MAX Blog

Name that Diet

Diets, diets, and more diets! We are surrounded by them, each one claiming to be the best, to cure us of disease and obesity, and to guarantee we win the fight against fat! Well, here I am again, to burst the bubble. Diets are scams, fads, trends, money makers, and will be gone as quick as they came. Just a few years ago, we were convinced we should eat nothing but low-fat and non-fat foods, now bacon is our best friend! Something just isn't right..

If diets worked, why do they keep changing? Why are we always on them? I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "I am going to go back on my diet." Obviously, it didn't work the first time, if you have to go back on it! If you lost "x" amount of weight on your diet, but then gained it all back, something isn't quite right. Was it way too restrictive for long-term adherence? Did it negatively impact your social life? What went wrong? Whether you are currently on a diet or are seeking your next diet to begin, here is some advice from a few of the most knowledgeable people in the sport and nutrition industry:

Avoid any diets that:

#1- Have a name. Atkins, Mediterranean, Werewolf...if it has a name it is not for you.

#2- Exclude certain foods or food groups. Unless you are allergic, been advised by your physician, or do not like the taste (I am not a seafood fan), you should never avoid particular foods. Gaps in your diet lead to gaps in your nutrition. In moderation, you should enjoy your favorite foods. In fact, allowing for small treats assists in diet adherence. 

#3- Have a demographic following. Have you ever noticed that your diet has a "type?" Are all your college girlfriends going vegan or your CrossFit buds trading grains for meat? Take a look around, if your diet has a following, you may want to steer clear. 

#4- Use scare tactics. Fear should never accompany your diet. If you are afraid to check in at your next meeting, or eat a slice of pizza, or gain weight, then that diet is not for you! 

#5- Brainwash you.  You should never be emotionally attached to a diet. Do you feel the need to chime in every time someone eats a piece of bread in front of you? Are you offended when someone talks bad about your diet? If any of this applies to you, it is time to seriously reconsider your diet.

#6- Claim to be the best. There are no secrets, no new studies, and no best diet. Everyone is different. The best diet is to educate yourself before you jump on any diet bandwagon!

Just remember- if the diet has a name, run away as fast as you can! Life is meant to be enjoyed. Anything that starves you, stresses you, or takes away your favorite dessert is never going to work in the long-run. Instead, develop a healthy nutritional plan that allows flexibility and does not negatively affect you physically, mentally, or socially. 

References:

Depree, P. (2004). 6 diet myths (and the facts that debunk them). Rn67(10).

Nutrition matters: Separating trends from fads. (2014). IDEA Fitness Journal11(3), 36-43.

Smash these diet myths. (2014). Health28(3), 13.

We are bringing back this muscle-building burnout! Check out one of Coach Hayes' favorite moves! Be sure to watch the video for safety tips and proper technique before adding this movement to your workout routine. You GET what you GIVE!