 4-7 hours per week.

Once you’ve chosen a diet that incorporates these basic principles, ask yourself “How’s this working for me?” In other words, do you feel better? Are you seeing results? Do you feel hungry all the time? Can you keep this up?

These are important questions that will help you determine where you may need to change certain behaviors. If you’re doing well, stick with it. Be consistent and give yourself time to see change.

Like most things in life, there are many ways to be successful with nutrition. But the top reason people fail is because they fail to act.

In his article, “How to Overcome The ‘Analysis Paralysis’ Of Decision-Making,” Jeff Boss states “It doesn’t matter in which direction you choose to move when under a mortar attack just so long as you move.”

So start now. Incorporate the five principles into your daily eating habits and take note of how you feel.

Need a little extra help? Consider meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to make sure you are meeting all your nutrient requirements. An RDN can help make change easier by providing you with ongoing education, guidance and accountability.

2017-10-19T23:40:51+00:00

About the Author:

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Adam Vogel is the founder of Pure Performance Training. He is a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) through the International Sports Science Association, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a certified Functional Movement Screening Specialist (FMS), and Level 1 (KBC) Kettlebell Instructor.