Paleo. Vegetarianism. Raw veganism. Macrobiotics. Blood Type. The list of endless diets claiming to be “the best” roam shelves of every bookstore begging you to scour through them or healthy titles flash across your computer screens yearning for you to click and digest. No wonder 69% of Americans ages 20 and older are considered clinically overweight and 35.1% of those people are considered clinically obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). With all this “helpful” information, Americans are faced with an overload of decision-making, which all seem quite contradictory in their efforts. Labels touting “Eat only meat and vegetables!” or “Don’t eat meat, or eggs, or dairy!” or the classic “Only eat grapefruit!” stream across our brains like constant Nasdaq headlines and push most of us to run (or in most cases, drive) to the nearest McDonald’s for good, old grateful: The Big Mac.
Information is literally making us Fat.
As a health and fitness expert, I believe in moderation with food and beverages. I have fallen victim to following fads with no success so I’ve always preached to my clients balance as I try with myself. For example, I have encouraged clients to gravitate toward Paleo, Vegetarianism, and other plans if they feel comfortable eating those ways and are finding success. Remember, success in an eating plan is not merely the scale tipping south. Achieving nutrition goals is just as much a mindful experience as a physical one. If those same clients were losing weight but were miserable (not just uncomfortable with change), I would gear them toward a lifestyle plan that fits them better.
The trendy diet at the moment may or may not be right for you so resist the urge to follow the popular suit because it worked for a celebrity or an athlete or even your mom or best friend. Follow a plan because it gives you energy and vitality, helps you accomplish your weight and body fat goals and is realistic for your lifestyle, not just for those two weeks prior to your vacation or wedding. Nancy Clark, a sports nutrition expert based in Massachusetts, agrees that multiple types of meal plans can be successful if they are healthy. When specifically asked if a vegan diet makes someone a better athlete, Clark (as cited in The New York Times, 2012), responded, “My feeling is that hard training trumps everything. Diet, if it’s healthy, isn’t going to make that much of a difference.” An athlete, office worker, stay-at-home mom, and others can benefit from any diet as long as it is healthy.
If you are filling your body with the proper nutrients in the recommended number of calories for your body and also burning excess calories through efficient exercise, you will see positive physical and emotional change. No purchase necessary.