Whenever I get asked about a particular nutrition plan, diet, or "eating lifestyle," I ask them 2 questions. I call it the nutrition plan litmus test. And based on their answers to these two questions, I give my opinion.
The first questions I ask is, "On a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the most extreme, how extreme of a change is the diet you are asking about from what you are currently doing?" I'm looking for a number less than 5 because the more extreme the change, then lower the chance you will succeed in the plan. I'll come back to this.
The second question I ask is "Is this diet something that you can follow for the rest of your life?" If you can not emphatically say YES, then you are not going to maintain the results you would get, if you get any at all.
Our society has evolved to expect immediate results. If we do not see the changes we are expecting within an unrealistically amount of time, we are off to the next program, diet, or pill that promises us the results we want. We have lost the ability to work for something and be patient for the results. Blame social media, or whatever you want, but it is a problem.
And the fitness and nutrition industry is just as much to blame as Instagram. Trainers and health "gurus" are a dime a dozen, and they are selling the "perfect plan." It's no wonder the general public expects results faster than possible.
Back to nutrition, though. The popular diets that are out there all have a few commonalities, and it is these commonalities that are the reason that anyone can be successful on keto, or paleo, or intermittent fasting. They all promote being mindful of what you are eating, They all promote making better food choices. And they all promote eating a higher quality of food (not processed).
There is an analogy I often use when helping someone understand that you cannot shortcut the process. If you had never lifted weights before and you came to me to train, and I immediately told you to squat 225 lbs, the chances of you accomplishing that tasks are very small. And ever if you somehow do it, the risk of injury is so high that I would be incredibly negligent to have to even try it. In order to squat that much weight safely, there are a number of steps you would need to master along the way.
The same goes with nutrition. Unfortunately, many trainers forget that the way they eat is the culmination of years of practice at meal planning, prepping, and in some cases, deprivation. Expecting a client who has not spent the time to learn these skills to be able to follow a strict or rigid meal plan is setting them up for failure.
So if you are thinking of jumping on a particular nutrition bandwagon, ask yourself the nutrition litmus test questions. If you cannot answer 4 or less on questions 1, and YES on question 2, then it probably isn't something that will provide long term success.
If you are interested in learning how we help our clients achieve long-lasting, sustainable results, then schedule a Discovery Call with me or one of our coaches.