In any situation, as soon as people find out that I'm a registered dietitian, the questions start rolling in:
"What's the best diet for weight loss?"
"What do you think about the Paleo (or South Beach or Blood Type etc) diet?"
"What foods are good and bad for you?"
These questions perfectly reflect the phenomenon of "information overload" discussed in a recent article by Christian Finn, "The Real Secret to Success" and as referenced by Joel, our Exercise Physiologist's last blog post. There are so many new diets and weight loss plans that promise to be THE diet that will solve all of your weight problems forever. For people actively trying to lose weight, trying to decipher all of the information about nutrition is a job in and of itself.
But I'll let you in on a not-so-little secret: the best diet of all isn't a diet.
The whole point of nutrition is to provide our body with the energy we need to live. Cutting out food groups (unless it is due to allergies or medical reasons) doesn't make sense, as this will only lead to a feeling of deprivation. The best nutrition plan to lose weight is to establish a nutrition pattern that you can maintain for the rest of your life. It isn't practical to give up a food group for the purpose of weight loss if your intention is just to add it back in as soon as you reach your goal weight.
Moderation is the key here. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are not the enemy. These are the macronutrients that provide essential nutrients to our bodies. The dosage of these foods is what gets us in trouble, not the foods themselves. If you struggle with portion control, reach out to a dietitian to help you determine the correct serving size, and how you can still enjoy your favorite foods in moderation. At Revolution Training Centers, we work closely with each client to determine a nutrition plan that incorporates all essential nutrients into a healthy meal plan, without feeling deprived.
The simple truth is that diets fail. They are too restrictive, un-enjoyable, and generally unrealistic. The real key to success is learning to enjoy healthy, nutritious foods in moderation, because the most effective diet of all isn't a diet.